Judge Kavanaugh, 53 years old, has compiled an outstanding record during his twelve years on the federal court of appeals in D.C. On what is commonly regarded as the second-most-important court in the country, he has confronted a vast array of consequential constitutional and statutory issues and has written strong, influential opinions. His positions in numerous dissents were later adopted by Supreme Court majorities.
Judge Kavanaugh has been selected to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he clerked — along with Neil Gorsuch — 25 years ago. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, Kavanaugh has dedicated his career to public service. He worked for several years in the Office of Independent Counsel under Ken Starr and then for five years in the White House of President George W. Bush, first in the White House counsel’s office and then in the role of staff secretary. During an interlude in private practice, he headed the Federalist Society’s Religious Liberties Practice Group and wrote two pro bono Supreme Court amicus briefs in support of the cause of religious liberty.
Kavanaugh is a lector at his Catholic parish, where he also coaches his daughters’ CYO basketball teams. He also volunteers with Catholic charities and teaches and mentors in local schools. He is as fit off the court as he is on it: The former captain of his high-school basketball team runs regularly and has won his court’s annual 5-K five times.
Here is an introduction to Kavanaugh’s judicial record: