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 Home > News & Policies > May 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 8, 2006

Fact Sheet: Brett M. Kavanaugh: Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

     Fact sheet In Focus: Judicial Nominations

Throughout His Career, Brett M. Kavanaugh Has Demonstrated Legal Excellence And The Fair-Minded Temperament To Serve As A Federal Appellate Judge. Kavanaugh has an extraordinary range of experience in the public and private sectors. He has dedicated the majority of his 16 years of practice to public service as an appellate lawyer, a government lawyer, and an Assistant to the President.

Brett M. Kavanaugh Is Superbly Qualified For The D.C. Circuit

Kavanaugh Now Serves As Assistant To The President And Staff Secretary. He is responsible for coordinating virtually all documents to and from the President. He previously served as Senior Associate Counsel and Associate Counsel to the President, during which time he worked on numerous constitutional, legal, and ethical issues.

Prior To His Service In This Administration, Kavanaugh Was A Partner At The Law Firm Of Kirkland & Ellis, Where His Practice Focused On Appellate Matters. Kavanaugh also served as an Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel, where he handled a number of difficult constitutional issues presented during that investigation. Kavanaugh specialized in appellate law and has extensive experience in the Federal appellate courts, both as a law clerk and as counsel. Kavanaugh has argued both civil and criminal matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and appellate courts throughout the country.

Kavanaugh Clerked For U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, As Well As Judge Alex Kozinski Of The Ninth Circuit And Judge Walter Stapleton Of The Third Circuit. Prior to his Supreme Court clerkship, Kavanaugh earned a prestigious fellowship in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States. The Solicitor General's office represents the United States before the Supreme Court.

The American Bar Association (ABA) Has Consistently Rated Kavanaugh "Well Qualified" Or "Qualified" To Serve On The D.C. Circuit. The ABA has rated Brett Kavanaugh qualified to serve on the D.C. Circuit on three separate occasions. In other words, 42 out of 42 ABA individual ratings found that Mr. Kavanaugh is either Well Qualified or Qualified to serve on the D.C. Circuit. And the majority of those 42 raters found Mr. Kavanaugh to be Well Qualified to serve on the D.C. Circuit.

Kavanaugh Has Impeccable Academic Credentials. He received his B.A. cum laude from Yale College and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he served as Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Kavanaugh Has Offered His Legal Expertise And Personal Time To Serving His Community. While in private practice, Kavanaugh took on pro bono matters, including representation of the Adat Shalom congregation in Montgomery County, Maryland, against the attempt to stop construction of a synagogue in the county. Kavanaugh also represented, on a pro bono basis, six-year-old Elian Gonzalez after the Immigration and Naturalization Service decided to return him to Cuba.

People From Across The Political Spectrum Support Brett M. Kavanaugh's Nomination To The D.C. Circuit

Bipartisan Group Of Former U.S. Attorneys General: "Mr. Kavanaugh is particularly known for his intelligence, commitment to public service, and integrity. Throughout his career, Mr. Kavanaugh has shown a dedication to the legal profession and the rule of law, and his professional accomplishments speak volumes to his ability to serve as a federal judge. ... We believe that Mr. Kavanaugh possesses each characteristic of an outstanding nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, including academic and professional credentials and integrity." (William P. Barr On Behalf Of Griffin B. Bell, Edwin Meese, III, Dick Thornburgh, and John Ashcroft, Letter To Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), 5/5/06)

Bipartisan Group Of Kavanaugh's Classmates From The Yale Law School Class Of 1990: "We have known Brett Kavanaugh for almost two decades and we are convinced that he would be fair and impartial on the bench. He has the integrity, honesty, good sense, and temperament to apply the law fairly and with intellectual honesty as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit." (Bipartisan Group Of Brett Kavanaugh's Classmates From The Yale Law School Class Of 1990, Letter To Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) And Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), 5/3/06)

Former U.S. Solicitors General Theodore Olson, Kenneth Starr, And Charles Fried: "Mr. Kavanaugh embodies all of the characteristics that make an outstanding federal court of appeals judge: exceptional appellate experience, stellar academic credentials, and unquestioned integrity." (Theodore B. Olson On Behalf Of Kenneth W. Starr and Charles Fried, Letter To Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), 5/3/06)

Judge Walter K. Stapleton, U.S. Court Of Appeals For The Third Circuit: "In my opinion, Mr. Kavanaugh is superbly qualified to serve as a United States Circuit Judge, and I have no reservations whatever in predicting that he would make an extraordinary contribution to the administration of justice in any Court of Appeals." (Judge Walter K. Stapleton, Letter To Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), 5/3/06)

Former Counsels And Deputy Counsels To The President: "In our view, Mr. Kavanaugh possesses all of the requisite qualifications for such an appointment, including outstanding academic credentials, keen intellect, a calm and thoughtful demeanor, and exceptional analytic skills." (Fred F. Fielding On Behalf Of Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., Peter J. Wallison, Phillip D. Brady, Richard A. Hauser, Timothy E. Flanigan, David G. Leitch, John P. Schmitz, and Jay B. Stephens, Letter To Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), 5/5/06)

Mark H. Tuohey, III, Former President Of The District Of Columbia Bar: "[Kavanaugh] is exceptionally well qualified to serve on one of the nation's most important appellate courts, as he possesses keen intellectual prowess, superior analytical skills and a strong commitment to applying the role of law in a fair and impartial manner." (Mark H. Tuohey, III, Letter To Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 4/26/04)

Pamela Harris, Washington, D.C., Attorney And Yale Law School Class Of 1990: "... Brett stands out as someone who refuses to personalize policy disagreements. ... His long-standing friendships with those outside his political circle attest to the fact that he continues to command the respect and affection of political adversaries." (Pamela Harris, Letter To Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 4/27/04)

Editorial On Brett M. Kavanaugh's Nomination To The D.C. Circuit

The Wall Street Journal: In A "Rational World," Kavanaugh "Wouldn't Be Considered Anything Close To Controversial Enough" To Merit A Filibuster. "Anything is possible, but it's hard to believe Democrats are nuts enough to launch a judicial filibuster in the middle of an election year with a GOP President so low in the polls. Talk about a get-out-the-vote gift for Republicans. ... In a rational world, he wouldn't be considered anything close to controversial enough to trigger that accord's 'extraordinary circumstances' exception." (Editorial, "The Next Filibuster?" The Wall Street Journal, 5/4/06)

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