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Dozens of former Kennedy law clerks urge Senate to confirm Kavanaugh

Dozens of former Kennedy law clerks urge Senate to confirm Kavanaugh
© Anna Moneymaker

Dozens of former law clerks for recently retired Justice Anthony Kennedy are urging senators to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Seventy-two former Kennedy law clerks voiced their support for Kavanaugh in a Thursday letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinPoll: Feinstein holds 18-point lead over challenger Durbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’ Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue MORE (D-Calif.) provided exclusively to The Hill.

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The former clerks wrote that despite their different political viewpoints, they believe Kavanaugh, who also clerked for Kennedy, "would be a fair-minded and conscientious successor to Justice Kennedy."

"Much like Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh has made clear that he holds both the law and the principle of judicial independence in the highest regard," the former clerks wrote.

They characterized President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE's pick as someone who would make decisions in a manner similar to Kennedy, a moderate voice who often became the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court.

"If he is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, we believe that Judge Kavanaugh would continue to serve his country with distinction—like the Justice for whom we clerked," they added.

Among the notable signatories is Rachel Brand, who served for a time as the third-highest official in the Department of Justice before stepping down in February to become an executive vice president at Walmart.

Kennedy stepped down on July 31 after about 30 years on the Supreme Court. Earlier in July, Trump nominated Kavanaugh, who worked in the George W. Bush White House before spending 12 years as a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh are expected to begin next month. Senate Republicans initially indicated they wanted Kavanaugh confirmed before the Supreme Court session starts during the first week of October, but they've since said he will be confirmed before the Nov. 6 midterm elections.