Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, will appear on Capitol Hill today for the first day of his Senate confirmation hearing, where he'll pledge to retain judicial independence and vow to work with the team of Supreme Court justices.
"If confirmed to the Court, I would be part of a Team of Nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player on the Team of Nine," Kavanaugh will say, according to excerpts of his opening statement released on Monday by the White House.
Kavanaugh will say "a good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. … I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge," he will say, according to the White House release.
And Kavanaugh will praise Anthony Kennedy, who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1988 until his retirement in 2018 after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
"To me, Justice Kennedy is a mentor, a friend, and a hero. As a Member of the Court, he was a model of civility and collegiality. He fiercely defended the independence of the Judiciary. And he was a champion of liberty."
Trump's nominee will also praise the Senate and the president.
"Over the past eight weeks, I have witnessed first-hand the Senate’s deep appreciation for the vital role of the American Judiciary," he will say in his opening statement. "At the White House on the night of the announcement, the President and Mrs. Trump were very gracious to my daughters, my wife, and my parents. My family will always cherish that night."