South Dakota reaction to President's pick for U.S. Supreme Court

Judge Brett Kavanaugh nominated by President Donald Trump to the Supreme Court. | Image Source: US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit / MGN

President Donald Trump announced his pick, Monday night, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh is a longtime judge on the federal appeals court often referred to as the second-highest court in the land.

Kavanaugh has served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, when George W. Bush nominated him to the post. At 53, Kavanaugh, if confirmed, could reasonably expect to serve on the Supreme Court well into the middle of the century — no doubt an attractive prospect to President Trump, who intentionally targeted young candidates for the posting, sources told ABC News.

Members of South Dakota's delegation and representatives from surrounding states responded to the President's decision.

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement:

“I commend President Trump for his selection of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial career has demonstrated his commitment to impartiality and faithful application of the Constitution. I look forward to sitting down with Judge Kavanaugh as we go through the confirmation process.

“Senate Democrats have already made it clear that they intend to listen to the far left of their party and fight this nominee regardless of his credentials. I encourage all of my colleagues to carefully review the qualifications of this nominee instead of trying to solicit his opinions on political issues, and to remember that the responsibility of a Supreme Court justice is to interpret the laws as written, not substitute political opinions for the law.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) tonight issued the following statement:

“The president has announced his nominee, and now the Senate has a constitutional role of advice and consent. I take this responsibility very seriously. Confirming conservative, fair-minded judges who will adhere to the Constitution is one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Senate. I look forward to a thorough and rigorous confirmation process.”

“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a highly-qualified, well-respected justice committed to the rule of law. He deserves a respectful and timely confirmation and I stand ready to offer advice and consent to Judge Kavanaugh as he moves through the confirmation process.

“With Iowa’s Senior Senator, Chuck Grassley, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we have a phenomenal leader overseeing the process to make sure it is smooth and done in a timely manner. Senator Grassley moved Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation through the process superbly, allowing plenty of time for both parties to participate and we did have a successful confirmation. Judge Kavanaugh deserves the same quick, yet comprehensive, process and I believe Senator Grassley will ensure the Supreme Court vacancy is filled in a way that respects the rule of law, as well as the individual being put forth for confirmation.

“I look forward to the next several months, where the Senate will have the opportunity to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”

The South Dakota Democratic Party issued the following statement:

“If confirmed, Kavanaugh would threaten women’s rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, and voting rights for generations to come. Immigrants, LGBTQ Americans, people of color, and people with disabilities would be pushed further to the margins. And wealthy corporations and polluters would gain yet another powerful protector.

“Even more disturbing is what this selection means for the rule of law in our country. Ignoring that the fundamental duty of the Supreme Court is to protect people’s constitutional rights and serve as a check on the powers of the executive branch, Judge Kavanaugh has expressed disturbing views of expansive presidential power. Further, A President under federal criminal investigation for colluding with a foreign power to rig an election should not be able to nominate the person who could play a part in deciding his fate if the fight over the investigation reaches the Supreme Court.

“We urge Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune and the rest of their colleagues in the Senate to reject this extreme nominee and delay any vote on a replacement to retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy until after Special Counsel Mueller has submitted a report to Congress or closed the investigation into President Trump. The very rule of law in our country is at stake.”