Kavanaugh at Nomination Ceremony: A Judge Must Interpret the Law, Not Make Law

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's newly annoucened nominee to fill Anthony Kennedy's Supreme Court seat, talked Monday night about the importance of the Court not making law.

"A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law," said Kavanaugh, speaking during an event where Trump announced his nomination. "A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent."

Kavanaugh, who was nominated to fill Kennedy's seat after the justice announced his impending retirement last month, also thanked Trump for his appreciation of the role of the American judiciary. He noted that no other president has consulted as many people from such extensive backgrounds about Supreme Court nominations as Trump.

"Mr. President, I am grateful to you, and I am humbled by your confidence in me," Kavanaugh said.

The nominee earned both his B.A. and J.D. from Yale and has served as a judge in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006. In the 1990s, he was a key member of Kenneth Starr's independent counsel team.

Kavanaugh also spoke Monday about the role his parents, wife and two daughters have played in shaping his life and career in law. He described the inspiration his mother, Martha Kavanaugh, provided as a pioneering prosecutor in the 1970s.

He proudly declared his law clerks have come from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, noting "I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women."

Kavanaugh further highlighted his place in Washington, D.C.'s "vibrant Catholic community."

"Father John Ensler is here," he said. "40 years ago I was an altar boy for Father John. These days I help him serve meals to the homeless at Catholic Charities," he said.

Upon confirmation, Kavanaugh would become the fifth Catholic justice on the Supreme Court.