US Supreme Court battle: How the conservatives won

In the weeks ahead, we are going to spend a lot of time going over Mr Brett Kavanaugh's biography - where he's from and what he's written. But that's not the most important way to understand the guy. Mr Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat in the US Supreme Court, is the product of a community. He is the product of a conservative legal infrastructure that develops ideas, recruits talent, links rising stars, nurtures genius, moulds and launches judicial nominees.

It almost doesn't matter which Republican is president. The conservative legal infrastructure is the entity driving the whole project. It almost doesn't even matter if this person is confirmed or shot down; there are dozens more who can fill the vacancy, just as smart and just as conservative.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2018, with the headline 'US Supreme Court battle: How the conservatives won'. Print Edition | Subscribe