The president added that Kavanaugh has "impeccable credentials and unsurpassed qualifications". Kavanaugh served in the Bush administration, including as the president's staff secretary.
The case said that religious employers did not have to provide contraceptives but had to file a form telling the government they were not doing so, but Kavanaugh argued that the requirement violated religious freedom.
Whether LGBTQ people and families can be turned away from businesses open to the general public, simply because of who they are or whom they love.
And here you thought repealing Roe v. Wade was the worst thing that could happen following Trump's selection of his Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh. He also spoke about the fact that he coaches his daughters' basketball team at Blessed Sacrament School in Chevy Chase. He says his daughters' teammates call him "Coach K."
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats were already pushing a coordinated message against Kavanaugh as an unacceptable choice on both policy and political grounds. In a 2009 article in The Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh wrote that presidents are under such extraordinary pressure they "should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office". Clinton, for example, "could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal investigation offshoots", Kavanaugh wrote.
The announcement ended days of suspense following Kennedy's announcement late June that he would retire on July 31. A Ronald Reagan nominee, Kennedy joined the high court in February 1988.
Vice President Mike Pence, who holds a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, accompanied Kavanaugh to the meeting with McConnell. "A judge must be independent, must interpret the law, not make the law, must interpret statutes as written, and must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent", Kavanaugh said.
For its part, the NAACP vowed to fight Kavanaugh's nomination, saying the confirmation process should be postponed until after the election of a new Senate in November's mid-term elections.
Democrats are increasingly critical of Kavanaugh - in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the campaign's collusion with Russian Federation - for once penning an article saying presidents shouldn't face investigations and lawsuits, calling them "time-consuming and distracting", the Dallas Morning News reported.
That will be a red flag for Democrats in Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing given that Trump's attempts to test the boundaries of his office often end up in the courts, and that a decision on whether he must testify to Mueller may ultimately end up before the nine Supreme Court justices.
While conservatives debated the semantics of Kavanaugh's decision, Democrats and liberal activists were overwhelmingly alarmed by the nomination.