In the days leading up to Trump's announcement, some conservatives were concerned Mr Kavanaugh would not be far enough to the right on certain issues including abortion and health care.
On Monday, Trump phoned retiring Justice Kennedy to inform him that his former law clerk would be nominated to fill his seat.
Over a decade later, Kavanaugh reiterated this belief in the Minnesota Law Review saying, "a serious constitutional question exists regarding whether a President can be criminally indicted and tried while in office".
"Fundamentally, it's been a precedent for a long time", she said.
A Yale Law graduate, Kavanaugh started his career as an associate counsel with special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, where he helped draft the report that recommended Clinton should be impeached for having an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Kavanaugh, 53, grew up in Maryland.
"No matter how intense the incoming fire, he'll stand by his legal principles", said Justin Walker, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville who clerked for Kavanaugh in 2010 and 2011. He was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006.
Some conservatives lobbied against him, worrying that his upbringing in the suburbs of D.C. could mean he'll be the kind of justice who has disappointed conservatives before.
He is the kind of judge a President Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney would have picked - a man with an established legal pedigree and a reputation as a reliably conservative jurist.
If Democrats maintain total unity, a single GOP defection could be enough to sink Kavanaugh's nomination. "He is widely admired for his intellect, experience and exemplary judicial temperament", he said. "No single prosecutor, judge, or jury should be able to accomplish what the Constitution assigns to the Congress". Keep reading below to learn more about Trump's pick!
Trump published a similar list during the 2016 campaign, and it was widely credited with helping him win the votes of social conservatives who otherwise might have been skeptical of a thrice-married billionaire from NY.
"Well, I think that Donald Trump said he was going to energize the base with this pick".
White House spokesman Raj Shah says the Arizona Republican "has agreed to serve as the Sherpa for the President's nominee to the Supreme Court". Regardless of his choice, it's likely that the closely divided Senate will be holding a momentous confirmation vote just weeks before the midterm election.
"This incredibly qualified nominee deserves a swift confirmation and robust, bipartisan support", Trump said.
The president has already begun using the high court vacancy as a rallying cry as he campaigns for Republicans across the country.
"Make no mistake about it, Justice Kennedy himself was quite conservative". And that is not even the most important case on abortion rights. "He will make a superb Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States".
Host Chuck Todd then brought up the dilemma faced by red-state Democrats. CNN reported no Democrat lawmakers were in the East Room when Trump made his announcement.
For starters, Judicial Crisis Network is launching a $1.4 million ad buy on national cable and digital, with a particular focus on four states: Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia.
Trump is hoping to replicate his successful nomination of Justice Gorsuch past year. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have shown concern in the past about preserving access to abortion rights.
One Democrat up for re-election, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, announced Monday he would oppose any nominee from Trump's list of 25 possible candidates, drafted by conservative groups. - Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, probably, on ads pressuring her to support, or reject, Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
"I believe that an independent judiciary is the crown jewel of the republic", Kavanaugh said when accepting the president's nomination, echoing the words Trump used moments before. Lacking power over both the sword and purse, the court's most precious endowment remains its legitimacy - the perception that as the branch of government largely insulated from the political fray, it can operate as a neutral defender of the Constitution.
This is President Trump's second Supreme Court nominee.