President Donald Trump has just appointed yet another Irish Catholic judge to the Supreme Court replacing another Irish Catholic Anthony Kennedy.
The new justice, Brett Kavanaugh, was born on February 12, 1965, in Washington, D.C., and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, the son of Martha Gamble (Murphy) and Everett Edward Kavanaugh, Jr.
His mother served as a Maryland state Circuit Court Judge from 1995 to 2001.
He is Catholic and graduated from the Georgetown Preparatory School where his basketball coach was Kevin Dowd, brother of fiery New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh watches with his family as President Donald J. Trump signs the document Monday evening, July 9, 2018, in the Treaty Room of the @WhiteHouse, naming Kavanaugh as his nominee to become the next Associate Justice of the #SCOTUS. pic.twitter.com/Wv9gvkVFdt— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) July 10, 2018
As the Washington Post noted: “In selecting Kavanaugh on Monday night, Trump chose a judge reared in Washington’s finest Jesuit institutions, including Georgetown Preparatory School. Kavanaugh, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is active in several Catholic organizations in the area...”
The name Kavanaugh means student of Kevin, in this instance St. Kevin, a revered Irish saint who founded the famed monastery at Glendalough in County Wicklow.
Glendalough, or the Glen of Two Lakes, is one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland. Before the arrival of St. Kevin in the 5th century the glen would have been desolate and remote and would have been ideal for a secluded retreat.
The first person to use the last name Kavanagh was Art mac Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh (1357–1417), Irish King of Leinster and son of the traitorous Diarmuid MacMurrough who as King of Leinster invited the British into Ireland.
The new Supreme Court judges first name Brett also has Celtic connotations, meaning Breton or from Brittany a Celtic enclave in France.
It is hardly noticed these days when an Irish Catholic is nominated on to the Supreme Court a far cry from when Justice William Brennan, whose parents came from Roscommon, was undergoing hearings in 1956 and was asked repeatedly if he could assure the senate that his Catholicism would not interfere with his decision making.
Catholics have essentially taken over the Supreme Court with Kavanaugh, Chief Justice Roberts, Judge Samuel Alito, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Judge Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch all raised in the religion.