Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy, has two children with his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh. He revealed during his nomination press conference that his daughters sometimes call him “Coach K.”
Specifically, the Kavanaugh kids are two daughters named Margaret and Liza. Kavanaugh walked into the first day of his confirmation hearing clutching his daughter’s hand. However, his daughters were later escorted from the room after protesters began shouting.
On September 27, 2018, in an emotional and angry statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee – after Professor Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault dating to the 1980s – Kavanaugh brought up his daughters. Struggling not to break into tears, he said that his 10-year-old daughter had suggested the family pray for Ford. Kavanaugh also said that explaining what was going on to his daughters was the worst experience of his and his wife Ashley’s lives.
Brett Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, sat down for a joint interview with Fox News on September 24, 2018. They discussed the effect of the nomination on their children:
Kavanaugh, the former staff secretary to George W. Bush, also played a role in drafting the Ken Starr report into the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Trump revealed his pick for Supreme Court on July 9, 2018. Kavanaugh was one of four rumored finalists, along with Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, and Raymond Kethledge.
In his nomination speech, Kavanaugh spoke emotionally about his wife and two daughters, who were at the press conference. He described coaching his girls and taking them to sporting events. “I thank God every day for my family,” Kavanaugh said in the press conference.
Here’s what you need to know about Brett M. Kavanaugh’s children:
Kavanaugh Called His Daughters ‘Spirited’ & Says He Coaches Their Basketball Teams
Brett Kavanaugh spoke movingly about his two girls at the press conference announcing his nomination to the nation’s highest court. “I have two spirited daughters, Margaret and Liza. Margaret loves sports and she loves to read. Liza loves sports and she loves to talk,” he joked, then playfully giving his daughter “five.”
“I tried to create bonds with my daughters like my dad created with me. For the last seven years, I coached my daughters’ basketball teams. The girls on the teams call me coach K,” revealed Kavanaugh.
“I am proud of our Blessed Sacrament team that just won the city championship,” he added. “My daughters and I also go to lots of games.” He said they recently went to a Notre Dame game during the Final Four.
Brett M. Kavanaugh’s daughters are with his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, who he described as a west Texan. The parents were married in 2004, and the eldest daughter was born 13 months later.
According to The Washington Examiner, “In 2004, Kavanaugh married presidential assistant Ashley Estes, who gave birth to their daughter, Margaret, 13 months later. The family lives in Chevy Chase, directly across the street from White House Counsel Dan Bartlett.”
Brett Kavanaugh is a judge serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court. He is a graduate of Yale Law School who also spent time in private practice.
At his confirmation hearing in May 2006, Kavanaugh spoke of his family, saying, “And I thank my family for being here. Since I last appeared before the Committee, there have been two major changes in my record, and they’re both sitting behind me. My wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, and my 8-month-old daughter, Margaret Murphy Kavanaugh. She’s watched a little C-SPAN in her day. This is her first live Senate hearing, however. I’m not sure–as you’ve probably already noticed, Mr. Chairman, I’m not sure she’s going to make it very long, but she wanted to be here for the start.”
You can watch video of the hearing here.
George W. Bush Once Said Margaret Kavanaugh Got Her Mother’s ‘Good Looks’
Bush nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Court of Appeals, and he spoke at the swearing-in ceremony in 2006. According to a story posted by the White House, Bush mentioned Kavanaugh’s daughter Margaret at the event.
“Welcome the star of Brett’s most recent televised hearing, Margaret Murphy Kavanaugh,” Bush said to laughter from the crowd. “Margaret has his mother’s — has her mother’s good looks, and her dad’s preference for hearings that do not last too long.”
At the same hearing, Brett Kavanaugh called Margaret, his only child at the time, a “daily inspiration.”
“Ashley and our little girl Margaret are a daily inspiration. Ashley, as the President noted, is from Abilene, Texas. For those of you who don’t know much about Texas geography, it’s about halfway between Dallas and Midland,” he said. “Ashley’s parents are here, and I thank them for coming. Ashley likes to remind me that true love, true love is a Texas girl who is willing to marry a guy with a lifetime appointment in Washington, D.C.”
Kavanaugh’s Wife Has Deep Ties to the Bush Administration
Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, the spouse of Brett Kavanaugh, has deep ties to the administration of George W. Bush, as does her husband. That had some observers thinking the Bush family ties could potentially reduce Brett Kavanaugh’s chances to be a Trump nominee because there is no love lost between Trump and the Bushes.
According to her LinkedIn page, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh worked as media relations coordinator for the George W. Bush Presidential Center from 2009-2010; worked as Director of Special Projects for the George W. Bush presidential Foundation from 2005 to 2009; was President George W. Bush’s personal secretary from 2001 to 2005; was an assistant in the White House from 2001 to 2005; and worked on the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign from 1996 to 2000.
Her time with Bush dates to his work in Texas as governor there. She was assistant to George W. Bush from 1996 to 1999. She attended the University of Texas at Austin from 1994 to 1997.
Her LinkedIn page says she is Town Manager, Section 5 of the Village of Chevy Chase, Maryland. A newsletter for the town reports, “She has lived in Section 5 on Underwood Street for the last ten years along with her husband, Brett, and their two daughters, Margaret and Liza.”
A bio for Brett Kavanaugh also sketches out his Bush ties, saying, “From July 2003 until his appointment to the court in 2006, he was Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary to President Bush.”