Donald Trump revealed Brett Kavanaugh, whom he called a "judge’s judge", as his nominee for the Supreme Court in a televised ceremony on Monday evening.
The highly anticipated decision brought with it momentous implications for America on a wide range of issues including abortion, gun control, and immigration.
Mr Kavanaugh is aged only 53, meaning conservatives could dominate the court for decades.
The announcement was set to spark an intense fight between Republicans and Democrats during the ensuing confirmation process in the US Senate.
Both sides are expected to spend millions of dollars on digital and television advertisements attempting to sway the outcome.
Mr Trump had narrowed the field to four candidates before unveiling his choice in an Apprentice-style finale.
Speaking in the East Room at the White House Mr Trump said: "Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law."
He added: "One of the most profound responsibilities of the president of the United States is the selection of a Supreme Court justice.
"I’ve often heard that, other than matters of war and peace, it is the most important decision a president will make."
Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee?
He said the Supreme Court was "entrusted with the crown jewel of out republic, the Constitution".
Mr Kavanaugh, who was accompanied by his wife and two daughters, said: "I will keep an open mind in every case."
Mr Trump had spent the weekend at his golf club in New Jersey mulling over the options.
I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less.
Read my full statement on #WhatsAtStake: https://t.co/BYtcB3LWWB #StopKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/5f2Bomxltb
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 10, 2018
He had already appointed one Supreme Court justice – Neil Gorsuch – last year, but his second pick carried bigger implications for the US.
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The vacancy was caused by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy who had been a decisive swing vote, sometimes siding with conservatives and at other times with liberals, on the nine-member bench. With the appointment of Mr Kavanaugh the court would be more staunchly conservative.
Supreme Court | The candidates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy
In recent years the Supreme Court has made landmark decisions on politically charged issues that are fundamental to the social evolution of America.
Those include decisions on same-sex marriage, abortion, gun rights, the use of corporate money in elections, and free speech.
Mr Trump wasted no time making his nomination and is keen to have it confirmed before mid-term elections in November. Republicans currently hold a wafer-thin majority in the Senate.
However, even with that majority confirmation is not a certainty. Susan Collins, a Republican senator, has indicated she could break ranks and not vote to confirm in a disagreement over the issue of abortion.