President Trump Nominates Judge Kavanaugh

President Trump promised to appoint justices committed to faithfully interpreting the Constitution of the United States as the Founders intended. His nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record reflects that commitment. We commend President Trump for this excellent pick.

We are hopeful that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the First Amendment and the original public meaning of the Constitution. His extensive judicial record demonstrates that he understands that power under our Constitution ultimately rests with the American people, and that it is the structure of our Constitution that protects our liberties.

At a 2006 administrative law conference, Judge Kavanaugh described how he rejects judicial activism: “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy.” A defender of religious liberty, just last year he dissented from his court’s ruling that the Washington, D.C. transit authority could ban religiously themed advertisements, including a Christmas ad; he called the policy “pure discrimination” and “odious.” Judge Kavanaugh has also defended the traditional role of religion and prayer in the public square, vigorously arguing in Newdow v. Roberts (2010) for the Constitutionality of prayers at government ceremonies and the phrase “so help me God” in the Presidential Oath of Office

Like President Trump’s recent appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch, Judge Kavanaugh is a person of impeccable character, extraordinary qualifications, independence, and fairness. He received bipartisan support in the Senate in his last confirmation and deserves no less now. Judge Kavanaugh will be another great justice.

We appreciate President Trump’s continued transparency and principled process for choosing the next Supreme Court nominee, and are pleased with his nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

 

Are You Ready for the Schumer Storm?

On Monday July 9th, President Trump will reveal his choice to succeed the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States. As he is doing so, U.S. Senate Democrats will viciously attack whomever he chooses.

First, they will demand that the Senate’s Advice and Consent should not even be taken up until after the November general elections. When they come to the realization that their delay tactic will not prevail, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will launch the opening salvos of the Schumer Storm.

Schumer’s hue and cry will be that the Senate must interrogate the nominee as to their legal “doctrine.” He will orchestrate the ideological testing of the President’s nominee.

A little history here is worth mentioning. There is no constitutional precedent for subjecting judicial choices to a senatorial third degree. No Supreme Court appointee was even interrogated by the Senate until 1925, and committee questioning was irregular until it became standard confirmation practice in 1955.

But then there is the “Ginsburg Standard.”

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court, and she still serves today. Six years earlier, conservative Robert Bork was denied confirmation when hostile questioners drew him into a debate on judicial philosophy. But Judge Ginsburg was up to the challenge at her Judiciary Committee interrogation.

Judge Ginsburg said in her remarks:

“You are well aware that I come to this proceeding to be judged as a judge, not as an advocate. Because I am and hope to continue to be a judge, it would be wrong for me to say or to preview in this legislative chamber how I would cast my vote on questions the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide. Were I to rehearse here what I would say and how I would reason on such questions, I would act injudiciously.

Judges in our system are bound to decide concrete cases, not abstract issues. Each case comes to court based on particular facts and its decision should turn on those facts and the governing law, stated and explained in light of the particular arguments the parties or their representatives present. A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”

The Judiciary Committee and the Senate should examine the appointee on the basis of their qualifications, especially on their written record of their judicial rulings, briefs and articles, not on their judicial philosophy or anticipated leanings on specific issues.

President Trump’s appointee would be well advised to adopt the “Ginsburg Standard” in the face of the Schumer Storm.