By Jason Pedreros | Multimedia Journalist
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination wrapped up on Sept. 7. The committee is set to vote on Sept. 20 to confirm the exceptionally qualified judge and pave a way to an almost certain confirmation in the full Senate when it begins its new term on Oct. 1. In the full Senate, Democrats must secure an additional two votes from Republicans, in addition to keeping their own caucus in check with voting against Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, formerly the U.S. Circuit judge of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee. If confirmed, he is set to replace the retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, fulfilling Trump’s campaign promises to replace retiring justices with judges who will interpret the law, not make it. Kavanaugh is an excellent choice for the bench, but why?
A public servant and graduate of Yale University undergraduate and law, Kavanaugh, 53, was known as a “serious, but not showy student” who loved sports, mainly basketball, according to interviews with colleagues conducted by the Associated Press. During law school, he served as a notes editor for the Yale Law Journal and graduated in 1990. Early on in his career, Kavanaugh worked as a law clerk for Judge Walter King Stapleton of the United States Court of Appeals who wrote the majority opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a landmark Supreme Court case in which the Supreme Court allowed abortions in the United States. Following that clerkship, Kavanaugh earned a one-year fellowship with the Solicitor General of the U.S., Judge Ken Starr. Kavanaugh next clerked for the man he hopes to replace on the bench, Justice Anthony Kennedy, meanwhile working alongside classmate Neil Gorsuch. Following his Supreme Court clerkship, Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr again as an associate counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel. He was the principal author of the Starr report to Congress on the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton sex scandal. Having all of this experience, former president George W. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to fill in the vacant U.S. Court of Appeals seat in 2003. Kavanaugh did not get confirmed until May 26, 2006.
Kavanaugh is widely seen as one of the brightest legal minds of his generation. Kavanaugh was recruited by now Justice Elena Kagan to teach at Harvard Law, where students all over the political spectrum love him and praise his teaching style, the New York Times reported. The Supreme Court has adopted Kavanaugh’s position on cases 13 times and has only reversed his position on a case once.
As judge, the majority of his clerks have been women. Kavanaugh is seen as an originalist by the Trump administration and other legal scholars. Originalism is a judicial philosophy in where judges attempt to interpret the law with what the Founding Fathers’ original intent of law should be. On the legal spectrum, he stands between Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito, the FiveThirtyEight reports. It is expected that Kavanaugh, as an originalist on the bench, will restore constitutional order and the balance of power.
A judge must be straightforward, independent and must interpret the law — not make the law — as informed by history and precedent. Previous Justices on the Court have failed to do so. Based on Kavanaugh’s precedent, it is certain that he will interpret the law in a way where he will keep the Founding Fathers’ original intent for this nation and, at the same time, understand America’s current judicial climate.
Kavanaugh, a family man, has already seen a lot of opposition from Democrats and will continue to do so. Democrats oppose him simply to please their constituents and want to continue playing politics. They know there is a lot of stake with their constituents and even more so with reelections coming up soon. High-profile democrats such as Senators Corey Booker (NJ) and Kamala Harris (CA) are using his confirmation hearings as an audition for the 2020 presidential race. Democrats will try to convince as many senators as needed to stop the confirmation, but they fail to realize that Kavanaugh, is not only a highly-qualified judge for the court, but also, the American people need him. He will restore constitutional order and the separation of powers. Kavanaugh is known for prosecuting presidents, if needed, he can do so again.
One potential problem for Kavanaugh that could stop his nomination are allegations of sexual assault. A clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University, Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her meanwhile they were teenagers. Judge Kavanaugh denied this accusation through the White House stating: “This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.” In the Weekly Standard, Mark Judge classmate of Kavanaugh, who was the third person in the room at that time spoke out saying, “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,”
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell took the Senate floor on Monday and had a strong point, stating “If they believe Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, why didn’t they surface this information earlier so that he could be questioned about it?” Mr. McConnell asked. “And if they didn’t believe her and chose to withhold the information, why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it?”, according to the New York Times.
Judge Kavanaugh and Christine Ford are both willing to testify publicly in the upcoming weeks.
Not everyone will always like who the president will nominate for the Supreme Court. Nominees will not always get through the whole confirmation process. But, in this case, when the nominee is highly-qualified, democrats have to stop this self-serving drama and audition for the 2020 presidential race in Washington and let tradition continue of confirming qualified nominees by confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There a lot of cases that need to be decided, and Kavanaugh is the best person to do so.