Kavanaugh Hearings: How to Judge a Judge
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh in July to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired after 31 years. Judge Kavanaugh, who clerked for Justice Kennedy, is highly regarded by his peers and by conservative legal scholars. If confirmed, conservatives will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move the court in the right direction.
During the first morning of the hearing, Democratic senators interrupted Republican Senators or Judge Kavanaugh 63 times. That same morning, 70 people in the audience were arrested for trying to disrupt the hearing. Fox News reported “the atmosphere became so heated that Ashley Kavanaugh, the judge’s wife, was forced to escort her visibly upset daughters – 13-year-old Margaret and 10-year-old Liza –from the hearing room.” Interruptions from Democrat Senators and arrests of audience members continued throughout the four-day hearing.
The most pathetic display came from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) who on Thursday announced that he was disclosing 12 pages of “confidential” emails from Judge Kavanaugh’s time working in the George W. Bush Administration. Booker said “I’m knowingly violating the [Senate] rules” and “I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.” But he felt these emails “about racial profiling” needed to be “expose[d].” Booker humbly declared this was his “‘I am Spartacus’ moment.”
As it turns out, the Committee had already approved public release of the emails hours earlier. And the emails themselves showed the opposite of what Booker was claiming. Kavanaugh was speaking against racial profiling, not supporting it. Weeks after 9/11, Kavanaugh said that he “generally favor[s] effective security measures that are race-neutral” and called for action so that “a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented.”
What Booker did is hard to explain, but the most bitingly accurate explanation comes from the Washington Free Beacon, who put together a funny 90 second video that must be viewed by all. You can watch it here.
Theatrics aside, there was some substance to the hearings. For four straight days, Senators peppered Judge Kavanaugh with questions on abortion, the Second Amendment, immigration, and many other important issues. Judge Kavanaugh responded thoughtfully and candidly, showing an excellent grasp of the law and a firm understanding of a judge’s proper role within our constitutional system.
As Judge Kavanaugh himself said on Tuesday, “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.” Our Founding Fathers would agree.
Liberals have yet to provide one legitimate reason why Judge Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. Even the left-leaning American Bar Association gave Judge Kavanaugh its “highest-rating of well-qualified.” His legal career spans almost 30 years, going back to his graduation from Yale Law School in 1990. For the past 12 years, he has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has written more than 300 opinions and handled more than 2,000 cases. Before that, he was a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s office for five years, working in the second Bush Administration.
After his impressive performance at this week’s hearing, Judge Kavanaugh is poised to join Neil Gorsuch as President Trump’s second successful Supreme Court nominee. One of the President’s most important responsibilities is nominating judges who understand how to properly apply our Constitution. That was one of the main reasons I campaigned so hard to make Donald Trump President. The President is keeping his promise by nominating Judge Kavanaugh, and the Senate should confirm him expeditiously.
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