Trump’s SCOTUS Pick

| July 10, 2018 | 63 Comments

SCOTUS

Previously I posted about President Trump’s short list of SCOTUS candidates, a brief bio and a list of education and experiences for each. All were excellent candidates; any of the three is fully qualified and able to assume the duties as a Supreme Court justice. But what breaks out the nominee? I’d say a record of his/her decisions and written opinions are the benchmark upon which a nominee gets the nod.

Here’s a brief bio, and a list of Kavanaugh’s standout findings.

A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Judge Kavanaugh attended Yale University, graduating cum laude from its college and then earning a degree from its law school while serving as notes editor of the Yale Law Journal. Judge Kavanaugh then clerked at both the Third and Ninth Circuits, served as a fellow with the solicitor general of the United States, Kenneth Starr, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Judge Kavanaugh returned to work for Ken Starr, playing key roles in the Independent Counsel’s investigation of President Bill Clinton before joining a prominent D.C. law firm. He then served in a variety of senior roles for President George W. Bush, who then nominated him to the D.C. Circuit Court where he has served since 2006. A committed textualist and originalist, Judge Kavanaugh has described his deep belief in “a neutral, impartial judiciary that decides cases based on settled principles without regard to policy preferences or political allegiances….”

In his 12 years as a judge, Kavanaugh has issued approximately 300 opinions and delivered numerous speeches and legal arguments. Among them is his dissenting opinion on a pivotal gun ban in 2001.

Second Amendment
In Heller v. District of Columbia, the D.C. Circuit Court upheld the District’s ordinance banning most semi-automatic rifles. But in that case, Kavanaugh wrote the dissenting opinion, arguing the Supreme Court had already decided handguns – “the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic” – are constitutionally protected under the Second Amendment.

Abortion
Although he has not expressed outright opposition to abortion, liberals have already warned of the end of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, should Kavanaugh be confirmed.

Kavanaugh did, however, issue a dissent in a 2017 case involving an illegal immigrant who wished to be released from custody in order to obtain an abortion. While the court eventually allowed her to have the procedure, Kavanaugh said the majority opinion was “radically inconsistent with 40 years of Supreme Court precedent.”

He argued if the government helped the 17-year-old obtain an abortion, then it ignores its “permissible interest in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor and refraining from facilitating abortion.”

Obama Care
Kavanaugh’s role in an ObamaCare decision had some conservatives on edge prior to his official nomination. Kavanaugh ultimately dissented in Seven-Sky v. Holder, a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

However, in his dissent, Kavanaugh did acknowledge the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate provision” could fit “comfortably within Congress’ Taxing Clause power.” Conservative health care expert Christopher Jacobs argued Kavanaugh “cultivated a theory” that paved the way for Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold the individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance in 2012.

Religious Rights
In 2015, Kavanaugh sided with organizations that argued ObamaCare’s contraceptive coverage mandate infringed upon their religious rights.

“When the Government forces someone to take an action contrary to his or her sincere religious belief (here, submitting the form) or else suffer a financial penalty (which here is huge), the Government has substantially burdened the individual’s exercise of religion,” Kavanaugh wrote in the dissenting opinion in Priests for Life v. HHS.

Clinton Impeachment
Kavanaugh worked with Kenneth Starr in the 1990s, co-writing the independent counsel’s report laying out the legal framework supporting then-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. He said Clinton should be impeached because he misled the public and lied to his staff, according to The New York Times.

But in 2009, citing his role with the investigation into Clinton, Kavanaugh expressed his opinion that presidents should not have to deal with criminal investigations or civil lawsuits while in office.

Writing for the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh said, “I think we grossly underestimate how difficult the job [of U.S. president] is.” Because of that, he said he believes “[it’s] vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible.”

In over 300 findings, Kavanaugh has displayed a staunch support of the Constitution as it was originally written, curtailed government overreach, and applied the law and not opinion. No wonder the Dems are howling.

Category: SCOTUS

Comments (63)

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  1. 5JC says:

    Protests immediately followed the pick last night. It is almost as though no matter who he picked the protesters were going to protest anyway.

    He is good on 2A. Not so good on 4A. Without Heller things would look very different today.

  2. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Did someone say abortion?
    The Roe in Roe v. Wade, one Norma McCorvey, was a mess from an early age. She was caught kissing another girl as a kid and many years later decided she liked it and declared her dykiness/dykehood/whatever. She also enjoyed drugging and drinking regularly and, despite her fondness for women, that shit cost money. So, boinky, boinky, boinky…whoops! Baby number one was born and put up for adoption. A short while afterwards, it was boinky, boinky, boinky…whoops! And baby number two was put up for adoption. By the third whoops, at age 22, McCorvey just wanted the baby dead. No more months of pregnancy and birth. But McCorvey lived in Texas and worked a carnival. She was told she could not have a legal abortion unless she was raped. Guess what? She said she was raped. It was a lie and she was caught at it, but she soon came to the attention of a couple of lawyers, one of whom had a beed with the Texas law. That lawyer went to Mexico to have her abortion. And McCorvey became the sap. McCorvey is dead. She died last year. Presumably the baby she wanted to kill but was prevented from having killed is alive and well.

    The right to privacy my ass.

    • 5JC says:

      One of the things that gets my goat about the abortion thing is that among other left wing champions Neo-Nazis love it. They recognize that it has killed more black people than every other cause of death since 1975. Then the leftist still try to put the neo-nazis in the right camp but who on the right supports abortion? No one.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        Yeah. There is no secret about abortion and racism or abortion as population control. It’s all dressed up in the “right to privacy” but beneath that legal fiction is death as an agenda item.

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    People talk about term limits, but rarely do they have Supreme Court justices and other appellate court judges in mind when they do. This life term business is just crazy, especially nowadays when justices hit the courts when young and live long lives. It’s just too much power for a small group of lawyers to have, especially since a tie-breaker gets to establish the law of the land. I give you ob###care and same-sex marriage. (Spit!)

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    About the only thing I will give Older-than-dirt Ginsburg credit for is not retiring over the eight years that Trump’s immediate predecessor was in office. If she won’t go one way, she most certainly will go the other. Drooling all over a black robe, as we learned from Thurgood Marshall, is not very dignified. So, yes, it could well be that Trump says, “That was good. I thinki I’ll have another.”

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    There are two tines on the fork being used to stab the K nomination. The first is abortion and the second is the misnamed Affordable Care Act. The thing about Supreme Ct nominees is that when it’s a Lefty nominee, the nominee stats Left once on the court, but when it’s a conservative nominee, it’s a toss-up what will happen down the line. That’s just my observation speaking. I have squat to back it up.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Kavanaugh’s support for shielding sitting presidents from prosecution riles Dems

      Fox News Link

      While Brett Kavanaugh’s stances on issues like abortion and gun rights could dominate his confirmation hearing, the Supreme Court nominee’s decade-old call to shield presidents from criminal investigation has grabbed his critics’ attention right out of the gate.

      Kavanaugh, a judge for the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., tackled the issue in a 2009 article in the Minnesota Law Review.

      At the time, he wrote it is “vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible” and suggested Congress enact a law deferring all civil and criminal suits against a president while in office.

      This is what the Dems seem to be focusing on. The fact he was writing this during the Clinton administration doesn’t seem to matter.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        I disagree, despite the signs and talking heads. It will have traction as an argument only among those who have no say in the matter. I’m looking at you, Maxine. You, too, Nancy. However, as a substantive matter, it’s worthless. K was right then. Only morons on the Left assume he included impeachable offenses in that deferral line.

        • AW1Ed says:

          “However, as a substantive matter, it’s worthless.”

          I never said otherwise, just posting the current focus of the Dems ire as reported. They’re throwing spitballs, and if this doesn’t stick they’ll find another issue, almost certainly equally worthless. Flinging poo is all they have, after a while it gets very old.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        You have to give the whiners something to chew on. No matter who might have been the nominee, they won’t like the choice.

      • SFC D says:

        The Dems willfully overlook the fact that Kavanaugh clearly stated that it would be up to Congress to act on a presidential deferral, not the court.

    • Mason says:

      Never have understood how Republicans have appointed more than twice as many justices in the last 40 years as Democrats and yet the court is still always divided. Seems like the Democrats always get the type of activist lefty they want and the right is always rolling the dice.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        Yep. As I said above somewhere, all of the Lefty appointees stay Left once on the court and some of the conservative appointees cease to be conservatives. I’m worried about Kavanaugh in that regard. I really am.

  6. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    It was known that leftist TARDOs everywhere were going to go batshit the moment President Trump announced his choice, I just watched a piece on Fox News where they exposed the manufactured outrage of the left by showing premade signs with the names of others considered for nomination by President Trump along with some TARDO moonbats with handwritten signs of the same. The more they go apeshit the more we’ll have coming to our side, c’mon TARDOs, keep screeching!!!

  7. HMC Ret says:

    I’m pleased with Trump’s selection. I’m even more pleased that dumbocrat heads are exploding across the nation. Hell, if Trump had allowed the democrats to make the choice, they would be bitching and moaning about their choice. Now, if just one more liberal justice can retire, Trump can effectively pack the court with conservatives who will be the majority for many years. Oh, happy day.

  8. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    I HEARD RUMOR that Chuck Schumer and Gloria Allred have already announced a Press Conference to present Sexual Harassment Allegations against Kavanaugh brought to them by an anonymous stripper/pr0n Actress in Chicago and anyone else they can find.

    • Mason says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised. Watching it last night I said something similar to my wife. I hope they sequester those kids. They’re at a rough age to hear half the country talk about what a terrible person your father is.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Sexual harassment???? Oh, that is SOOO Bork nominee era!!! All it does is prove that they have no imagination and no creative minds.

      Besides, dTrump has others he can throw up there.

  9. HEART OF TEXAS says:

    If we could harness all the tears being shed by the left over this, we could put out all the fires burning in the west.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    This is priceless stuff!

    Saturn and Mars are both retrograde now, backing up in Capricorn, the sign of the classic control freak. Saturn retro represents frustration and Mars retro represents fear. This goes on until August, when they both start to move forward again.

    So what howling you hear out there in the darkness is generated by all of this.

    Strange music….

  11. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Uh-oh. I was just driving and had the radio on, tuned to Mark Levin. He detailed Kavanaugh’s role in the ob###care law. Turns out that the whole lousy, concocted conclusion of Roberts’ majority decision upholding the ind’al mandate as a tax was the original brainchild of Kavanaugh in a 2011 decision. Ouch. So much for the guy who says he won’t make law and is being regarded as a constitutional textualist.

    • GDContractor says:

      Say the word and I’ll go smash a Starbucks window.

    • AW1Ed says:

      That decision is as I mentioned in my post, 2/17 AC. Like it or not, and I don’t, he applied existing law and found the individual mandate was legal under Congress’ taxing clause. Remember, Obama and his cronies were hard over on not stating this as a tax, but indeed it was. If he had found otherwise it would have been another case of an “activist judge” applying law as he saw fit, and not as written. Chief Justice Roberts agreed. This was a sound, legal decision on a bad law, and now Obama Care is going down in flames.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        Yes, you covered it and quite well. Where we diverge is in that tax business. It sounds as if you believe the ‘buy health insurance or else’ was a tax. If the law had regarded it as a tax, called it a tax, then and only then would Roberts’ conclusion have been supported. But the law called it a penalty, not a tax. The plain language of the statute barred the gov’t from making the ridiculous argument that Congress either collectively thought a tax and a penalty were synonymous or that Congress confused a penalty for a tax. That’s why the argument wasn’t made. So, Roberts made the ridiculous argument for the administration. In doing so, he, and K in the earlier case, effectively rewrote the law, which Justice Scalia and the losing side lambasted and ridiculed in dissent. Why did this happen, this tax fiction? Because the only sound and proper constitutional lens through which to view the law and its ind’al mandate was through the interstate commerce clause, not the taxing power. And if that had been done, the law would have been relegated to the junk heap of unconstitutional laws. Ginsburg and company did not care how the law was upheld, just so long as it was upheld.

        • 26Limabeans says:

          “interstate commerce clause”

          The go to clause for just about anything that won’t fly otherwise.
          Also the downfall of anyone robbing a gas station.

          • 2/17 Air Cav says:

            Yes, the history of that clause is rather amazing. Congress was given the power to regulate interstate commerce and, after a few courts got done ‘interpreting’ it, we learn that the Framers really meant that Congress can pass laws going to damn near anything except compelling individuals to purchase products or services from private concerns, that is. And that’s why ob###care would have failed if the ICC had been used.

        • OWB says:

          If I remember correctly AND what I heard a few days ago was correct, it was Roberts who made the leap to the tax thing. Yes he based his decision on K’s written opinion, used much of the language, but he twisted it.

          We probably need to read the actual opinion to sort this out.

  12. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    BTW, the much-hated individual mandate is effectively dead. President Trump signed into law the end of the penalty (not tax!) accruing to individuals who do not acquire health care coverage. Technically, the req’mt to obtain it still exists, but there is no longer an enforcement provision—which, if I didn’t say so all ready—is called a penalty in the statute, not a tax! So, will the IRS divest itself of the thousands of agents it hired to enforce the penalty, which is not a tax? Not likely.

    • Fyrfighter says:

      I’m no lawyer, but i’d think the point of K’s argument is that yes, congress / obama did say it was a penalty, not a tax, and to your argument above, congress did not think a tax and a penalty were synonymous, and no they did not confuse a penalty for a tax, I believe he was trying to point out, in a politically correct manner, that the truth was much simpler…Congress (the dims that passed the obamanation anyway), and Obama LIED!!! They new damn well it was a tax, as did conservatives who tried to point that out, and just like “you can keep your plan” and “you can keep your doctor”, they were FLAT OUT LIES…. So I’m not sure i’d throw shade at K on that.
      YMMV

  13. 26Limabeans says:

    “effectively dead”

    Good and dead would be better. Effectively leaves an RCH of wiggle room.

    There are so many exceptions to the tax…..I mean mandate that it would be entertaining to see a breakdown of who paid it, if anyone.
    I love my VA letter each year telling me that I need not comply.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Ditto, and there’s a space on the 1040 form (all of them) for confirming that, and the letter gets stapled to my tax return file copy.

      It won’t matter one whit who dTrump picks for SCOTUS. He will still get backlash of every kind, Rumor and Innuendo will float like the crap they are, and the paid protesters will show up and collect their crap money and go home and spend it on crap.

      Whether or not dTrump runs for a second term is immaterial. The population demographic of mildly conservative Democrats won’t like Bernie, who will probably run again, and they won’t like other Dem candidates, either, and there will be a backlash over shrillary, because I’m sure she’ll show up and run her mouth about whoever is picked. So let’s hope the Lefties get split parties on their side of the fence, which dilutes the votes for them, and the more conservative Democrats go over to the righthand side of the fence in the next election.

      People like money. There is rising prosperity going on, despite some enormous foolishness about “green” stuff in Europe and Australia. Rising prosperity means jobs, jobs mean wages, and wages mean stability. None of that socialist idealism works and smart people know it.

      I think if Jack Kennedy were alive today and ran for office, he’d be far too conservative/middle of the road for the Lefties. He’s the one who said ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.’

      They’d really hate him today.

      • OWB says:

        My home is surrounded by union loving Dems, who nearly unanimously supported dTrump’s original election and are delighted with the results of his election. At least a few of them are flat out racists with whom I can nearly not even pass the time of day. But that’s another story.

        If these folks represent typical Dems, then there should be no problem maintaining their support.

  14. 26Limabeans says:

    “So let’s hope the Lefties get split parties on their side of the fence, which dilutes the votes for them”

    Mainers are now strapped with ranked choice voting for the midterms. The lefties like it because it gives them more than one vote, a second and third…bite at the apple.
    It is leftist strategy and it is spreading because they cannot win with single viable candidates. They need to flood the ballot with less than ideal candidates to muddy the water and see what turd floats to the top.

  15. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Here’s a little more on the Kavanaugh dissent in the gun case:

    In a case decided by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010, the court ruled that the District of Columbia was constitutionally permitted to bar the attempted post-Heller registration by three men who sought to register their semi-automatic rifles. The rifles were deemed to be “assault Weapons.” The black-robed lawyers voted 2-1 to uphold the bar. In dissent, Kavanaugh wrote, in part:

    “The vast majority of handguns today are semi-automatic.[12] In Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that D.C.’s law banning handguns, including semi-automatic handguns, was unconstitutional. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 628-29, 128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637 (2008). This case concerns semi-automatic rifles.[13] As with handguns, a significant percentage of rifles are semi-automatic. D.C. asks this Court to find that the Second Amendment protects semi-automatic handguns but not semi-automatic rifles.
    There is no basis in Heller for drawing a constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles.
    As an initial matter, considering just the public safety rationale invoked by D.C., semi-automatic handguns are more dangerous as a class than semi-automatic rifles because handguns can be concealed. As was noted by the dissent in Heller, handguns “are the overwhelmingly favorite weapon of armed criminals.” 554 U.S. at 682, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (Breyer, J., dissenting); see also FBI, CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES, 2009 tbl.20 (2010). So it would seem a bit backwards — at least from a public safety perspective — to interpret the Second Amendment to protect semi-automatic handguns but not semi-automatic rifles.”

    Common sense is very nice. That was a Scalia trait.

  16. AW1Ed says:

    The Dems’ desperation is such that the Senate Minority Whip, Dicky Durbin, is saying it would be worth losing several Senate seats to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination. This is a very short-sighted strategy for a couple reasons. Throwing Red State senators under the bus will not ensure they won’t rebel and vote as their constituents want, and even if the tactic worked, there’s a very real possibility the Reps will pick up more senate seats after the mid-terms, giving Trump an even stronger hand to nominate a more conservative SCOTUS candidate.

    “Never Interfere With an Enemy While He’s in the Process of Destroying Himself.”
    N.B.

  17. Deckie says:

    Here in CT that winner Blumenthal is telling everyone that civil rights are at risk now.. what a dickhead.

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