“My Judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent, and interpret the law; not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, tradition, and precedent.” – SCOTUS Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at White House Nomination Speech.
The next nominee to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Supreme Court has been announced. Washington D.C District Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh is the President’s pick out of four finalists. And the hysteria from the left began prior to the announcements, even to a “fill-in-the-blank” written refusal of whichever pick turned up. These conniptions do not bode well for the left in any respect, particularly with the upcoming mid-term elections.
Sophisticated analysts such as Dick Morris pointed out that Kavanaugh, perhaps the most centrist of the four finalists, is a brilliant pick. A move he cites as Trump “political ju-jitsu”. The nomination paints the Democrats into a corner in a major way. They will look bad either opposing the nomination of a moderate as a bloc and even worse if they try to table the nomination until after the mid-terms are over.
Trump, as most conservatives would desire, looked to an originalist justice, a true textualist. Kavanaugh generally fits the bill. Using Roe v. Wade as a rallying cry, the left is desperate to block the nomination on any grounds, believing that, as one liberal pundit put it, Kavanaugh would give the Supreme Court “a generation of right-wing activism bent on destroying individual rights”. And the comment reveals the dangers the left themselves are fomenting.
Judicial activism is a tool of the left, not of conservatives. This is readily and painfully apparent since Trump took the White House and Congress has a majority of Republicans. Left with little remaining power base, Democrats look to the courts to more fervently forward activist decisions that push the interpretation of the law into changing and reshaping of the law to satisfy progressive ideology.
Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration from six primarily Muslim countries is a prime example. The left, looking for the most convenient activist judge to check Trump’s constitutional right to impose the Order, ran swiftly to the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco. Long renowned for their über left decisions, an injunction was placed on the Order and charges of bigotry and racism ensued. Eventually, after wasting much judicial time and money, the Supreme Court overturned the Ninth District Court (something that happens in over 85% of the cases historically) and Trump resumed his reconfirmed policy as President, aimed primarily at national security issues of our borders. The attempt at taking power from the Executive via the Judicial was thwarted, at least on this attempt.
These hypocritical machinations are on full display when leftists whip up their base, screaming that Kavanaugh will be the end of life as they know it in a conservative, activist in the Supreme Court. Not that personal philosophy sometimes colors interpretational decision, but an originalist who seeks to intellectually and legally interpret law as written is a breath of fresh air in the era of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kavanaugh’s record suggests he is fair, with a few hiccups (say hey Vince Foster), though both liberals and conservatives could criticize specific decisions. He is too moderate for serious conservatives and the devil to far left liberals. But that may not be the main point.
Picking Kavanaugh is, as Newt Gingrich states, “A solid stand up double for the President, but not a home run.” But in the sense of revealing the ever fomenting hatred of the left against anything Trump, Kavanaugh’s nomination will shine a light on the absolute unreasonableness of nay-sayers such as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. This will not be lost on their constituency, and such conniptions will not stand them in good stead with the middle-ground Democrats and Independents.
Kavanaugh is a solid pick with serious intellectual and experiential bona fides, even though his record is open to some criticism as any moderate would be in an era of extremes. There are already whispers that at least three or four Democrats will ignore Schumer’s orders to reject the pick along party lines preferring not to invoke further scrutiny by their home districts. Trying to delay any confirmation until after the elections is also a losing proposition. Despite the rhetoric surrounding Kavanaugh, the left might want to rethink their strategy and make a last-gasp effort at bipartisanship before it is too late. America is watching.