The moment many have feared has arrived. President Donald Trump has appointed his supreme court nominee for the replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Why is this an issue? After all, President Obama appointed two supreme court judges during his 8 years in office just like Trump is getting the chance to do now. The detail that makes this different, however, is that Kennedy was a swing vote; so while the supreme court was conservative in numbers, cases could go either way in principle. Now, with Kennedy gone, there may be a clear advantage to the Republican party with a judge who is more conservative. Trump’s nominee could shape many years of legislation and judicial rulings; he or she could shape America.
Well, to find the person who has been given such power, we don’t have to look any further than today’s headlines. At 9 pm EST today, President Trump nominated a man named Brett Kavanaugh.
Who exactly is Kavanaugh and what does he stand for?
Kavanaugh is a conservative judge for the District of Columbia. His past experience includes being George W. Bush’s staff secretary, leading the Starr Report, a report that pushed for Clinton’s impeachment, and investigating into the suicide of Clinton’s aide Vince Foster. Kavanaugh is also a Yale alumnus; he attended the university for both his bachelors and his law degree and he was the editor for the Yale Law Review. On paper, Kavanaugh seems spotless.
However, finding someone in D.C. with no track record is harder than finding a new binge-watching show over the summer. Kavanaugh was accused of lying to the Senate committee during his confirmation hearings post the September 2001 terrorist attack. He was addressed by Democratic senators Leahy and Durbin; however, the judge, himself, did not respond to this accusation. Regardless of this 11-year-old stunt, Kavanaugh seems like a fit for the Republican party and the GOP is looking for a quick appointment. Therefore, it is important that we, the American people, acquaint ourselves with our potential new justice and what he advocates.
A quick rundown: He supports abortion and claims that Roe V. Wade should be upheld and is binding under stare decisis. While there isn’t any information on his views on LGBTQ rights, one can hope that his principle to uphold established rulings would mean that he won’t provide pushback against gay marriage. And when it comes to the environmental issues, there isn’t much information but he did write a divided panel in an attempt to take down a clean air act regulation.
With the Democratic party in its weakest state, Kavanaugh seems like a shoo-in for the opening. Now, all we can hope is that he replaces Kennedy in spirit and plays a similar swing role as Justice Kennedy did in his time on the court. Well, that and the hope that Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t retire until Trump is out of office.