Trump Picks Kavanaugh for High Court Vacancy

Posted by on Jul 19, 2018 in Government

Earlier this month, Election Central brought you the story of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, btw takes a look at Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace him.

Who Is Brett Kavanaugh?

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was born in 1965 in Washington, D.C. He attended Yale Law School and later was an assistant to the president and a White House staff secretary within the George W. Bush administration. Currently, Judge Kavanaugh serves as a circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was also once a legal clerk for Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, the same man who he may replace.

An Old Controversy Re-emerges

Filming an media event with a video camera. Press conference.

The president made news this week with his announcement of new Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Credit: wellphoto/Shutterstock

Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has reawakened questions about an event from his past. In 2005, while in the process of being confirmed for his current position as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, he claimed that he hadn’t had any part in former President Bush’s policies on dealing with suspected terrorists. Critics of the policy claimed that this might not have been entirely truthful. But the confirmation committee decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to officially prosecute Judge Kavanaugh for lying under oath.

Now, however, Kavanaugh faces much more intense scrutiny. Thousands of emails, memos, and notes related to his previous work and experience have been released as part of the Senate confirmation process. All of these documents will be examined to determine exactly how much Kavanaugh knew about some of the Bush administration’s torture and surveillance policies as well as decisions surrounding the detention of suspected terrorists. The new confirmation hearings Kavanaugh will face may revisit these old questions.

What Are His Positions?

True to his public statements, President Trump–a conservative president–chose a conservative judge for his second Supreme Court pick. Kavanaugh, a registered Republican, has made many past rulings that concern liberals and Democrats. Kavanaugh has ruled in favor of limiting a woman’s access to abortion. He has ruled against the Affordable Care Act and sided with companies who refuse to offer contraceptive coverage to female employees on the grounds that it violates religious freedom. He has ruled against gun safety legislation, specifically against banning semi-automatic rifles and requiring gun owners to be registered. Kavanaugh is in favor of giving the White House total control over federal boards and agencies. He has ruled that the military has the right to detain prisoners for terrorism even if the evidence against them is relatively weak. While Kavanaugh has recognized climate change as a valid issue, he has ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies to control it.

Democrats are perhaps most upset, however, about Kavanaugh’s position that he doesn’t believe criminal charges should ever be brought against a sitting president, for any reason. This is concerning in a time when the president is currently undergoing investigation for his role in the Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election.

Dig Deeper Using internet resources, create an annotated timeline of important events in Judge Kavanaugh’s life and career.