These Brett Kavanaugh Quotes Reveal Where He Stands On A Whole Bunch Of Key Issues
On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump announced his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Trump's nominee is a long-serving D.C. circuit court judge who has ruled on a variety of cases over the years. Indeed, these Brett Kavanaugh quotes reveal where he stands on several issues — and have been pulled from former judicial opinions as well as other publications by the SCOTUS nominee.
Kavanaugh has served as a justice on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the past 12 years. The D.C. circuit court is considered one of the most impactful courts in the United States, because it has the power to review rule-making decisions of federal agencies. Thus, the court's rulings often have nationwide implications.
Kavanaugh's judicial decisions made during his tenure on the D.C. circuit court provide some insight into his take on a variety of important issues that affect many Americans. His early professional years spent working for attorney Kenneth Starr, who led the impeachment case against Bill Clinton, and in the White House Counsel's Office under George W. Bush, also shed some light on how he may approach future judicial decisions.
Thus, the quotes below offer a glimpse into Kavanaugh's past and could perhaps indicate subjects on which he will face questions and scrutiny during the Senate confirmation process.
On Why Sitting Presidents Shouldn't Be Investigated
In particular, Congress might consider a law exempting a President — while in office — from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel. Criminal investigations targeted at or revolving around a President are inevitably politicized by both their supporters and critics ...
The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas. Such an outcome would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis ... And a President who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as President ... The point is not to put the President above the law or to eliminate checks on the President, but simply to defer litigation and investigations until the President is out of office.
- "Separation of Powers During the Forty Fourth Presidency and Beyond," by Brett Kavanaugh, Minnesota Law Review, 2009
On Whether He Will Follow Roe v. Wade
I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully ... It’s been reaffirmed many times.
- Kavanaugh during his 2006 confirmation hearing for the D.C. circuit court
On Why Net Neutrality Is Not Lawful
The net neutrality rule is unlawful and must be vacated, however, for two alternative and independent reasons. First, Congress did not clearly authorize the FCC to issue the net neutrality rule ... Second and in the alternative, the net neutrality rule violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Dissent in United States Telecom Association v. FCC, 2017
On Why The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Unconstitutional
The CFPB’s concentration of enormous executive power in a single, unaccountable, unchecked director not only departs from settled historical practice, but also poses a far greater risk of arbitrary decision-making and abuse of power, and a far greater threat to individual liberty, than does a multi-member independent agency.
- Decision in PHH Corp. v. CFPB, 2017
On Why An Immigrant Teenager In U.S. Custody Shouldn't Have Immediate Access To A Desired Abortion
The minor is alone and without family or friends. She is in a U.S. Government detention facility in a country that, for her, is foreign. She is 17 years old. She is pregnant and has to make a major life decision. Is it really absurd for the United States to think that the minor should be transferred to her immigration sponsor—ordinarily a family member, relative, or friend—before she makes that decision? And keep in mind that the Government is not forcing the minor to talk to the sponsor about the decision, or to obtain consent. It is merely seeking to place the minor in a better place when deciding whether to have an abortion.
- Dissent in Garza v. Hargan, 2017
On Why Obamacare's Contraception Coverage Mandate Limits Religious Freedom
The essential principle is crystal clear: When the Government forces someone to take an action contrary to his or her sincere religious belief ... or else suffer a financial penalty ..., the Government has substantially burdened the individual’s exercise of religion. So it is in this case.
- Dissent in Priests for Life v. HHS, 2015
On Why The NSA's Warrantless Collection Of Phone Metadata Is Constitutional
In my view, the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment ... The Government’s collection of telephony metadata from a third party such as a telecommunications service provider is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment.
On Why The EPA Should Consider Businesses' Costs When Creating Anti-Pollution Regulations
In my view, it is unreasonable for EPA to exclude considerations of costs in determining whether it is "appropriate" to impose significant new regulations on electric utilities ... To be sure, EPA could conclude that the benefits outweigh the costs. But the problem here is that EPA did not even consider the costs.
- Opinion in White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA, 2014
On Why The D.C. Circuit Court Shouldn't Have Ruled On The Constitutionality Of Obamacare's Individual Mandate
For judges, there is a natural and understandable inclination to decide these weighty and historic constitutional questions ... By waiting, we would respect the bedrock principle of judicial restraint that courts avoid prematurely or unnecessarily deciding constitutional questions.
- Dissent in Seven-Sky v. Holder, 2011
On His Opposition To D.C.'s Semi-Automatic Rifles Ban
Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semiautomatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are ...
Dissent in Heller v. District of Columbia, 2011
On Why An EPA Rule Regulating Inter-State Emissions Should Not Be Upheld
Congress could well decide to alter the statute to permit or require EPA’s preferred approach to the good neighbor issue. Unless and until Congress does so, we must apply and enforce the statute as it’s now written. Our decision today should not be interpreted as a comment on the wisdom or policy merits of EPA’s Transport Rule. It is not our job to set environmental policy. Our limited but important role is to independently ensure that the agency stays within the boundaries Congress has set. EPA did not do so here.
- Opinion in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 2012
Overall, these quotes from Kavanaugh should serve to shed some light on where Trump's nominee stands on a host of important and nationally impactful issues. Moreover, Kavanaugh's forthcoming confirmation hearing should offer even further insight into how the judge would approach the role of Supreme Court justice.