Brett Kavanaugh seems like a nice guy. That is the impression I got Monday evening listening to DJT’s flowery introduction of his new nominee for the Supreme Court and from Judge Kavanaugh’s own remarks.
BK, as he is already being called, seems to be a good family man and the kind of neighbor you would like to have. A family friend wrote in the Washington Post (here) that “Kavanaugh the carpool dad is one great guy.” Probably so.
Kavanaugh is also a civic-minded citizen and active Christian. He has tutored children at a D.C. elementary school, volunteered for charity groups, and is a regular participant in services at his Catholic church in Chevy Chase, Md., where he lives.
Being a nice guy, though, is not adequate reason for supporting Senate approval for his sitting on the high court. Please consider the following matters of serious concern.
(1) BK’s Position on Presidential Power
Perhaps the biggest problem with DJT’s pick of Kavanaugh is that, as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a press conference on Tuesday, the President “chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation.”
While there may be some exaggerated statements regarding BK’s likely protection of DJT against indictment while in office (see this Fact Checker article), there is adequate reason to think that Schumer’s statement is basically correct.
It is also questionable whether any new nomination of a Supreme Court justice should be considered by the Senate as long as the President is under investigation with aspects of that investigation possibly being brought before the high court at some point.
(2) BK’s Position on Health Care and Women’s Reproductive Rights
In a statement following Kavanaugh’s nomination, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) declared, “He's demonstrated a hostility to the Affordable Care Act that the Trump administration is continually working to undermine.” (Remember, the ACA is a law passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court to this point.)
At the same press conference mentioned above, Senator Schumer also said that Kavanaugh's selection would put healthcare protections in the ACA, such as protections for people with preexisting conditions, “at grave, grave risk.”
In addition, as the official blog of the Democratic Party says, “a vote for Kavanaugh would be a vote to . . . deny women their constitutional right to make their own health care decisions.”
(3) BK’s Position on Church and State
On July 10, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU), an organization I have supported for decades, publically declared that Kavanaugh is “the wrong choice for the Supreme Court.” That was because of their perception that BK was not committed to the concept of separation of church and state. They wrote (here),
The separation of church and state is the linchpin of religious freedom. We can’t afford to have a Supreme Court that would undermine it. By nominating Kavanaugh to the court, Trump threatens the vision of religious freedom for which Americans United has fought over the last 70 years. That’s why Americans United must oppose him.
On the same day, AU issued a five-page report (see here) on BK’s record and stated that he is a “threat to church-state separation and religious freedom.”
For these, and other, reasons I insist that Brett Kavanaugh being a nice guy is by no means reason enough to support his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Many of you who live in States with one or both Senators possibly inclined to vote to approve Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court may likely want to contact those Senators and express your reservations about his suitability.
His being nice isn’t enough reason for approving him for the SCOTUS!