they're good justices, brentt
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/independents-disapprove-of-democrats-handling-of-the-brett-kavanaugh-nomination-by-a-28-point-marginPresident Donald Trump has picked Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge with extensive legal credentials and a lengthy political record, to succeed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court, NBC News reported.
Kavanaugh, 53, is an ideological conservative who is expected to push the court to the right on a number of issues including business regulation and national security. The favorite of White House Counsel Donald McGahn, Kavanaugh is also considered a safer pick than some of the more partisan choices who were on the president’s shortlist.
A graduate of Yale Law School who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh has the traditional trappings of a presidential nominee to the high court.
If confirmed, the appellate judge would become the second young, conservative jurist Trump has put on the top U.S. court during his first term. Kavanaugh's confirmation would give the president an even bigger role in shaping U.S. policy for decades to come. The potential to morph the federal judiciary led many conservatives to support Trump in 2016, and he has not disappointed so far with the confirmation of conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and numerous federal judges.
At times, he has diverged from the Republican party’s ideological line on important cases that have come before him, including on the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care law which Kavanaugh has declined to strike down on a number of occasions in which it has come before him.
Anti-abortion groups quietly lobbied against Kavanaugh, pushing instead for another jurist on Trump’s shortlist, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, ABC News reported in the run-up to Trump’s announcement.
Kavanaugh received his current appointment in 2006 after five years in the George W. Bush administration, where he served in a number of roles including staff secretary to the president. He has been criticized for his attachment to Bush, as well as his involvement in a number of high-profile legal cases.
For instance, Kavanaugh led the investigation into the death of Bill Clinton’s Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster, and assisted in Kenneth Starr’s 1998 report outlining the case for Clinton’s impeachment.
Democrats criticized Kavanaugh’s political roles during his 2006 confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Your experience has been most notable, not so much for your blue chip credentials, but for the undeniably political nature of so many of your assignments,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at the time.
“From the notorious Starr report, to the Florida recount, to the President’s secrecy and privilege claims, to post-9/11 legislative battles including the Victims Compensation Fund, to ideological judicial nomination fights, if there has been a partisan political fight that needed a very bright legal foot soldier in the last decade, Brett Kavanaugh was probably there,” Schumer said.
Kavanaugh's work on the Starr report has been scrutinized by Republicans who have said it could pose trouble for the president as he negotiates with special counsel Robert Mueller over the terms of a possible interview related to Mueller's Russia probe. The 1998 document found that Clinton's multiple refusals to testify to a grand jury in connection with Starr's investigation were grounds for impeachment.
In later years, Kavanaugh said that Clinton should not have had to face down an investigation during his presidency. He has said the indictment of a president would not serve the public interest.
Like Trump's first nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy. If he is confirmed, it will mark the first time ever that a current or former Supreme Court justice has two former clerks become justices, according to an article by Adam Feldman, who writes a blog about the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh teaches courses on the separation of powers, the Supreme Court, and national security at Harvard Law School and Yale Law School, and does charitable work at St. Maria’s Meals program at Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C., according to his official biography.
After a blistering confirmation battle, Justice Brett Kavanaugh will take his seat for oral arguments on the U.S. Supreme Court with a skeptical public, a majority of which opposed his nomination. However, Democrats may not be able to exploit this fact in the upcoming elections as much as they hope, because the independent voters overwhelmingly disapprove of their own handling of the nomination by a 28-point margin, a new CNN/SSRS poll finds.
Overall, just 41 percent of those polled said they wanted to see Kavanaugh confirmed, compared to 51 percent who said they opposed his confirmation. In previous CNN polls dating back to Robert Bork in 1987, no nominee has been more deeply underwater.
What's interesting, however, is even though Democrats on the surface would seem to have public opinion on their side, just 36 percent approved of how they handled the nomination, compared to 56 percent who disapproved. (Republicans were at 55 percent disapproval and 35 percent approval). A further breakdown finds that 58 percent of independents disapproved of the way the Democrats handled the nomination — compared to 30 percent who approved. (Independents also disapproved of Republicans handling of the matter, but by a narrower 53 percent to 32 percent margin).
Many people have strong opinions on the way the Kavanaugh nomination will play out in November and who it will benefit. The conventional wisdom is that it will help Democrats in the House, where there are a number of vulnerable Republicans in suburban districts where losses among educated women could be devastating, and that it will help Republicans in the Senate, where the tossup races are in red states where Trump and Kavanaugh are more popular.
That said, it's clear that the nomination energized both sides, and that the tactics pursued by the parties turned off independent voters in a way that makes it much harder to predict how this will end up affecting election outcomes.
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