Coverage of Kavanaugh Nomination

[Bumped to top]

  • NYT calls Judge Kavanaugh a “Conservative Stalwart,” noting his involvement in an “extraordinary number of political controversies” since early in his legal career, including Ken Starr’s investigation of President Clinton and the 2000 Florida recount litigation.  It also has these charts on his ideology.  Based in part on his campaign contributions — including to Rich Cordray — Judge Kavanaugh is estimated be somewhat less conservative than Judge Gorsuch, though unlikely to drift ideologically.
  • LA Times reports that Judge Kavanaugh is “a well-credentialed Washington insider who compiled a long record as a reliable conservative and won the respect of White House lawyers and the outside groups that advise them.”  The article quotes his former law clerk Justin Walker of University of Louisville:  “Brett Kavanaugh is courageous, tough and defiant. He will never, ever go wobbly,” and “I predict that he would be a rock-solid conservative in the Alito-Thomas mold.”  We may hear this quotation again in weeks to come.
  • WSJ says that Judge Kavanaugh has “sought to put a tighter leash on the regulatory state” in his dozen years on the bench, often concluding that agencies “stretched their power too far.”  The article references dissents on Obama-era rules on net neutrality and greenhouse gases.
  • Politico reports on the selection process, concluding that President Trump was leaning toward Judge Kavanaugh from the beginning, even as the White House took care to avoid tipping his hand: “What was listed as a deal-breaker to some on the right — his long paper trail — was actually the thing that drew Trump to Kavanaugh.”
  • National Review calls Judge Kavanaugh “A Worthy Pick,” noting that:  “He has vindicated the right to free speech (against certain campaign-finance regulations), to bear arms (against the D.C. government’s attempts to implement sweeping bans), and to religious liberty (against a version of the Obama administration’s “contraceptive mandate”). And he has followed Supreme Court precedents even when gently suggesting they should be rethought.”
  • Law.com quotes various lawyers and professors on Judge Kavanaugh, including Jonathan Adler of Case Law who says: “Kavanaugh nomination shows Trump Administration is serious about taming the administrative state. His opinions on AdLaw issues already get SCOTUS attention. Now he’ll be at the table.”  But according to Tara Malloy of Campaign Legal Center: “Judge Kavanaugh’s view on election law ignores the current reality of our campaign finance system, which is awash in secret, unaccountable money.”
  • 538 reports on judicial ideology scores, concluding that “Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would likely represent a reliably conservative voice and vote on the high court, tipping its balance significantly to the right for years to come.”
  • Vox says that Kavanaugh “he has suggested enhancing the president’s power to block criminal and civil actions against him, a potentially worrisome position when the president nominating him is under investigation and facing multiple lawsuits.”

Update:

  • WaPo identifies winners (including AMK, GWB, “Russia-investigation intriguists”) and losers (including LGBT activists, gun control activists, some campaign finance activists and women’s rights groups) from the nomination.
  • Forbes touts Judge Kavanaugh’s record on free speech, including his opinion in a campaign finance case, Emily’s List v. FEC.
  • Mother Jones worries about the effect on voting rights.
  • NBC reports on the ongoing Mueller probe and a 2009 law review article by Judge Kavanaugh  in which he wrote: “I believe it vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible…. I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office”
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