Everything You Need to Know About Brett Kavanaugh



President Trump announced his Supreme Court pick on July 9th 2018. Judge Brett Kavanaugh past views and opinions have been causing some turmoil within United States politics since his nomination. 

One of the most controversial issues has been Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalised abortion. Senator Susan Collins had said in August that Kavanaugh considers Roe V. Wade to be settled law. When asked about his opinion on the ruling, Kavanaugh said “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal opinion on the case.”

While his stance on Roe V. Wade may please Democrats and pro-choice activists, his overall stance on abortion isn’t as clear. In October of 2017 an Appeals Court in Washington D.C voted saying that an undocumented teen immigrant has the right to an abortion. Kavanaugh was in the minority on the vote saying it enabled undocumented teen girls to have “abortions on demand”.

Other views he has demonstrated, such as a distrust of government regulations, are similar to the Trump Administration’s views. But perhaps the most controversial thing is his stance on executive power. In a speech printed in the Notre Dame Law Review in 2014 Kavanaugh said “Everyone agrees that the pardon power gives the president absolute, unfettered, unchecked power to pardon every violator of every federal law.” He continued with, “But in terms of raw constitutional power, that is the power the president has.”

The controversy surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination and view on executive power comes from the controversy following President Trump. Many speculate that Kavanaugh was only nominated because of the ongoing Russian scandal surrounding Trump. Kavanaugh’s beliefs that the president should be immune to investigation and trial while in office make sense for why Trump would want him on the Supreme Court. If Trump was tried, it would most likely be beneficial to him to have a justice on the Supreme Court with a loose view on Executive privileges.

At Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing John Dean, a lawyer for former President Nixon said, “under Judge Kavanaugh’s view, even if a president shot someone in cold-blood on 5th Avenue, that president could not be prosecuted while in office. And based on Judge Kavanaugh’s thinking at the time, he would give a president plenty of time to destroy the evidence.”

To be elected to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh must go through Senate hearings. The republicans need a vote of at least 50 votes for Vice President Pence to cast a tie breaker. The current Senate is split with 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing started on September 4th and lasted 4 days. Voting will take place on September 17th and the final vote will be the last week of September.