GOP Rep. Amash slams Kavanaugh on government surveillance rulings

GOP Rep. Amash slams Kavanaugh on government surveillance rulings
© Greg Nash

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashGOP lawmaker: Trump 'went out of his way to appear subordinate' at Putin press conference House backs resolution expressing support for ICE House conservatives criticize media, not Trump, for Putin furor MORE (R-Mich.) on Monday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a “disappointing pick,” ripping the judge’s past rulings on surveillance issues.

The congressman cited a 2015 opinion written by Kavanaugh while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, that found “the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Amash disagreed with that ruling, saying it creates “a rubber stamp for the executive branch.”

“Future decisions on the constitutionality of government surveillance of Americans will be huge. We can’t afford a rubber stamp for the executive branch,” Amash tweeted.

He also included a quote from Kavanaugh’s opinion in the case, stating “that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

Kavanaugh had written the concurring opinion in 2015, rejecting a request to rehear a case on whether the National Security Agency’s program on warrantless phone metadata collection was legal.

Trump on Monday tapped Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Conservatives have largely applauded the appointment, while some prominent Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.), have vowed to oppose the pick.

Amash is not the only GOP lawmaker to have been critical of Kavanaugh's past rulings.

Republican Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcCain: Trump plays into 'Putin's hands' by attacking Montenegro, questioning NATO obligations The Nation editor: Reaction by most of the media to Trump-Putin press conference 'is like mob violence' Lewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace MORE (Ky.) has also been a critic of some of Kavanaugh's past rulings on surveillance. 

After the announcement of Kavanaugh as the nominee Monday, Paul said he would review the pick with “an open mind.”