Brett Kavanaugh has all the right qualifications for Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh has all the right qualifications for Supreme Court
© Anna Moneymaker

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified individuals ever to be nominated to the Supreme Court. He has demonstrated integrity, influence, and experience in his twelve years as a judge on the second most powerful court in the land. On top of this, he authored over 300 opinions while on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Kavanaugh is a graduate of the prestigious Yale Law School, served as an associate counsel to the White House, and as a law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy.

His experience and qualifications are very evident. Unfortunately, the Democrats in the Senate are more focused on delay than on consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s considerable merits.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records 2020 hopefuls skeptical of criminal justice deal with Trump Five things to know about Bruce Ohr, the DOJ official under fire from Trump MORE (R-Iowa) is ensuring that the confirmation process will be extremely transparent, and that all senators have a fair opportunity to assess Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and legal philosophy.

 

The Senate has already received over 6,000 pages of documents from his questionnaire and could receive up to one million pages of documents from Judge Kavanaugh’s time in the White House. Still, Senate Democrats attempt to delay and obstruct this nomination.

Instead of reviewing the opinions of Judge Kavanaugh and then discussing his views during an in-person meeting, Democrats appear to be posturing for their base and opposing his nomination without fair consideration. This does a disservice to the country and the Senate as an institution.

The argument from Senate Democrats is not only unreasonable, it is inconsistent. Many Democrats have already stated they would oppose his nomination, so why would they need more documents to review? To demand all the documents of Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary, which are not revealing of his judicial temperament or philosophy, is a distraction and a political talking point.

Just as senators recognized Justice Kagan’s documents were sensitive to the Executive Branch, they should do so this time as well with Judge Kavanaugh. The White House Staff Secretary controls the flow of information, so these documents would tell us almost nothing about his judicial views. Instead, Senate Democrats should meet with Judge Kavanaugh and review his 300-plus judicial opinions. Even though Justice Kagan had no experience as a judge, the Senate did not demand her Solicitor General documents. There is no precedent for these delaying and obfuscatory tactics.

Consider that past nominees such as Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kagan had over 150,000 documents produced for review. The confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh could potentially exceed one million documents, the most ever for any Supreme Court nominee. 

Chairman Grassley has publicly stated that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in September, with the goal of confirming Judge Kavanaugh this fall. This gives Senators ample time to review these relevant documents, his judicial opinions, and meet with Judge Kavanaugh to ask further questions.

Judge Kavanaugh has all the right qualifications and experience to be our next Supreme Court justice. He has the educational background matched with judicial experience, making him an outstanding pick by the president. This review and confirmation process will be thorough and fair with the most documents ever produced for the Senate’s consideration.

We should hope that senators will perform their constitutionally-mandated responsibility in a rational and intellectually coherent manner. There is plenty of division and acrimony in our country today. The Senate should rise above partisanship, give this qualified nominee a fair and rigorous hearing, and then vote on his merits. What a terrific example that would be for the rest of the government.

Lester Munson is a visiting fellow at George Mason’s Scalia Law School and the former staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.