Trump delivers another promise to conservatives with Supreme Court

Trump delivers another promise to conservatives with Supreme Court
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE kept another promise Monday evening when he nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s resignation. So begins the next chapter in the ongoing struggle to define American jurisprudence.

Kavanaugh is a nominee with excellent academic and professional credentials. As a law clerk to three federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom he will be replacing, Kavanaugh began his career after graduating from Yale Law School working with some of the leading lights of the federal judiciary.

He learned well. Drawing from his more than 300 opinions as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered by many to be the second most important court in the land, with three of the nine current justices themselves alumni, the Supreme Court has endorsed his opinions more than a dozen times. Some of his dissents served as the basis for later Supreme Court rulings.

More importantly for conservatives, Kavanaugh has demonstrated over the years his belief that the proper role of a judge is to interpret and apply the law as written, not legislate from the bench. To that end, he once wrote, “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy. So read the words of the statute as written. Read the text of the Constitution as written, mindful of history and tradition. Don’t make up new constitutional rights that are not in the text of the Constitution. Don’t shy away from enforcing constitutional rights that are in the text of the Constitution.”

That, in one paragraph, summarizes the legal philosophy conservatives have been seeking to emplace in the judiciary for decades. And that, depressingly (but not surprisingly), mattered not one whit to the protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court. Before the president unveiled his choice in the East Room Monday evening – before, mind you – hundreds of leftist protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Court to denounce the unnamed nominee. They didn’t even know who it would be, but that did not prevent them from denouncing him.

And the “we’ll-attack-him-before-we-know-who-he-is” tactics weren’t confined to outside groups. Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Dems protest vote on controversial court pick Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE, Jr., announced on Monday, hours before President Trump revealed his choice, that he would oppose the president’s pick. Another Senate Democrat said, “We are looking at destruction of the Constitution of the United States as far as I can tell.”

The left’s playbook is tiresome. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Since the president’s announcement, I’ve been receiving calls, text messages, and emails from grassroots leaders and activists across the country, sharing their excitement at the nomination and asking for guidance on what they could do to help ensure Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

I shared in their enthusiasm, and thanked them for helping make the nomination possible in the first place – I reminded them that it was the hard work they did in 2014 (when Tea Party Patriots activists and supporters all over the country worked to help flip nine seats in the Senate to move it in a more conservative direction) and 2016 (when Tea Party Patriots activists and supporters worked to elect Donald Trump in the general election) that was now being paid off.

For several Senate Democrats running for reelection in states Trump won in 2016 – Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Morrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments MORE in West Virginia, Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Fed chief lays out risks of trade war Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE in Indiana, Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Bipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate Fed chief lays out risks of trade war MORE in North Dakota, Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Senate Dems lock in million in TV airtime Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? MORE in Missouri, Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Hillicon Valley: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | Sparks fly at hearing on social media | First House Republican backs net neutrality bill | Meet the DNC's cyber guru | Sinclair defiant after merger setback Senate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference MORE in Florida, and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Fed chief lays out risks of trade war Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE in Montana – the Kavanaugh nomination forces them to face a perilous decision: ignore their constituents just weeks before the election by voting against Kavanaugh, or enrage their base voters by supporting the president’s nominee.

For Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp – each of whom voted last year to confirm President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch – the stakes are particularly high. Having decided to abandon their national base and vote with their constituents instead the first time, does that make it easier or harder for them to do the same a second time? Do they think their vote for Gorsuch affords them a pass so they can vote against Kavanaugh? Or do they believe that casting a vote against Trump’s second nominee will make them vulnerable to the charge of flip-flopping – or worse, the charge of having no firmly grounded stances at all?

They’ll have to make those judgments on their own. Meanwhile, Tea Party Patriots activists and supporters will be doing what we do best – working to make sure those senators and others know that we expect them to represent their constituents’ interests, even if that means upsetting their Democrat donors and left-wing base. After a day or two to celebrate the nomination of a thought leader who could help lock in a conservative Supreme Court majority for the next generation, we’ll be back to work organizing, calling, texting, emailing, tweeting, and contacting our senators to help ensure that confirmation. Because that’s our playbook.

Jenny Beth Martin is president of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.