Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh called Scalia a 'hero' and 'role model': report

Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh called Scalia a 'hero' and 'role model': report
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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh praised the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a "hero" and "role model," CNN reports.

“I loved the guy,” Kavanaugh said in June 2016 at a conference at George Mason Law School. “To me, he was and remains a hero and a role model.”

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CNN reports that Kavanaugh similarly praised Scalia the following year as “a judicial hero and role model to many throughout America” while delivering a keynote address at Notre Dame Law School.

In the 2016 speech, Kavanaugh went on to extol Scalia’s principles, saying the late justice carefully considered what he stood for and defended his principles regardless of “political or academic pressure from the right or the left.”

Kavanaugh specifically lauded several of Scalia’s dissenting opinions in that George Mason speech, according to CNN.

The Supreme Court nominee praised Scalia’s 1988 dissent where he maintained the constitutionality of an independent counsel, as well as a 2004 dissent in which Scalia advocated for increased protection for a U.S. citizen being detained as an enemy combatant under some circumstances.

He also raised Scalia’s criticism of the 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Roe v. Wade as examples of the late justice’s commitment to applying the Constitution as written.

“Justice Scalia was an apostle of restraint and an apostle of engagement,” Kavanaugh said in 2016, according to CNN.

The Supreme Court nominee also said that it is “my belief and hope” that Scalia altered “statutory interpretation forever” with his ardent support for originalist interpretation.

Though he has praised Scalia extensively, Kavanaugh clerked for the more moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom he has been nominated to replace.

Kavanaugh’s first confirmation hearings are set to begin later this year.