GOP Rep. Amash slams Kavanaugh on government surveillance rulings

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

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashJuan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller #RacistInChief takes off on Twitter after Trump tells Dems to go back where they 'came from' Omar knocks Trump 'go back' tweet: 'You are stoking white nationalism' MORE (R-Mich.) on Monday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates 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.”

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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 SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence 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 PaulTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Lawyer: Flynn will keep cooperating after co-conspirator revelations Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act exposes Silicon Valley's hollow diversity slogans 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.”