GOP Rep. Amash slams Kavanaugh on government surveillance rulings

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

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashAmash: Clinton's attack on Gabbard will 'drive many people into the arms' of Trump Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria pullout MORE (R-Mich.) on Monday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview 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 SchumerTrump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals' Democrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback 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 PaulOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill 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.”