GOP Rep. Amash slams Kavanaugh on government surveillance rulings

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

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashBusiness, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration House approves motion condemning anti-Semitism Schiff: Intel chiefs testimony may ‘undermine’ Trump’s ability to declare emergency for wall MORE (R-Mich.) on Monday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job 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 SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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 PaulOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Congress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration 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.”