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 TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency 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 CaseyObama to hit campaign trail in Pa. for gubernatorial, Senate candidates Trump is wrong, Dems are fighting to save Medicare and Social Security Five biggest surprises in midterm fight 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) ManchinThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE in West Virginia, Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE in Indiana, Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE in North Dakota, Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Wyden says foreign hackers targeted personal accounts of senators, staffers Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE in Missouri, Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh controversy consumes Washington | Kavanaugh slated to testify Monday | Allegations shake up midterms Florida governor booed out of restaurant over red tide algae issues MORE in Florida, and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump Jr. campaign event looks for new venue after Montana restaurant declines to host CBS Poll: Missouri, Montana Senate races in dead heats Dems play waiting game with Collins and Murkowski 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.