SCOTUS Watch | July 20, 2018

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Published: July 20, 2018

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) sits atop what has become, for good or for bad, the most powerful branch of our government, the federal judiciary. Every couple weeks I’m going to send you a SCOTUS watch update.

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings are expected to begin in late August or early September.

It’s critical that we watch the developments of Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation process so that we know how to pray for the future of the Supreme Court, and our nation.

Here’s the overall lay of the land when it comes to the confirmation votes Kavanaugh will need in the Senate.

Fifty-one members are needed to approve Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There is no doubt this will be a very close vote. Several more liberal Republicans may vote “no” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Senators Susan Collins (ME), John McCain (AZ), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Bob Corker (TN) are all uncertain votes.

But there are several Democrats who may be convinced to support Kavanaugh. Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (IN) all voted to confirm Justice Gorsuch. And there is newly-elected Senator Doug Jones (AL), who replaced a pro-Gorsuch senator last year, as well as Tom Carper (DE), the only sitting Democratic Senator who voted to confirm Kavanaugh to his current DC position.

There are three valuable points we think you should know about nominee Judge Kavanaugh:

  • Judge Kavanaugh would be one of the most qualified individuals ever to serve on the Supreme Court. He currently sits on the D.C. Circuit—often referred to as the “Second Highest Court in the Land” - where he has served for over 12 years. Kavanaugh has spent 25 of the last 28 years serving the American people, most notably as Associate Independent Counsel, Associate White House Counsel, Assistant and Staff Secretary to President George W. Bush, and—of course—as a judge.
  • Judge Kavanaugh is already deeply respected by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has endorsed his opinions more than a dozen times, including Kavanaugh dissents that have become the law of the land. His opinions are regularly cited by courts across the country. Of his 48 clerks, 39 have gone on to clerk at the Supreme Court.
  • Judge Kavanaugh has a proven track record as the type of jurist that President Trump has promised to put on the Supreme Court. He has over 300 published opinions that reveal he believes in applying the law as written and upholding the text, structure and original understanding of the Constitution. 

Judge Kavanaugh 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.”

The battle to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Justice Kennedy to the United States Supreme Court, will be one of the most contested in history. Remember, Justice Kennedy – the retiring justice whom Kavanaugh would replace – was generally a conservative vote. He was often the swing vote in favor of abortion and “gay” marriage, making this appointment the most important one for conservatives in more than 30 years.

Every single vote in the Senate will be important to Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.


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