SCOTUS Watch | Aug 3, 2018

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Published: August 3, 2018

We are closely following the events of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Three important updates:

  1. Earlier this week the first Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, met with Judge Kavanaugh. Senator Manchin is facing a difficult re-election campaign in the red-state of West Virginia; a state Trump won in 2016. Manchin remains one of the potential swing votes that may cross party lines to vote in support of Kavanaugh.
  2. Republican Senator Rand Paul also announced this week he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination after initially expressing concerns over Kavanaugh’s position on the Fourth Amendment.
  3. Kavanaugh is certainly facing one of the toughest Supreme Court confirmations in history. Senators have begun reading through over 1 million pages of legal opinions and emails from Judge Kavanaugh. The volume of records being reviewed dwarfs those reviewed in the confirmation processes for both Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch (182,000 pages) and Justice Elena Kagan (170,000 pages).

As our Senators in Washington D.C. continue to learn more about Judge Kavanaugh’s record, we want to highlight for you two important cases that lead many to believe Judge Kavanaugh will protect the critical right of religious liberty.

Because of legal battles threatening freedom of religion in the public square, it’s now more important today than ever before that the next Supreme Court Justice uphold religious liberty, one of the most essential American ideals outlined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

  • In the case Newdow v. Roberts, Judge Kavanaugh upheld the opening prayer and invocation of God at government ceremonies. He wrote, “stripping government ceremonies of any references to God or religious expression . . . would, in effect, ‘establish’ atheism.”
  • Recently, at oral argument in the case Archdiocese of Washington v. WMATA, Judge Kavanaugh called D.C. Metro’s ban on religious advertising, including Christmas ads, “pure discrimination” and “odious” to the First Amendment.

The Center for Inquiry, a secularist advocacy group, argues that his joining the Supreme Court would mean more decisions such as the Hobby Lobby ruling. In that decision, the justices upheld the religious freedom of some employers not to be bound by Obamacare requirements that employee health insurance plans cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

In addition, during an interlude in private practice, he headed the Federalist Society’s Religious Liberties Practice Group and wrote two pro bono Supreme Court amicus briefs in support of the cause of religious liberty.

We will continue to keep you up to date on any developments to Kavanaugh’s nomination process. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Chuck Grassley, said Kavanaugh’s hearings are anticipated to begin in September and a confirmation vote in October at the latest.


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