SCOTUS Watch | Sept 14, 2018
Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court are now complete. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Kavanaugh Thursday, September 20, 2018. The full Senate vote is expected the end of September.
The hearings covered important subjects such as Roe vs. Wade, healthcare, gun rights, judicial independence, and presidential power.
We’ve compiled 3 key takeaways from the hearings.
1. Kavanaugh’s introduction to the American people and the partisan response.
Kavanaugh gave an opening statement that allowed the American people to learn more about him and his perspective of the U.S. Supreme Court. We encourage you to read Kavanaugh’s full opening remarks.
“I am an optimist. I live on the sunrise side of the mountain, not the sunset side of the mountain. I see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone. I am optimistic about the future of America and the future of our independent Judiciary. I revere the Constitution. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case. I will do equal right to the poor and to the rich. I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American Rule of Law.” — Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Opening Remarks
For the first hour and a half of the hearing, Democrats pushed to adjourn, arguing a lack of time to review Kavanaugh’s documents and requesting additional documents. Republicans countered—more than 350,000 pages were made available to the public, which is more than the past five Supreme Court nominees combined.
Protestors continually interrupted the hearing. In the first day alone, more than 70 protesters were arrested with over 200 total arrested by the end of the week.
2. Roe v. Wade remained in the background of the entire hearing.
Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly asked about his view of Roe v. Wade. The issue of abortion was perhaps the most central theme of the hearing. Not because of the questions from the Judicial Committee (although many asked questions regarding Roe v. Wade), but because of the activist groups such as the Women’s March Organization who planted protesters inside the hearing room and in the halls of the Capitol.
Throughout the hearing, Kavanaugh was careful never to give his personal opinion on an issue, as that is not the role of a Judge or a Supreme Court Justice. Instead, he drew from the Constitution and brought to light Supreme Court precedent.
Kavanaugh’s previous decision in the case Rochelle Garza v. Eric D. Hargan is just one of the reasons pro-abortion advocates protest his confirmation to the Supreme Court and Pro-life advocates believe he will be a defender of the sanctity of life.
3. Kavanaugh’s record on religious liberty should encourage people of faith.
Senator Ted Cruz during the hearing highlighted key decisions Kavanaugh has made on the bench that are of great interest to the faith community.
In 2015 Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion siding with the Priests for Life who were required by the Affordable Care Act to pay for contraceptive coverage despite their religious convictions. Kavanaugh stated, “the government had ways to ensure contraceptive coverage without doing so on the backs of religious objectors.”
In another important religious liberty case, Kavanaugh argued high school students should be permitted to pray at football games. In the hearings, he said, “Religious people, speakers, and speech are entitled to equal treatment.”
The hearings are complete. The Senate vote is approaching.
Franklin Graham from Samaritan’s Purse tweeted, “I’ve been impressed with Judge Kavanaugh’s steady temperament and his solid responses. His vast knowledge of case law and the U.S. Constitution is evident. We need to continue to pray for him and his family during this time and for the outcome of this process. I also urge you to contact the Senators in your state to ask them to confirm him [emphasis added].”
We may not have a direct vote in these confirmation hearings but we can pray and we can vote Tuesday, November 6, 2018, to ensure our values are accurately represented in Congress—so our constitutional rights will be protected on the bench.
Will you join with me in praying for:
- Endurance and peace for Brett Kavanaugh and his family.
- Wisdom for our Senators to be true to the Constitution rather than political parties.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.