Sen. John Thune
After the president nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court several months ago, based on what I had read about him as a judge on one of the nation’s most prominent circuit courts, I said he seemed like the kind of judge who interprets the law and the Constitution as they are written. From what I had seen, he didn’t seem interested in legislating from the bench, understanding that the proper role of a judge is to just call balls and strikes.
After hearing from Judge Kavanaugh at his lengthy and in-depth confirmation hearing, I’m convinced of those impressions now more than ever.
Something else became abundantly clear during Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing. It helped clarify for the American people that my Democrat colleagues, who engaged in a coordinated and purely political attempt to delay the hearing to appease the far-left of their base, were more interested in scoring political points than considering Judge Kavanaugh on the merits of his nomination, which are indisputable.
In fact, Judge Kavanaugh’s resume is nearly impeccable. He graduated from Yale Law School, lectures at Harvard Law School, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, was given the highest possible rating by the American Bar Association (unanimously), and has spent the last 12 years ruling on cases at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a court from which several other Supreme Court justices, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John Roberts, have also served.
If someone were tasked with drawing up the background and qualifications of what a good Supreme Court justice would look like, Judge Kavanaugh’s record would be a good example at which he or she could look.
Since my Democrat colleagues are finding it difficult to land any punches with respect to Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications, they’ve shifted their focus to the amount of written material that’s available to be examined.
Aside from the fact that Judge Kavanaugh has written more than 300 opinions at the circuit court level, all of which are publicly available, nearly half of a million additional pages of documents from his time serving in the executive branch have also been made available to the Senate. Not only is that a record number of pages for any Supreme Court nominee, but it’s more pages than the committee received for the last five Supreme Court justices (including both of President Obama’s nominees) – combined.
For Democrats, 12 years of publicly decided cases and hundreds of thousands of pages of documents from his previous service aren’t enough, though. They say they want more. I would take their concerns more seriously if nearly half of them hadn’t announced their opposition to his nomination before the first day of the confirmation hearing even began. Some of my colleagues announced they would vote against him before they even knew he was the nominee!
To summarize, Judge Kavanaugh is more than qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, he has hundreds of cases and a record number of pages of documents from which he himself can be judged, and he faced hours upon hours of questioning from Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, despite my colleagues’ best attempts to unnecessarily delay the hearing.
I’m hopeful his nomination will come to the Senate floor without delay, and when it does, I look forward to casting my vote to replace “judge” with “justice” in front of Brett Kavanaugh’s name.