U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and the predictable hysteria that has come from Democrats who are trying to keep Kavanaugh from being confirmed by drawing from the same partisan, political playbook they tried to use against Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Thune also discussed the Commerce Department’s announcement that the economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 – more evidence that Republicans’ pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda is working.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, the confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh continues.
“And so, predictably, does the Democrat hysteria.
“It’s the same old playbook.
“Any Supreme Court nominee from a Republican president is guaranteed to destroy the Constitution, abolish our rights, and endanger the lives of the American people.
“And I’m not exaggerating for effect.
“Those are actual accusations from Democrats and liberal interest groups.
“In the lead-up to Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation, the head of one liberal organization stated that there was “substantial evidence” that if Gorsuch’s ‘egregious views were to become law, Americans’ lives … would be put at risk in untold ways.’
“A year into Justice Gorsuch’s tenure on the Supreme Court, Americans seem to be doing okay.
“But that didn’t stop the former Democrat governor of Virginia from tweeting that, and I quote, ‘The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.’
“Then, of course, there’s that other favorite Democrat accusation – that the Constitution will be put in jeopardy if we confirm a Republican president’s Supreme Court nominee.
“In the lead-up to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, the junior senator from California said, and I quote, ‘we’re looking at a destruction of the Constitution of the United States.’
“I’ve got to say that I find this accusation particularly hilarious.
“Because if there is one thing we can count on Judge Kavanaugh to do, it’s defend the Constitution.
“In fact, his respect for the Constitution and the rule of law is perhaps the distinguishing feature of his jurisprudence.
“In a speech last year, Judge Kavanaugh said, and I quote: ‘As I see it, the Constitution is primarily a document of majestic specificity, and those specific words have meaning. Absent constitutional amendment, those words continue to bind us as judges, legislators, and executive officials.’
“Later on in the same speech, Judge Kavanaugh noted, and I quote, ‘Because it is so hard, and because it is not easy even to pass federal legislation, pressure is often put on the courts and the Supreme Court in particular to update the Constitution to reflect the times. In the views of some, the Constitution is a living document, and the Court must ensure that the Constitution adapts to meet the changing times.
“‘For those of us who believe that the judges are confined to interpreting and applying the Constitution and laws as they are written and not as we might wish they were written, we too believe in a Constitution that lives and endures and in statutes that live and endure. But we believe that changes to the Constitution and laws are to be made by the people through the amendment process and, where appropriate, through the legislative process—not by the courts snatching that constitutional or legislative authority for themselves.’
“In short, Mr. President, if there’s one thing the American people can count on, it’s that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the Constitution – even when he doesn’t like the result.
“He won’t attempt to legislate from the bench or make the Constitution say what he wants it to say.
“Anyone who comes before Judge Kavanaugh can be certain that he will rule based on the facts of the case, the law, and the Constitution – and nothing else.
“Not his personal feelings.
“Not his political opinions.
“Not his beliefs about what the law should be.
“Just the plain text of the law and the Constitution.
“That’s the kind of judge that all of us – including the Democrats – should want on the Supreme Court.
“The kind of judge who, in the words of Judge Kavanaugh, will decide ‘cases based on settled principles without regard to policy preferences or political allegiances or which party is on which side in a particular case.’
“The truth of the matter, Mr. President, is that Democrats aren’t worried that Judge Kavanaugh won’t uphold the Constitution.
“They know very well that he will.
“What they are worried about is that he won’t deliver their preferred outcomes.
“That his judicial opinions will conflict with Democrats’ political opinions.
“Democrats aren’t looking for a qualified Supreme Court justice.
“They’re looking for a political rubber-stamp.
“For Democrats, the only good Supreme Court justice is a Supreme Court justice who will use his or her power to advance the political agenda of the Democratic Party.
“Just look at the Democrat senator who announced his opposition to the president’s Supreme Court nomination … before the president had actually nominated anyone.
“This Democrat senator announced plans to oppose the nominee … before a nominee even existed.
“That’s all the evidence you need that Democrats’ opposition to Judge Kavanaugh is based not on any actual problems with Judge Kavanaugh, but on Democrats’ ideological opposition to any nominee they’re not sure will be a rubber-stamp for the Democrat agenda.
“Mr. President, the confirmation process will continue.
“And I’m sure the hysteria from Democrats will continue too.
“But the Senate will move forward with the business of confirming another outstanding judge to the Supreme Court.
“Mr. President, before I close, I’d like to say just a couple of words about the economic numbers released last week.
“On Friday, the Commerce Department announced that the economy grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.
“That’s tremendous news.
“Getting our economy going again has been a huge priority for Republicans since President Trump’s election.
“We’ve eliminated burdensome regulations that were acting as a drag on economic growth.
“And in December we passed a comprehensive tax-reform bill that put more money in Americans’ pockets and fixed some of the problems in the tax code that were keeping businesses from growing and creating jobs.
“And now we’re seeing the results.
“Robust economic growth.
“Near-record optimism among small businesses.
“Soaring business investment.
“And what does all that mean, Mr. President?
“It means more jobs for hardworking Americans.
“It means better wages and benefits.
“It means more opportunities.
“And it means more economic security and a better life for American families.
“I’m proud of the economic progress we’ve made over the past year and a half.
“And I’m going to keep working with my colleagues in Congress to advance policies that will expand economic opportunities for Americans even further.”