U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) this week discussed the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and his outstanding resume. As a graduate of Yale Law School, a former clerk for Justice Kennedy, a lecturer at Harvard Law School, and a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Thune believes Kavanaugh will judge based on the law and facts, not personal political opinions.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, there are a lot of things you need to know when you’re considering a candidate for Congress.
“What are his or her views on health care?
“The First Amendment?
“And so on.
“But when it comes to judges, Mr. President, there are really only two important questions.
“One, is this judge well-qualified?
“And two, does this person understand the proper role of a judge?
“Because unlike legislators’ opinions, judges’ political opinions should be irrelevant, because a good judge will leave his or her political opinions outside the court room door.
“A good judge knows that her job is to judge based on the law and the facts, not political opinions or personal feelings.
“Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whom we lost in 2016, had this to say about the proper role of a judge:
“‘If you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you’re probably doing something wrong.’
“Or as current Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has said more than once: ‘A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge.’
“Mr. President, last night, the president nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice.
“This is another outstanding pick from the president.
“Like Justice Scalia and Justice Gorsuch, Judge Kavanaugh understands that the job of a judge is to interpret the law, not write it.
“To judge, not legislate.
“To call balls and strikes, not rewrite the rules of the game.
“His qualifications are outstanding.
“He is a graduate of Yale Law School.
“He clerked for a Supreme Court justice.
“He is a lecturer at Harvard Law School.
“And, most importantly, he has had an outstanding career as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has handed down thoughtful, well-reasoned decisions that reveal his deep respect for the law and the Constitution.
“His opinions have been endorsed by the Supreme Court more than a dozen times, and are regularly cited by courts around the country.
“Mr. President, I’m looking forward to getting to sit down with Judge Kavanaugh during the confirmation process.
“We’re going to follow regular order on this nominee just as we did with Justice Gorsuch.
“The Judiciary Committee will vet Judge Kavanaugh, and senators of both parties will have the chance to sit down with him before the full Senate votes on his nomination this fall.
“Unfortunately, a number of Senate Democrats have already made it clear that they are going to make this process as partisan as possible.
“One Democrat senator, the senior senator from Pennsylvania, put out a statement yesterday announcing his intention of opposing the president’s Supreme Court nominee – before the president had even made his announcement.
“The Democrat senator from Pennsylvania decided he wasn’t going to even pretend to examine the nominee’s qualifications.
“Instead, he announced his intention of opposing the nominee – before he even knew who he was opposing.
“But that’s unfortunately par for the course for the Democrat Party.
“If one thing has been clear since Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, it’s that Democrats are not interested in a nominee’s qualifications or commitment to the rule of law.
“They’re interested in a nominee’s political opinions.
“And they’re ready to disqualify any nominee who doesn’t share their political views.
“Mr. President, Democrats’ apparent belief that the only good judge is a judge who will use his role to advance Democrats’ agenda is deeply disturbing.
“And it betrays Democrats’ failure to understand – or their decision to ignore – the fundamental purpose of the judiciary.
“Our judicial system was designed to secure the rights of citizens under the law, not to serve as the arm of a particular political party.
“Nobody’s rights can be secure when judges start ruling based on political ideology instead of the law.
“Mr. President, fortunately for the rule of law, President Trump doesn’t believe in nominating judges based on their agreement with his personal opinions.
“Instead, he believes in nominating judges who understand that their job is to rule based on the law and the Constitution.
“And that’s what he’s done with Judge Kavanaugh.