Federal Courts and Nominations

RELEASE: After Kavanaugh Confirmation, Much Work to Be Done to Restore Confidence in the Court

CAC President Elizabeth Wydra: “The confirmation process for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been a travesty from start to finish, serving no one well.”

 

WASHINGTON—Following the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court by the narrowest margin of any Justice in nearly 140 years, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement:

CAC is deeply disappointed by today’s vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Following President Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh in July, CAC went to work examining his judicial record. Our analysis showed that Kavanaugh’s opinions tilt consistently toward corporate interests and strongly indicate a selective approach to applying the text, history, and values of the whole Constitution. Our concerns were not assuaged at the conclusion of Kavanaugh’s first set of hearings, and we therefore decided to oppose his nomination.

It is important to recognize that this confirmation process has been a travesty from start to finish, serving no one well: Not survivors of sexual assault, especially Dr. Christine Blasey Ford; not Judge Kavanaugh, who will join the Supreme Court with a heavy, dark cloud over his head; and certainly not the American people, who are now plunged into a crisis of constitutional faith when it comes to the legitimacy of the Court and the willingness of Congress to serve its role as a check and balance.

This process, run by the Trump White House and Senate Republicans, was marked by many flaws, particularly an incomplete record and the lack of an exhaustive FBI investigation into credible sexual assault allegations—both of which did a disservice to the advice-and-consent role that the Constitution assigns to senators. Worse still, a new set of concerns arose during last week’s hearing, when Judge Kavanaugh responded to the powerful, courageous testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford in a manner that raised serious questions about his judicial temperament and his impartiality.

With today’s vote, the Supreme Court will soon have a full complement of judges. Ahead of the Court lies not only this term’s cases, but also the hard work of restoring public confidence in the institution that plays a profound role in interpreting our nation’s governing charter.

In an extraordinary pre-confirmation op-ed this week, Judge Kavanaugh wrote:

“I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”

For the sake of the Court, our republic and its people, CAC hopes that when he joins the bench, Justice Kavanaugh remembers his words and keeps his pledge. There is much work to be done to restore confidence in the Court.

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Now in our tenth year, Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit the new CAC website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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