Supreme fight

7/13/2018, 4:56 p.m.
We hope the American people will not be snookered by President Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.

We hope the American people will not be snookered by President Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who currently sits on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, was chosen as President Trump’s get-out-of-jail-free card.

In a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, Judge Kavanaugh wrote that presidents should be immune from investigation, criminal prosecution and civil suits until after they are out of office. He stated that it would impinge upon the pressing matters of the country for a president to be distracted by personal issues, and wrote that “indictment and trial of a sitting president” would “cripple the federal government.”

Ironically, Judge Kavanaugh didn’t take that position when he was working in 1998 as an attorney for special prosecutor Ken Starr on the investigation of former President Clinton and his sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. That investigation led to President Clinton’s impeachment while in office.

Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible collusion by President Trump and his campaign with the Russians to hack the 2016 presidential election, Judge Kavanaugh seems to be in President Trump’s pocket. Already, Mr. Mueller’s investigation has led to 23 indictments, five guilty pleas and one prison sentence, several of which involve top Trump campaign officials, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, former Gen. Michael Flynn and Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. 

With the noose tightening around President Trump, it is clear the president wants a court that will protect him when he makes a legal move to free himself from prosecution. Judge Kavanaugh, who expressed his gratitude Monday night to the president for nominating him, would be President Trump’s ace in the hole.

Looking beyond President Trump’s troubles, Judge Kavanaugh has a record on the D.C. court that portends how he will give the nation’s highest court of nine justices a conservative majority that would roll back many of our current freedoms and rights, including a woman’s right to choose an abortion, same-sex marriage and gun control laws. One of his judicial opinions criticized the requirement that pre-existing medical conditions be covered under the Affordable Care Act.

With Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, the clock would be turned back to the detriment of many on a wide range of critical issues.

The U.S. Senate, which will hold hearings on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, is responsible for confirming his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Because of a Republican rule change, it will take only a 51-vote majority in the 100-member body to confirm the appointment. Republicans hold 51 seats, although GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona is absent because of illness.

We call on Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats, to delay confirmation hearings or any vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination until after the November elections, when Democrats have an opportunity to gain a majority in the U.S. Senate and vote against his confirmation.

It’s time now for the Democrats to hone their strategies and mobilize to help protect the rights of Americans for the future. We knew with the unfortunate outcome of the 2016 presidential election that this day was coming. We knew that President Trump would have the opportunity to change the legal landscape of this nation for years to come with nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is not the time for people who believe in freedom, justice and equal opportunity to back down from a fight. We call on our readers to make their voices heard when it comes to this Supreme Court nominee.

What happens now will impact not only your life, but the lives of your children and grandchildren. We want a new Supreme Court justice who will take the country forward, not roll back the clock.