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Brett Kavanaugh on Government Reform

 

 


President answers to impeachment, not to criminal charges

During his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh declined to elaborate on his views on executive power or protections for a president who might face an investigation and subpoena.

When Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked Kavanaugh if a sitting president could be compelled to respond to a subpoena, he declined to offer his views. "I can't give you an answer on that hypothetical question," he said.

In a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, Kavanaugh had written that "Congress might consider a law exempting a President--while in office--from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel." In the same article, however, he noted, "If the President does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available."

Source: CNN.com on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings , Jul 9, 2018

Federal agencies follow Congress, not make new regulations

Kavanaugh has demonstrated a tendency toward suspicion of, rather than deference to, regulatory agency interpretations of federal laws. "It's all about the statute you write," he emphasized to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), noting he would not impose new requirements--on businesses, for example--that Congress had not made explicit.

That view, as Klobuchar noted, can limit regulatory safeguards on the job, environmental rules and consumer protection. [For example], Kavanaugh criticized a Labor Department move to sanction SeaWorld following the drowning of a trainer by an orca whale, declaring that the agency had "stormed headlong into a new regulatory arena."

Overall, his view is that agencies should exercise authority as clearly spelled out in federal statutes and that judges should not, as occurred in the SeaWorld case, defer to agency interpretations that go beyond what's explicit in a law.

Source: CNN.com on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings , Jul 9, 2018

Upholds Supreme Court's ruling on campaign finance limits

Judge Kavanaugh has spent the past dozen years embracing the philosophy of the conservative legal movement as he assembled a record on the powerful federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. On issues as diverse as abortion and gun rights to disputes over national-security policies and business regulations, Kavanaugh emphasized textual limitations while frequently favoring corporations over regulators, and the government over individuals claiming rights violations.

In a 2010 case, Judge Kavanaugh wrote the opinion for a 3 judge panel that upheld limits on contributions to political parties which had been imposed in a 2002 campaign-finance reform law. He emphasized that the Supreme Court had already upheld those limits as consistent with the First Amendment and that the new case was sufficiently similar that "as a lower court, we do not possess the authority to clarify or refine" the Supreme Court's ruling.

Source: N.Y.Times on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing , Jul 10, 2018

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Other Justices on Government Reform: Brett Kavanaugh on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(since 1993)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Anthony Kennedy(since 1988)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Nov 02, 2018