There can be little doubt that President Trump has a flair for the dramatic and a talent for showmanship that has not been seen when it comes to the holder of the POTUS mantle. And, like it or not, there is one thing that conservatives can take at least some joy in … it drives the extreme Left nuts. It makes Democrat office holders, leftists in academia and the media say and do things that continue to reveal their true character to the American people. (This is a big part of the reason that #WalkAway exists.)
How President Trump announced his nominee to secede Justice Kennedy on the SCOTUS is no exception. Donald Trump first gave a date on which he would make his choice public. Not a self-imposed deadline as many characterized it, but an opportunity to build anticipation. The President wanted a television event akin to a “Reality TV” reveal. He made sure that everyone knew who his final four happened to be, in order to keep the discussion focused on what these choices might mean to the future of the country. It pushed media personalities and left-leaning pundits to show their devotion to the so-called “progressive” agenda over adherence to the Constitution as they spoke about Brown v. Broad of Education, implying that the Mean Ole Republicans will bring back school segregation and Roe v. Wade, claiming that abortion is “settled law” (funny that none of them mentioned Citizens United during those conversations) and even talking about how dangerous Judge Amy Barrett would be as a Justice on the High Court because of her Bible study group.
To further demonstrate the left’s opposition mindset, ABC News ran a graphic calling Trump’s pick controversial, before Trump even announced Kavanaugh as his choice. The Women’s March group put out a release: “In response to Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Women’s March released the following statement.” They put a couple of Xs in there as placeholders just waiting for a name to insert, and then they forgot to go back and put in the name.
Campus Reform released a video on July 8th (meaning that it was put together days before and released the day before he made the announcement) showing college students thoughts about Trump’s pick and it’s clear that a lot of these student’s minds were already made-up on the issue. But, with all of that said, there does happen to be a few good reasons why conservatives might have reservations about the choice of Kavanaugh.
In a case called Seven-Sky, Kavanaugh made a strong effort to avoid jurisdiction over Obamacare by calling the “Fair-Share” fine a tax. In fact, he was the first judge to make the legal argument which opened the door for Chief Justice Roberts to find Obamacare constitutional. In another case, Priests for Life, that raises some red flags for conservatives, Kavanaugh said that the government has a “compelling interest” in the provision of contraceptive coverage from employers. In Garza, a case involving the question of whether the government must provide an abortion for an illegal border crosser that was being detained awaiting a hearing, he did not join a dissent that criticized Roe v. Wade.
In yet another high-profile case Kavanaugh granted standing to an atheist who was suing the government over the Pledge of Allegiance, remember that in order to have standing you must prove both that you have been damaged and that you have been targeted (or at least that used to be the legal standard). I don’t want to meet the person who has been “damaged” in any real way by the line “One nation, Under God”.
All things considered, the Democrats should be happy with this pick from the President. He may not be a leftist activist judge they prefer, but he is clearly open to leftist arguments. He could very easily become a true replacement to Justice Kennedy in so much as he could be a swing vote allowing leftist policies to advance or stand when a true constitutionalist would simply vote to strike them down. Besides, it’s not like the American political left would like any of the other Judges on President Trump’s list any better. (Personally, I’d love Mike Lee from the Presidents list).
The Democrats have to cry and moan to raise funds and keep the party base in activist mode, but in truth, for them, options don’t get any better. Now that I have pointed out a few concerns I’d like to add another point or two for the conservative out there who may be unhappy with the choice. First, while we may get an idea of how a judge may approach their rulings; previous decisions are not always indicative of how a Justice will act once on the SCOTUS. Second, speaking as someone who had serious concerns about Donald Trump while he was a candidate, we should be willing to give Kavanaugh a chance to prove us right or prove us wrong. He may just surprise us all.