On Monday evening, President Trump announced his nomination of federal judge, Brett Kavanaugh, to serve as the next Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate hearings are expected to commence in late-August, with a confirmation vote in mid-September, so the new justice can be seated when the Court begins its next term in October.
Who is Judge Kavanaugh?
Judge Kavanaugh currently presides on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was nominated to the federal bench in 2006 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a 57-36 vote. Prior to that, Judge Kavanaugh worked as a Law Clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy and served as Associate Independent Counsel, Associate White House Counsel, and Assistant and Staff Secretary to President George W. Bush.
Judge Kavanaugh is very active in his community and church. He coaches Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball, serves meals as part of Catholic Charities’ St. Maria’s meals program, serves as a reader in his church, and tutors children at local elementary schools. Judge Kavanaugh has been married to his wife, Ashley, since 2004, and together, they have two daughters.
How has Judge Kavanaugh previously ruled on the issues that matter to Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico?
A preliminary review of Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings, opinions, and briefs reveal a strong commitment to applying the law as it is written and enforcing the structure and original text of the U.S. Constitution. He once stated, “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy,” and with over 300 published opinions, Judge Kavanaugh has consistently upheld this originalist approach. Some notable cases of particular interest and importance are as follows:
Archdiocese of Washington v. WMATA. In his dissent from the court’s ruling, Judge Kavanaugh described the D.C. Metro’s ban on Christmas ads as “pure discrimination” and “odious” to the First Amendment.
Priests for Life v. HHS. In this case, Judge Kavanaugh voted to block the Obama Administration’s policy forcing entities to violate their conscience by providing abortifacient coverage to their employees. He stated that “when the government forces someone to take an action contrary to his or her sincere religious belief the government has substantially burdened the individual’s exercise of religion.
Newdon v. Roberts. In this case, Judge Kavanaugh upheld the Constitutionality of prayers at government ceremonies and the phrase “so help me God” in the Presidential Oath of Office.
In summary, Judge Kavanaugh seems to be a man of great character with impressive credentials. There is certainly no question that he is qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. At the same time, I am thankful for the confirmation process that will allow us to learn more about his judicial philosophy. As such, I encourage you all to take time to tune in to the confirmation hearings when they begin. We will share details as they become available.
In the meantime, please join me in praying for Judge Kavanaugh, his family, and the members of the U.S. Senate who will vote on his confirmation, including our New Mexico Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich; and for transparency and civility during the confirmation process.
Until next week, God bless you and thanks for your support!
President and Executive Director