Kavanaugh and Precedents

Brent Kendall, in a piece in Monday’s The Wall Street Journal, wrote about the importance of judicial precedence and how willing Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be to overturn them.

Liberals warn that key rulings on abortion, affirmative action, and gay rights could be weakened or reversed by a court that leans further to the right. Many conservatives, on the other hand, hope those precedents will be limited by future rulings and eventually crumble, even if Judge Kavanaugh moves carefully rather than tearing through established doctrine.

Flipping Witnesses

President Donald Trump decries it.  So have I in writing about the Manafort case and the credibility of Mueller’s prosecutors’ witnesses.

What’s interesting to me and saddening, and what’s dangerous to our system of justice—which includes justice for the accused as well as the victim—is prosecutors’ response to Trump’s decrial.

Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor, said that Mr Trump’s comments amount to “an absolutely outrageous statement and to any prosecutor would just be shocking to hear.”

“It’s hard to overstate how fundamental” to prosecutions cooperating witnesses are, Mr Zeidenberg said.

And Stephen Gillers, a New York University School of Law professor:

No Need to Waste the Time

…arguing the matter.  In an opinion piece, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board called out “Tricky Dick Schumer” (their appellation) for his stalling effort centered on his demand for millions of pages of documents from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s past pursuant to evaluating Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  Schumer has said he’ll try to block any discussion of Kavanaugh’s fitness until he gets those millions of docs.  The WSJ also noted that

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley [R, IA] is trying to work out a document deal with ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

This against the backdrop of

Reactionary Ideologue

President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh, of the DC Circuit, to the Supreme Court, and “within seconds” Democracy for America called him a reactionary ideologue.

DfA, without correction from the Progressive-Democrats of Congress, or anyone else on the left, also has foretold Kavanaugh’s confirmation would

directly lead to the deaths of countless women with the dismantling of abortion rights.

Even taking the manufactured hysteria seriously, it’s instructive here as an aside (of no small size) to consider that the Left worries about the risks to grown, adult women who make the conscious choice to run a risk, but they care not a red sou for the deaths of countless babies who cannot speak for themselves and for whom the Left insists no one should so speak.

The Case Against Brett Kavanaugh

The writer JD Vance, this time in The Wall Street Journal, has made a strong case for Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the DC Circuit, being nominated for the Supreme Court.

He is a committed textualist and originalist, one whose time on the bench has revealed a unique ability to apply these principles to legal facts. He deeply believes in the constitutional separation of powers as a means for ensuring governmental accountability and protecting individual liberty.

And

…Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions have been adopted by the Justices 11 times—a record of influence and persuasion that suggests he would be effective on the still-divided high court.

The Sanctity of Precedent

The Progressive-Democrats have their panties in large, tight twists over the possibility of President Donald Trump getting another pick for the Supreme Court.  So much so that now they’re making stuff up in their hysteria.

“Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months,” tweeted Jeffrey Toobin, the legal pundit, in a classic of cool, even-handed CNN analysis soon after the resignation news.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY):

Whomever the president picks, it is all too likely they’re going to overturn health-care protections and Roe v Wade[.]

And so on.

They Would, Indeed

Commenting on the upcoming nomination for Supreme Court Justice and the Progressive-Democrats’ hysteria over President Donald trump’s choice—long before he makes it—former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said

If he put Moses up for the possibility of being Supreme Court Justice—the ultimate lawgiver, the Ten Commandments—they would still be against it[.]

He’s right.  Recall Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D, CA) objection to Judge Amy Coney Barrett during the latter’s 7th Appellate Court confirmation hearing:

When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you[.]

Playing Politics with the Constitution

What kind of judge do we want as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy?

Folks are talking about a President Donald Trump nominee being a shoo-in because Republicans have a majority in the Senate, and there’s no filibustering of judicial nominations.  I’m not so sure.

The Left, of course, are crying the End of Times and the end of Roe v Wade, but that’s less a factor than a more pernicious conflict in the offing.

Late Thursday, the president met with a bipartisan group of six senators who will play a pivotal role in selecting Mr Kennedy’s successor because they have deviated from their party on key votes in the past. The lawmakers signaled they want an ideological centrist….

A Related Note

I wrote recently about the Court’s ruling on Janus v AFCME Council 31, which eliminated public service unions’ ability to collect “agency fees” from non union members.

The dissent by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by her three cohorts in the Court’s liberal wing is instructive, and it foreshadows the kind of government we can expect from today’s “liberals,” should they succeed in gaining control of one or both Houses of Congress and then of the White House.

The Supremes Get One Right

Resoundingly so.  Janus v AFCME Council 31 is a case originating in Illinois concerning a public service union’s ability to collect a per centage of ordinary union dues—agency fees—from non-union members who work alongside the union’s bargaining unit in for a government agency.  A 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent, Abood v Detroit Board of Education, upheld this ability.

The Court’s opinion (a 5-4 majority) is summarized in the syllabus:

The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment. Abood erred in concluding otherwise, and stare decisis cannot support it. Abood is therefore overruled.