Editorial: Senate should quickly confirm Kavanaugh

Trump nominates Kavanaugh to Supreme Court. (Reuters pix)

When it comes to Nevada politics, principles be damned, it is all about partisanship, no matter the topic.

President Trump’s nomination of federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court is still another case in point.

The Senate must now exercise its constitutional advise and consent role to confirm the nomination — by simple majority now, thanks to Nevada’s now retired Sen. Harry Reid, who nuked the filibuster for judicial appointments.

Nevada’s senior Republican Sen. Dean Heller promptly put out a statement saying, “Judge Kavanaugh has a record of adherence to the Constitution and has demonstrated a commitment to interpreting the law — not making it. I expect the U.S. Senate to conduct a fair, thorough confirmation process, and I look forward to meeting with the nominee.”

Nevada’s junior Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto — unlike other Nevada Democratic politicians — did not leap to judgment but spelled out her concerns, “President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court will hold immense power over the most critical issues facing our nation, including a woman’s right to choose, protection for those with preexisting conditions, LGBTQ rights, money in politics, and workers’ rights. We need a Justice who respects the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, not someone who is beholden to special interest groups. I plan to meet with Judge Kavanaugh in the coming months and will review his qualifications thoroughly.”

Back when Kennedy announced his retirement, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is running for Heller’s seat, promptly spelled out her agenda, “The future of the Supreme Court is in play, and the outcome will have a major impact for generations on issues that matter to Nevadans, like health care and women’s reproductive rights. Another Supreme Court justice backed by President Trump could jeopardize Roe v. Wade, undermine coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions, threaten workers’ rights, perpetuate the damage of big money in our political system, and so much more.”

Apparently Democrats see nothing contradictory about their stance that the Roe v. Wade court opinion, which federalized abortion rights, is inviolate and written in stone, while the court’s Citizens United opinion, which opened up those big money pockets to express political views, is something that should be whisked away by any means available.

In naming Kavanaugh as his nominee Trump stated, “In keeping with President Reagan’s legacy, I do not ask about a nominee’s personal opinions. What matters is not a judge’s political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say that I have found, without doubt, such a person.”

As far as Kavanaugh himself, he stated on the evening of his nomination, “My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

The Constitution was not written on an Etch A Sketch. The Founders pored over its wording, attempting to balance powers so that individual freedoms and rights would remain paramount for centuries to come and not subject to popular whims.

As Cortez Masto so rightfully stated, “We need a Justice who respects the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, not someone who is beholden to special interest groups.” Like so many politicians we can name.

The Senate and our senators should quickly confirm the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh by applying principles instead of partisanship.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

5 comments on “Editorial: Senate should quickly confirm Kavanaugh

  1. Rincon says:

    Your criticism of liberals trying to get rid of the effects of the Citizens United decision does not correlate well with the possible elimination of Roe vs Wade. No one is proposing that the Supreme Court merely vacate the Citizens United decision, while Roe vs Wade is threatened with removal by Court fiat. Quite a different scenario.

    As for Conservative justices who are so “concerned” with the intent of the Founding Fathers, it’s interesting that this concern almost always favors the rich and powerful over the poor and weak. Judging from the actions of Conservatives, the Founding Fathers must have wanted a plutocracy. Well, they got one.

  2. Congress could try to pass an abortion law instead of letting the court do it.

  3. Steve says:

    Congress could write a new campaign finance law, one that might withstand SCOTUS scrutiny and pass Constitutional muster.

    After all, it is Congress’s job to write laws that comport with the limits laid out in the Constitution, when this has been found not to be the case, Congress needs to write new law in response to the Court’s decisions.

    Congress writes law, Administration enforces law, Judiciary decides if law is properly enforced and within constitutional limits.

    Some would prefer more EO’s and unlimited numbers of terms for Presidents.

  4. Rincon says:

    Given the nature of our present and future Supreme Court, I suspect no campaign finance law will pass Constitutional muster, since all money is considered speech and must be unrestricted.

    Abortion is trickier. I think Congress is scared to death to attack this issue. A victory on abortion would remove a hot button issue that today gives them a great deal of support. “Working” to save dead babies is much more appealing on a campaign than telling women that the government will force them to give birth to unwanted children should they become pregnant. Between Congress and SCOTUS, they will probably allow the states to decide for themselves.

  5. Steve says:

    Nevertheless, EO’s exist only at the whim of a sitting President.

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