Tonight, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old judge from Washington, D.C, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is a principled conservative and, previously unbeknownst to me, a very devoted Catholic. I pray the nomination process goes swiftly, and that Judge Kavanaugh becomes Justice Kavanaugh without much difficulty.
Initially, my pick for the Kennedy chair was Amy Coney Barrett, another devoted Catholic whom one will remember recently underwent a trial-by-fire led by Senator Dianne Feinstein in her confirmation hearing. However, that preference was influenced by headlines and tweets (with a sprinkling of legitimate reading) without much research into the other candidates; because of this, I decided to devote my afternoon to seriously examining Kavanaugh, the other frontrunner.
I spent most of my time combing through National Review, which is what I normally spend my time doing anyway. I read different perspectives on Judge Kavanaugh that ranged from suspicion of certain religious liberty decisions (courtesy of David French) to ebullient praise of his strict adherence to the Constitution (courtesy of pretty much everyone else). This was all well and good, but what really changed my mind was the observation that Kavanaugh’s experience–and his relative (to Barrett) lack of controversy–made his confirmation that much more likely than Barrett’s.
Until her appointment to the Seventh Circuit Court in October, Judge Barrett had clerked, taught, and practiced law, which placed her in the same camp as Justice Kagan, who was criticized by the right for her lack of experience. By contrast, Judge Kavanaugh has been a judge since his appointment to the D.C. Appeals Court in 2006. By citing lack of experience, Senate Democrats could have blocked Barrett with relatively little blowback. By removing such an obvious argument from the opposition’s arsenal, the confirmation process becomes that much easier.
What solidified my support of Kavanagh was his acceptance speech. Full of language about his faith, family, and judicial philosophy, it inspired confidence that he was indeed the right pick; not only for his experience, but for his merits as well. He assured America that his was an originalist jurisprudence, one that conforms to established Constitutional norms. He spoke at length about his Catholic background, but more importantly, his continued commitment to his faith. The fact that he never taught at Notre Dame is irrelevant if he volunteers with Catholic Charities.
I look forward to Justice Kavanaugh’s quick and painless confirmation. I also look forward to the frenzied screeching on the left. Hopefully their monotonous hysteria pushes more and more of the disenchanted toward our side.