Republican D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who once served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, has now been named by President Donald Trump to succeed Justice Kennedy. President Trump praised Judge Kavanaugh during Monday’s announcement at the White House and said, “there is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving.”
A look at Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record in labor and employment cases while on the D.C. Circuit shows a judge who often sides with employers and tends to be a critic of the administrative state and skeptic of government overreach by federal regulatory agencies.
Judge Kavanaugh, in brief remarks at the White House, stated, “[m]y judicial philosophy is straightforward…A judge must be independent and must interpret the laws, 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.” Judge Kavanaugh added, “if confirmed by the Senate I will keep an open mind in every case and I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”
Judge Kavanaugh will likely face a rocky battle over confirmation by the Senate, which requires a majority vote. Currently, the Republican party has only a one-seat majority in the Senate. Support from some Democrats may be necessary if any Republican breaks ranks. Democrats are hopeful that they can delay a confirmation vote until after the November midterm election, where Democrats may have a chance to control the Senate.