Brett Kavanaugh As A Supreme Court Justice Should Not Frighten Democrats, It Should Excite Them
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Brett Kavanaugh As A Supreme Court Justice Should Not Frighten Democrats, It Should Excite Them

His record as an advocate for equality, liberty, justice, and public service should make Americans excited for his future in the Supreme Court, and keep Democrats hopeful of a progressive future.

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Brett Kavanaugh As A Supreme Court Justice Should Not Frighten Democrats, It Should Excite Them

Brett Kavanaugh's opening statement in his confirmation hearing to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 4th of this past week was especially personal for the occasion. Kavanaugh touched on his inspiring mother; how her work ethic and her dedication to serving those in need emboldened him to dedicate his life to doing the same. He spoke lovingly of his father, with whom he had "a lifetime of friendship forged in stadium seats," and who had taught him to love everyone regardless of where they come from or who they are. Kavanaugh then devoted time to his two daughters, Margaret, 13, and Liza, 10.

Kavanaugh introduced the two as "Strong girls, dedicated students, and outstanding athletes." He went into detail and described his proud experience serving as their youth basketball coach and how rewarding it was to him to serve as a mentor to young women. Finally, Kavanaugh spoke of his wife, Ashely. His affection and admiration for his wife, who has also dedicated her life to public service, was clear in the courtroom. He described Ashley as "a strong West Texan," and "A kind soul who always sees the good in others." Kavanaugh further added that his wife's influence has made him a better judge.

Although these dedications were touching, it was Kavanaugh's testament to the committee of the Justice he would strive to be that, to me, was truly inspiring. As a judge who worked as a law clerk for the very Justice he aims to replace (Justice Kennedy), Kavanaugh has faced tremendous scrutiny from the media in recent weeks. Democrats, interest groups, and opponents of Kavanaugh's personal conservative beliefs stress that his appointment to the Supreme Court would result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

However, Kavanaugh's testimony and past opinions should tell you otherwise. While Democrats and pro-choice supporters fret over his possible confirmation, a closer examination of the facts, in this case, has me convinced that he is the Justice they need, but just don't know yet.

Here's why:

1. Kavanaugh Understands Judges Must Follow the Law, Not Make It

In his opening statement, Kavanaugh emphasized his dedication in his work as a judge to interpreting the law, not creating the law. He labeled himself a "pro-law" judge; one who is independent of his personal beliefs when deciding a case. One who refuses to take into consideration the policy impact an outcome of the case tried before him could have. Kavanuagh cited the Federalist Papers, saying, "The rules of legal interpretation are the rules of common sense."

2. He Will Keep Balance On The Court, Voting Both Left And Right

Kavanaugh also addressed the issues with how Americans view the Supreme Court as a seemingly partisan institution; a bench of Republicans and Democrats rather than Justices. He insisted as a Justice, he would be neither one nor the other, he would "be apart of a team of nine." Although it is often claimed that one will be bipartisan yet rarely proven, Kavanaugh has a track record of listening to both sides and disregarding individually held beliefs. As a federal judge, he hired clerks that were Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. In this USA Today article, written by those clerks, his ability to omit political ideology as a factor in deciding cases was admirable and is often overlooked. By confirming his appointment, the balance that Kennedy brought to the court by often being the deciding vote in cases such as Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that legalized same-sex marriage and in which he wrote the majority opinion for, will be maintained. Kennedy was considered to be a conservative appointment as well, just as Kavanaugh is, but their similarities as their careers in the justice system indicate Kavanaugh will likely follow in Kennedy's footsteps — a definite win for Democrats.

3. He Has Proven He Will Fight For Equality

In his testimony, one statement of Kavanaugh's explicitly stood out to me; he said: "Don't read about my opinions, read my opinions." So, I did. I figured there would be a slight discrepancy in what I read about his opinions and what his opinions actually stated, but it was far worse than I had suspected. With the media spin and excessive, bias, and misleading news stories being written about Kavanaugh, its no wonder Americans are worried. However, these stories are just that - misleading. The mainstream media picks and chooses how exactly they want to portray Kavanaugh to the public, as a right-wing conservative who will stop at nothing to set back women's health rights 50 years and someone who will let his personal beliefs impede his ability to serve as a protector of liberty and justice. Yet his own words will tell you differently. Kavanaugh, in his testimony, stated, "I am proud that the majority of my law clerks have been women." He has hired a very diverse group of clerks.

Or, take his opinion in Ayissi-Etoh v. Fannie Mae in April of 2013, a case in which a black man was ridiculed for his race by his employer and threatened with termination if he was to file suit against them. Kavanaugh sided with the plaintiff, ridiculing the employer for their actions, and his passion is evident even within his opinion. Further, he is a dedicated supporter of the women in his life, notably of his two young daughters. To argue Kavanaugh won't serve in the best interest of those he loudly and proudly supports is ridiculous and entirely unsupported.

Other prominent opinions of Kavanaugh's that should be read are Klayman v. Obama, Heller v. District of Colombia, and PHH Corp v. CFPB.

A confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice should not frighten Democrats, it should excite them. Rarely is a Justice appointed who will not only keep the balance the court previously held but who is also capable of preserving the dignity of our Constitution while at the same time leaving room for growth. Kavanaugh himself said, "I am an optimist... I see the day that is coming, not the day that has gone."

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