Even before President Donald Trump announced he’d picked federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Democrats and the media were already waging a no-holds-barred fight against the White House’s high court nominee.
Just for example:
The New York Times’ editorial board urged Democrats to use “Godfather tactics” to oppose a high court pick.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Trump’s nominee would take us “back to the days of women being seriously injured and dying because they can’t get basic medical care.”
And liberal filmmaker Michael Moore urged Americans to “rise up” and put “our bodies on the line,” to oppose the administration.
Kavanaugh, 53, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was unveiled at an East Room press conference on Monday night. He’s well-qualified. And the White House surely knows it’s in for a rough confirmation fight in the U.S. Senate.
The level of vitriol from the left is extreme because the stakes are so high. This nominee, if confirmed, will create a 5-4 tilt in favor of a more restrained, less judicially active court.
That’s bad news for liberals who have done so well by activist judges who create new rights when our legislatures are slow or refuse to do so.
To add insult to injury, Trump’s nominee will replace Kennedy, who was considered a swing vote, and often swung to the left giving liberals some of their biggest victories.
In 1992, Kennedy co-authored the court’s plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a landmark case in which the court held that the right to terminate one’s pregnancy is a matter, “central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The court ruled that way despite the fact that the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, had nothing to do with abortion, which most states at the time banned as a crime against the baby.
So, the right to abortion is found in the right to define one’s own existence? Say what?
Yet liberals were enthralled because Kennedy’s opinion reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, the disastrous 1973 Supreme Court decision that invented the constitutional right to abortion out of whole cloth.
Kennedy wrote in an opinion devoid of legal reasoning and redolent with more of the kind of philosophical nonsense that should put college sophomores to shame: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.”
Of course, the Constitution says no such thing.
Since the dawn of time and in every society on earth, including every state in the union in 1868, same sex couples did not have the right to marry.
Yet, Kennedy, like a modern-day Christopher Columbus, made a “great” discovery – the Constitution guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage all along. Who’d have known?
This is the very definition of judicial activism: Judges simply creating rights based upon their personal predilections. It’s “If it feels good do it” jurisprudence. But that’s not how our judges should rule.
How should they rule, then?
President Ronald Reagan said it well when he introduced his selection, Judge Robert H. Bork, perhaps the most brilliant and well-qualified of any Supreme Court nominee.
Judge Bork never got the chance to prove what a great justice he would be. That’s because Democrats in the U.S. Senate launched an assault on him that was so vicious it coined a new word in the English language: To “bork,” meaning, “to obstruct (someone, especially a candidate for public office) through systematic defamation or vilification.”
Democrats will go the mattresses as The New York Times has implored to bork Kavanaugh’s nomination.
But if the Republicans hold the line and succeed in confirming him, America will benefit greatly.
In accepting the nomination, Kavanaugh explained his judicial philosophy: “A judge must be independent. And must interpret the law and not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written – informed by history, tradition and precedent.”
Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence secures self-governance and the rule of law; where the American people govern themselves through the laws written by their elected legislators — not by judicial fiat of nine men and women in black.
Attorney Marc A. Scaringi, of Camp Hill, is a PennLive Opinion contributor. His work appears biweekly.