Opinion: I’m A Republican And I Oppose Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

On Monday night, President Donald Trump nominated federal judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh is, by practically any metric, a conservative justice who will help tilt the Court in favor of originalist, textualist thought for a generation or more. Yet I stand opposed to his nomination, and I hope the Senate rejects his confirmation. Allow me to explain.

President Trump was elected by the American public for one simple reason: he wasn’t the establishment. The electorate was sick and tired of the same stale talking points recycled by the same do-nothing politicians every four years. Donald Trump was different; he would unabashedly stand up and attack the establishment hacks, exposing their incompetence and unveiling the inconsistencies of the ruling class for the world to see. America loved it, sweeping him into office in a stunning electoral landslide, believing he was the man to truly effectuate change in Washington.

Then he nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, effectively bowing to the demands of the very establishment he bucked in his presidential campaign.

Of his original list of 25 possible contenders for the vacant Supreme Court seat, Kavanaugh is easily the most establishment-connected, GOP-entrenched of them all. Kavanaugh grew up in Washington, graduated from Yale, and clerked for the man he’s now slated to replace. If that doesn’t scream establishment, I don’t know what does. Kavanaugh also served as an aide in the White House of George W. Bush, a man that Donald Trump often and openly expresses his contempt for, and was then appointed by the same President Bush to the Appeals Court where he has served since 2006. Many believe his meteoric rise to D.C.’s Court of Appeals was largely due to his fierce loyalty to President Bush.

Furthermore, when Obamacare came before his appeals court several years ago, Kavanaugh purposely avoided expressing a strong opinion on the matter. While he didn’t uphold the Affordable Care Act, he provided the Supreme Court, specifically Chief Justice John Roberts, the legal argument to uphold the law, saying the law’s individual mandate could be Constitutional, due to Congress’ power to levy taxes. This understandably did and should still upset conservatives.

Kavanaugh embodies every aspect of the spineless flip-flopping of the establishment hacks, yet Trump still nominated him. Frankly, I’m flabbergasted. We didn’t elect Trump for more establishment appointments. We elected him to shake things up, to fight back when the establishment pushed tried to push him around.

In light of the above, my hope is that something from Kavanaugh’s past will be uncovered which causes Republican Senators to vote against confirming him, which would sink his nomination. If that happens, President Trump will most probably choose Kennedy’s replacement from his remaining Supreme Court finalists, all of whom are far less connected to the establishment than is Kavanaugh.

President Trump was elected to challenge the establishment, not to appoint its loyal members to the Supreme Court.

Avi Gutfreund

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  1. Avi:

    I strongly disagree with your position.

    Imho, President Trump was extremely pragmatic in choosing a “safe” Supreme Court nominee. Remember, most Republicans in the Senate are old school GOP.

    Mr. Trump needs those Old School Republicans for confirmation of his nominee.

    Avi, don’t worry. Yes, I agree, the nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is certainly more “establishment” than the President; but let your heart not be bothered, he is no Justice Souter. BH

  2. Not every “establishment politician” does a bad job. I don’t know much about Kavanaugh but the fact that he’s a constitutionalist conservative means he has my support.

  3. Wow!

    Allow me to indulge:

    You start with a favorable tone regarding Kavanaugh’s leanings as a pick for the Supreme Court, then you state you oppose his pick for one simple reason? And you state that one simple reason is Trump was not the establishment?

    What connection does that reason have with how Kavanaugh will serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court?

    Also, who says there is “one simple reason” why Trump was elected? Trump has supporters from quite a unique array of demographics who support him for a multitide of reasons. Again, how is your statement detract from Kavanaugh’s qualifications?

    Finally, to get to the true point of the matter, do you want the next Supreme Court Justice to be an originalist and textualist? As a declared Republican. it seems you would.

    I would suggest not taking a counter-productive stance for seemingly unrelated reasons. Instead, support President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court based on the merits of the person and how he may serve.

  4. Besides for being a great campaign tool and getting fools like you all up in arms, “establishment” is a meaningless term. Who gets to decide who is a member of the establishment? Do they get voted in? What happens if Sean Hannity and Mark Levine disagree if someone is a member of the “establishment”? Are they consisered half and half?

  5. How can a Supreme Court justice be somebody from outside the establishment? Should Trump have picked somebody straight out of law school?!

  6. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not every opinion is worthy of publication. Soon we would run out of pixels before we run out of Caps Lock.

  7. I disagree with Avi, if Trump that challenged all those nuty guyes, do u think he was scared to take an outsider, not every single person that works in Washing. is a swamp creature, the article is not based on any facts just on fiction, and btw if u scroll down on tls it seems Aguda is backing him, so y make trouble dont feed those creatures anything, thanks.

  8. Not either so convinced that Trump won because of his anti establishment stance (whatever that even means, this is a guy who has been feeding the establishment, specifically the Democrats establishment, for years), remember he didn’t even get a majority of votes in the GOP primary (44%), he actually had a majority if Republicans voting against him. Of course they all voted for him in the general election, but that’s only because it was a choice if him or Hillary.
    As far as this “stunning electoral landslide,” it doesn’t say much for someone who didn’t win the popular vote.
    I so think this post explains a lot of what has happened with the Trumpet movement, what has happened with talk radio- they are so obsessed with their internal conflict between and Hannity and Co. Vs. The “establishement” that they are willing to throw away all conservative values. We see this as they defended Trump for his immorality, how they accepts his attacks on free trade, they accept his trillion dollar budgets. They care more about the “establishement” than about conservative values. As one liberal I know told me “I voted for Trumpnn because I know that he’s actually a liberal”

  9. Establishment is not really relevant when it comes to a Justice. There’s no lobbying, no sitting to dinner with Senators and politicians. They’re basically secluded…

  10. A Justice is supposed to rule appropriately according to the constitution. It has nothing to do wtih establishment or not.
    Trump needed to pick someone who had a strong originalist record, a lot of experience while still being youngish, and no controversies or major baggage.
    This is not a VP pick, it’s a pick for a court justice, and the judicial branch should have nothing to do with partisanship in theory.

  11. Also he didn’t have a “meteoric rise”. He started his career by clerking for Kennedy. He has had a impressive but not particularly unusual career.

  12. Hey, if it’s a choice of Trumpism vs. Conservatism, I choose Conservatism. The Trump people hate Bush, but that does not represent most Republicans

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