Brett Michael Kavanaugh (born February 12, 1965) is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was nominated by President Donald Trump on July 9, 2018, and has served since October 6, 2018. He was previously a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and worked as a staff lawyer for offices of the federal government. Since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020, he has come to be regarded as a key swing vote on the Court.
- The Founders also recognized, I think necessarily and certainly at the time, that people with Government service who had served in the legislative branch or served in the executive branch would become judges--Chief Justice Marshall, for example--would have backgrounds that involved Government service or political service. But they also had confidence in the ability of people in our system, once they became judges and put on the black robes, to decide cases fairly and impartially. And that's the way that system has worked for more than two centuries. And I know there has been some discussion about that, but that's the way the system has worked in terms of deciding cases fairly and impartially and not based on political of personal views.
- There is one kind of judge. There is an independent judge under our Constitution. And the fact that they may have been a Republican or Democrat or an independent in a past life is completely irrelevant to how they conduct themselves as judges. And I think two centuries of experience has shown us that that ideal which the Founders established can be realized and has been realized and will continue to be realized.
- People sometimes ask what prior legal experience has been most useful for me as a judge. And I say, “I certainly draw on all of them,” but I also say that my five-and-a-half years at the White House and especially my three years as staff secretary for President George W. Bush were the most interesting and informative for me.
- Kavanaugh, Brett M. (Fall 2016). One Government, Three Branches, Five Controversies: Separation of Powers Under Presidents Bush and Obama. Marquette Lawyer.
- Yes, we drank beer, my friends and I, boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer, still like beer. We drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, so the seniors were legal. Senior year in high school, people were legal to drink. And we—yes, we drank beer. And I said sometimes—sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers. We drank beer. We liked beer.
- Gay and lesbian Americans cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth.
- Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 590 U.S. ___ (2020) (dissenting), reported in Dawn Ennis, "Supreme Court To Gay And Transgender Workers: You’re Equal", Forbes (June 15, 2020).
About Kavanaugh edit
- Kavanaugh's nomination was well-received on campus. "Certainly it’s a feather in their cap," Kevin Dowd, Kavanaugh's high school basketball coach, told The New York Times. "I just hope they don’t get carried away and raise tuition."
- Mark Abadi, Business Insider, "Inside the elite Maryland prep school that costs $60,000 a year", 18 August 2018
- There is a reason Thursday’s Senate Committee hearing will be short and feature only two witnesses, the Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Republicans have designed the hearing to end in a "he said, she said" stalemate. No matter how credible Dr. Blasey is, isolating her as a lone accuser is the most effective political strategy for confirming Judge Kavanaugh.
- Dr. Blasey is not a lone accuser. Since her account was first published by The Washington Post on Sept. 16, considerable corroborating evidence has emerged, but none of it will be properly examined at Thursday’s hearing. Besides Julie Swetnick, Deborah Ramirez has accused Judge Kavanaugh of exposing himself and touching her while they were both students at Yale.
This week four people who know Dr. Blasey, including her husband, signed affidavits and submitted them to the Judiciary Committee saying she told them about being sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh before he was nominated by President Trump. Their statements provide important corroboration, and if the Senate was really interested in learning the truth, these people would be called to testify.
- Jill Abramson "This Hearing Is Stacked Against Christine Blasey Ford", The New York Times (September 27, 2018)
- [On the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings following his nomination as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.] Kavanaugh’s testimony, by contrast, was hideous to watch. He lurched between tears and anger, and lied repeatedly about his youthful drinking habits, prompting other classmates to contradict his claims. He appears to have lied about the meaning of vulgar in-jokes in his yearbook (a "devil’s triangle", he said, was a drinking game, rather than the accepted definition of a threesome involving two men and a woman). He was partisan and conspiratorial, blaming "the Clintons".
The Republican Party successfully framed the hearings as a trial where the highest standard of proof should be demanded, rather than a job interview to find the best candidate. (At no point does anyone seriously seem to have made the argument that Kavanaugh is America’s finest available legal brain.)
Nonetheless, I felt uneasy watching him sob and sniffle; it reminded me of the way in which rape complainants feel their characters are picked apart for credibility. A man can be an entitled, drunken, obnoxious misogynist and still not be a rapist. All the hearings proved to me is that hyperpartisan political spaces are no place to ascertain the truth about sexual assault.