Column

McSweeney: Confirm Kavanaugh's appointment to high court

By David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills
By David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a highly qualified nominee who deserves bipartisan support for his confirmation. He was confirmed as a federal judge to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2006. Judge Kavanaugh already has been through the vetting process.

He already has faced tough questions and was deemed fit to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit – a court that is known as the “Second Highest Court in the Land.”

Since serving on the Court of Appeals, Judge Kavanaugh has forged a reputation as a thoughtful, fair and intelligent jurist. He has authored about 300 opinions. The Supreme Court has endorsed 12 of his opinions. His top 100 cited opinions have been cited by 220 other judges.

Also, more than 50 circuit court opinions include one of Judge Kavanaugh’s concurrences or dissents.

Judge Kavanaugh has received the support of 31 governors, 26 state attorneys general and 160 members of the Yale University community.

He has received broad support because of his fair-minded approach to the law. Judge Kavanaugh wrote: “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy. So, read the words of the statute as written. Read the text of the Constitution as written, mindful of history and tradition. Don’t make up new constitutional rights that are not in the text of the Constitution. Don’t shy away from enforcing constitutional rights that are in the text of the Constitution.”

Judge Kavanaugh’s record shows that he is committed to interpreting the law and protecting American job creators from job-killing regulations. He also has a record of reining in unaccountable federal agencies.

Judge Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, and according to some news reports, it was Justice Kennedy who helped convince President Donald Trump to choose Kavanaugh as his replacement. Judge Kavanaugh would bring stability to the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, partisan attacks on Judge Kavanaugh began right after he was nominated. Within hours of President Trump nominating Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin immediately condemned and opposed him, declaring in a statement, “Replacing Justice Kennedy’s swing vote with a far-right jurist like Judge Kavanaugh could change the rules in America.”

This kind of over the top partisan rancor is exactly what is wrong with Washington D.C. Before one hearing has been held, before any questions were asked, before any vetting or meetings began, Sen. Dick Durbin already made up his mind to oppose the nominee. Sen. Durbin has proven over and over again that he’s a partisan who only is interested in scoring political points.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who served our country honorably in the military, initially said that she was willing to “evaluate his (Kavanaugh) qualifications.” However, within a few weeks of the nomination, Sen. Duckworth came out against the nomination. It’s unfortunate that she’s following the lead of Sen. Durbin.

Judge Kavanaugh deserves a fair hearing and bipartisan support. Unfortunately, Sen. Durbin and liberal special interest groups are doing all they can to defeat the nomination.

Judge Kavanaugh, a family man and longtime public servant deserves a fair hearing. By any measure on merits, Judge Kavanaugh is an exceptional pick. The forces lined up against him are a clear example of what is wrong with Washington D.C.

• State Rep. David McSweeney is a Lake Barrington Republican who represents Illinois 52nd District.

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