What Trump’s Court Pick Means for Liberty

Hell no on Kavanaugh! Some people are very upset over Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. He is a dangerous man! Are you ready for a fight? What are they so upset about? What’s at stake is freedom for LGBTQ Americans, for equal rights, for civil rights! People are freaking out. They are freaking out because they don’t understand those top areas, whether it’s abortion or gay rights, or Citizens United that people on the left tend to be concerned about. There’s really not gonna be a change. That’s because the court, especially Chief Justice Roberts respects precedent, especially when people have come to depend on previous decisions. After a quarter-million gay marriages and 45 years of legal abortions, the court’s unlikely to reverse itself on those issues. I will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But if Kavanaugh replaces Kennedy, there will be changes. Individual freedom. What does Kavanaugh mean for that? He’s great there, probably better than Kennedy. Retiring Justice Kennedy sometimes ruled against individual liberty, like when he said it was okay for a Connecticut town to grab Suzette Kelo’s property and little pink house because the developer who might pay more in taxes wanted her land. Kennedy voted for the bad guys. He voted to take away the property from the people. Kavanaugh could very well be the fifth vote to overturn Kelo. Trump’s nominee has got to go! Hey hey! One major area that people might be upset about is affirmative action. We won’t stand for Donald Trump’s attempt to use the Supreme Court as a weapon against all of our progress. Kavanaugh could provide the fifth vote to overturn that 40 year-old experiment with using racial preferences to promote some kind of nebulous diversity. Lawsuit against Harvard University for discriminating against Asian-American applicants. That case against Harvard’s racial preferences may reach the Supreme Court soon and the court may end affirmative action. The court with Kavanaugh on board may also toss out some gun restrictions. He has written one of the leading lower court opinion expanding the scope of the individual right for armed self-defense. He’s not a gun nut. He’s a constitutionalist. Kavanaugh has a history of reining in government regulators. All these alphabet agencies that increasingly intrude in people’s lives, he has written at length that the government keeps doing things that it doesn’t have the power to do. The Constitution’s separation of powers protects individual liberty. At his nomination announcement at the White House, he talked about how the separation of powers is there to protect liberty. That’s fantastic. I think Libertarians will like the push-back on government excess. But Kavanaugh does side with government on one form of excess. The government was collecting all of our metadata, all of our phone records. Kavanaugh ruled that he was just fine with it. He said that the NSA is justified in collecting metadata on Americans as part of the– He volunteered to write that. He was enthusiastic that this serves a critically important special need – preventing terrorist attacks. But the government says we’re aware of no instance where the program discovered an attack. That’s his worst case. Now it’s unclear how that extends beyond the national security surveillance area. He has a lot of good opinions on police needing a warrant or laws being drawn so broadly that prosecutors are convicting people who are not guilty. Clearly he defers to the government on national security grounds, but most judges and justices do anyway. At least on other forms of regulation, Kavanaugh has a strong record of not deferring to government. We have a moral obligation to act on climate. As a judge in DC, Kavanaugh voted to strike down some environmental rules. Some EPA regulations where the staff just said, we’re gonna do this? That’s right. I mean, I like the idea of clean air and clean water. There are federal laws that protect that, but in the last decade, the EPA has taken a lot of liberties. But it’s their job. Clean the air, clean the water. EPA does not get a free-floating power under the Constitution or otherwise to do what they think is best. It’s Congress’ job to say, you know our air isn’t clean enough. Here’s how you should be doing your job, EPA. Why is it better for Congress to do it? Congress is elected, and if we don’t like what it’s doing, we can fire it. That’s the way the checks and balances work And that’s why it’s so important that courts hold the bureaucrats feet to the fire. Hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go! The Libertarians should definitely be happy with Kavanaugh. He’s not going to agree with us all the time certainly, but no justices or judges do. The fact that we’re looking around the edges to see what sorts of things we can disagree on shows how far we’ve moved in 10 or 20 or 30 years. Right. At least now people and judges talk about limiting government and how regulation’s out of control. That’s new compared to the last 10, 20, or 30 years.

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