Ever since he was nominated, there have been two Brett Kavanaughs: the judge himself, and the mythical zealot of Democrats’ imagination. The judge himself showed up at the White House on July 9 when President Donald Trump announced his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. He was wearing a suit, and — standing alongside his family — didn’t look particularly sinister on TV. The real Judge Kavanaugh had the good judgment to marry a Texan from Abilene named Ashley. And on top of having one of our nation’s sharpest legal minds, he volunteers to serve food to the homeless and, on Saturdays, coaches his daughters’ basketball teams.
But the opposition said: Don’t fall for it! First came the trash-talking, the petty attacks on his character. Democrats claimed that supporting Kavanaugh, who has served with distinction on the D.C. federal appeals court after being confirmed on a bipartisan basis 12 years ago, was tantamount to being complicit in evil. His confirmation would result in the destruction of the Constitution, they said, and affect everything we know to be true as American citizens.
The approach, bordering on the hysterical, failed when people who actually know him started speaking up and speaking out. Hold on, said his female law clerks holding a broad range of ideological views, he’s actually a great mentor and fair-minded guy. Wait just a second, said a Washington mom: After my husband passed away, he escorted my daughter along with his to a dance. He’s done so every year since.
Then Democrats changed their tune, floating attacks on his record. His views of executive power were called into question, with some claiming Kavanaugh believes that presidents can’t be investigated or prosecuted while in office. But fact-checkers did their due diligence, finding that claim to be an extreme distortion. Others vilified Kavanaugh’s alleged role in our nation’s fight against terrorists after 9/11. But, once again, it was much ado about nothing: Although he served in the White House after al-Qaeda’s attacks, Kavanaugh did not craft policy governing enemy combatants.
The Democrats’ last-ditch effort was what we call the Great Paper Chase. Despite more documents being produced than for any Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history, the mountains of paper weren’t high enough. Then again, we knew from the beginning they never would be. Democrats telegraphed their play early on, when some announced the night of the president’s nomination that they had already decided to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. In the end, they tried to have it both ways, to claim they needed more documents regarding his record, even while saying they never needed any more time or information to make up their minds against him. Predictably, that tack failed, too.
It shouldn’t be this way and didn’t have to be. After all, the Democrat leader Sen. Chuck Schumer himself has said in the past that the best way to evaluate a nominee is to look at the opinions he or she authored from the bench. When you look at the 307 that Kavanaugh authored over the last 12 years, there’s a pattern. He cuts no corners in his analysis. His rulings, widely praised by scholars and practitioners, are sharp, clear, and fair. He respects precedent, parses the actual text of legal documents, and does not overstep his important but limited role as a judge. That’s why his decisions have been unanimously confirmed by the Supreme Court on numerous occasions. That’s also why some of the nation’s most distinguished attorneys have sung Kavanaugh’s praises — even former Obama-era solicitors general and self-proclaimed progressives like professor Akhil Amar at Yale University and Lisa Blatt, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other woman in history.
They’re right to jump to the nominee’s defense. We are both lawyers who have argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. One of us was a former state Supreme Court justice and attorney general, the other a former law clerk on the Supreme Court and a former state solicitor general. We know when a black robe fits. When it comes to our nation’s highest court, Kavanaugh will wear it proudly, and he will wear it well, as he makes careful, cogent decisions that impact the history of our nation. “Coach K,” as he’s known at his daughters’ basketball practices, deserves confirmation, and we are confident that soon he will get it.
By: John Cornyn and Ted Cruz
Read the full article in The Dallas Morning News.