On the eve of a vote in the U.S. Senate that may earn him a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has penned an op ed to explain his judicial philosophy as well as his impassioned testimony last week, not just to the senators who are considering his fate, but to the nation he will serve if confirmed.
In his October 4 article entitled, “I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge,” the judge noted how proud he was to be chosen for the high court and reiterated some of the things he said on the night he accepted Trump’s nomination.
“I talked about my long record of advancing and promoting women, including as a judge—a majority of my 48 law clerks have been women—and as a longtime coach of girls’ basketball teams.,” he wrote.
Kavanaugh went on to note that he is an “impartial” jurist:
As I explained that night, a good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no political party, litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy has stated, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because the law and the Constitution compel the result. Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.
Indeed, every person he has worked with in his years as a federal judge has noted that he applies the law by reading the law, not by applying partisan goals to shape an outcome.
Kavanaugh went on:
The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. As I have said repeatedly, if confirmed to the court, I would be part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player.
Someone should tell Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Breyer about this idea that the court should not be seen as a partisan place.
But Kavanaugh also slammed the disgusting attacks he has withstood thus far:
After all those meetings and after my initial hearing concluded, I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations. My time in high school and college, more than 30 years ago, has been ridiculously distorted. My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats.
Then Kavanaugh explained his mind set during last week’s hearings:
Against that backdrop, I testified before the Judiciary Committee last Thursday to defend my family, my good name and my lifetime of public service. My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony—both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character. My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled.
I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.
Kavanaugh concluded saying that he will be exactly the same considered judge he has always been — his emotional response last week notwithstanding.
“I revere the Constitution,” Kavanaugh said wrapping up his case to the American people. “I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.