Newt Gingrich on Trump’s SCOTUS Pick, Brett Kavanaugh

By Newt Gingrich, 7-11-18 at Fox News:

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump campaigned on the need for more federal judges dedicated to the Constitution and he has kept his word. By nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump selected precisely such a constitutionalist.

The president’s speech introducing Kavanaugh was a model of patriotic principles, delivered with a bipartisan tone and a seriousness that invited all Americans (including Democratic senators) to look at Judge Kavanaugh with an open mind.

This was a solid presidential speech that reminded the country of the importance of the Constitution, the key role of the Supreme Court, and the profound responsibility the president has in nominating justices. The responsibility is second only to decisions about war and peace, as President Trump acknowledged.

When combined with the disciplined bipartisan consultations and careful review process leading up to the nomination, it was one of the best performances of the Trump administration.

Kavanaugh’s speech was perfect. He was professionally sound and unassumingly personable. His two daughters won the charm award for the evening.

I listened to Kavanaugh introduce himself to the country – as a father, a husband, and the son of a pioneering mother who taught at African-American schools and then became a trailblazing prosecutor. He said he is a deeply committed Catholic who coaches girls’ basketball (both at his church and his local community) and serves food to the poor.

I couldn’t help but wonder how the Democrats are going to try to demonize this eminently likable man, who currently serves on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The legal profession has responded to the nomination with enormous approval. Judge Kavanaugh is clearly one of the brightest and hardest working members of the federal bench. Even liberal law professors have been praising him.

Those on the left, however, will likely be vehemently, viciously, and noisily opposed (as they would have been to anyone President Trump would have picked).

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois communicated the depth of the Democrats’ desperation when he said it would be worth losing several red state senators to block the nomination.

This is a self-defeating concept for two reasons.

First, if you are an endangered red state senator, you don’t appreciate your party’s whip offering you up as a sacrifice.

Second, let’s suppose Democrats stopped President Trump from winning confirmation for a Supreme Court justice, at the cost of losing two or three Democratic senators. With a larger Republican majority in January, the president would have an even stronger hand in picking even more explicitly conservative judges.

Durbin’s comments are a sign of the radical extremist wing of his party’s growing desperation.

As of July 9, there were 153 federal judicial vacancies, for which President Trump has made 89 nominations (not including the announcement Monday).

Further, there have been 42 Trump-nominated judges already confirmed to lifetime appointments under the current Congress. By comparison, President Obama had only seen 35 judges confirmed by July 2010.

This success in getting judicial nominees confirmed is in large part due to the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It also is an example of the way President Trump is brilliantly strategic on the issues that are really important. President Trump’s ability to reshape the judiciary could be the most important, longest-lasting aspect of his presidency.

Not only is the president nominating judges at a fast clip, he is tending to nominate judges who are relatively young. Kavanaugh is only 53. If he serves until he is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s age, he will be on the nation’s highest court until 2050.

This is the Trump plan to strategically shift the judiciary toward constitutionalism. Since these appointments are for life, President Trump’s influence on the federal court system will last decades beyond his time in office.

This is clearly important for the president’s Supreme Court appointments, but the biggest impact will come from his appointments to the lower courts – the courts that more regularly impact the daily lives of Americans and create the talent pool for future Supreme Court nominations.

The upcoming fight over this Supreme Court confirmation is an important one, and President Trump is clearly laying the groundwork for success.


From his gushing praise, it’s obvious that Newt is a huge fan of Trump. Maybe that’s because it’s been such a long time since we’ve had a president who’s actually kept his word, that it’s surprising all of us. I gladly give him credit too because his choices will have a long lasting effect on this country. However, I’m still cautiously optimistic about Kavanaugh, until I’ve had time to read more about him. We don’t need another John Roberts on the bench.

Of course the Dems are already talking about packing the courts and setting term limits for judges. Funny how that never came up when they were in the majority.


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10 replies

  1. Although I usually prefer to do my own “research” on the issues of the day, I’m going to defer to the Federalist Society. If you don’t know much about them, I provide this to assure you that they are committed to a conservative (and libertarian) approach to our legal system. This from their website:

    Our Purpose

    Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

    The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.

    This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors. In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.

    Notwithstanding anything negative found elsewhere on Kavanaugh, I’ll put my faith in the group of legal experts that make up the Federalist Society – as President Trump has done.


  2. Kavanaugh is….”a father, a husband, and the son of a pioneering mother who taught at African-American schools and then became a trailblazing prosecutor. He said he is a deeply committed Catholic who coaches girls’ basketball (both at his church and his local community) and serves food to the poor….one of the brightest and hardest working members of the federal bench. Even liberal law professors have been praising him.”

    Oh and his lovely daughters stole the show.

    Those are the qualifications listed by Gingrich in applauding this choice. Notice the absence of any discussion about Kavanaugh’s record of consistent deference to the Founders’ Constitution evidenced in his judicial decisions. Maybe that’s an oversight, but it concerns me and it’s one more reason that my respect for Newt Gingrich is diminishing.

    I don’t doubt Kavanaugh’s sincerity in his praise for Scalia, but keep in mind that his remarks came in an address to the Antonin Scalia Law School shortly after Scalia died.

    After the Kavanaugh announcement I heard Mark Levin make some very compelling remarks that gave me pause for concern. I give a lot of weight to what Mark Levin has to say, especially on this subject, because not only is he, IMHO, the truest constitutional conservative out there but he is also a lawyer himself and he is familiar with the nominees on the SCOTUS list and is observant about judicial proceedings in a way that the rest of us typically are not. Levin talked about a case involving Obamacare that came before a panel of judges on which Kavanaugh sat. Here’s what Levin had to say (imbedded within the article I found):

    “[Y]ou have to assume that Kavanaugh would have voted with Roberts on this because they both came at it from exactly the same position,” stated Mark Levin concerning the individual mandate in Obamacare. “He [Kavanaugh] is not Scalia; he is not Thomas; he is not Alito; and in this case, he wasn’t even Kennedy.”

    Levin’s remarks stem from the oral argument in the Susan Seven-Sky v. Eric Holder, Jr. case on Sept. 23, 2011, “that took place in front of the DC Court of Appeals panel with Circuit Judge Kavanaugh, Senior Circuit Judges Edwards and Silberman. A few pages focused on the give and take between Judges Kavanaugh and the lawyer for the Appellants, a lawyer by the name of Edward White.”

    Mark Levin: “Mr. Kavanaugh, the textualist, the man who understands the separation of powers, was rewriting the statute. And you know what he did in the end, Mr. Producer? He argued that his major concern was the Anti-Injunction Act, which prevents the court from hearing it until 2015. What that means is the case isn’t ripe because the tax – or the penalty – has yet to be applied to anybody, and so, you need to come back once that happens and make your argument all over again. In other words, in the end, he ducked. He made a technical decision.

    “But throughout this oral argument it wasn’t the leftist on the court – the old Carter appointee, Harry Edwards – it was the Bush appointee, Kavanaugh, going on and on and on that it’s a tax. ‘What’s the big deal between a tax and a penalty?’

    “The big deal is it made all the difference in the world.”

    I’ll take Mark Levin’s two cents on this over Gingrich’s any day of the week. I certainly hope that Kavanaugh is the real deal, but we were fooled with Roberts and look at the price we paid. I think the million dollar question is: who was Trump listening to when he picked Kavanaugh? Therein lies the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very enlightening – thanks for adding that CW. Levin’s remarks show a whole different aspect of the man, don’t they?

      Plus, after reading this piece at the Patriot Post, it just added more to my doubts. They’re raving about how good he is on the 2A, but reading some of his statements makes me wonder. He talks about history and traditions being a factor in decisions going forward, but imo, just because something has a history or has traditionally been done such a way, doesn’t necessarily make it a good basis for future decisions.

      The more I see, the more question marks I have, but to answer your last question, my guess would be Trump listened to Trump – that wonderful brain of his. I give him credit for doing some good things, but that ego is still front and center.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thought the same as you after reading the piece at Patriot Post, Kathy. Bad law can become tradition, so where does that leave us? People get hung up on judges because of their history for being strong on one thing or another depending on one person’s bugaboo, and they get tunnel vision. Maybe Obamacare is my bugaboo but I do consider it to be one of the major tests of the Constitution in our lifetimes. I will never understand how anyone who respects the Constitution and understands anything about the thinking of the Founders could have a question as to the unconstitutionality of Obamacare. Mark Levin suggested that Kavanaugh had some loyalty to John Roberts (can’t remember the circumstances there), and if he’s correct on that it’s a very scary thing to think that a judge would place his loyalty to one person over his loyalty to the Constitution.

        Trump may have put the official blessing on Kavanaugh but it would only have been after he was advised to. He wouldn’t have known Kavanaugh from a hole in the wall (and again, neither would I) without being educated by advisors, both from a judicial perspective and from a political perspective. His decision is only as good as what he’s been told.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If Levin is right about Kavanaugh’s loyalty to John Roberts, then that could be a big problem for us and the Constitution. Judge Napolitano is disappointed in Trump’s choice of him because he sees him as a swamp denizen and says that Kennedy recommended him to Trump. Is he right? I don’t know.

        I need to clarify what I said earlier – when I said that Trump listened to himself when choosing him, I meant from the list that was of course provided to him from his advisors. My guess is he picked a few names off that list, talked to each of them, and then decided for himself, but who knows? He could have just as easily listened to Kennedy, if Judge Nap is right.

        Bottom line, there is still much to learn about our new Justice.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m hearing and reading different things about this judge. And he’s not my choice because he’s a DC judge meaning he’s a deep state. But I also believe that he’s conservative enough to make to pass the test but deep state enough to make the deep state happy as well.


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