OPINION: Holy Hyperbole! Reactions to Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Isaac Martin, Contributor

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The end is near. Or at least you might think so listening to some of our Democrat friends.

Some believe that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will “threaten the lives of millions of Americans.” Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley warns that Kavanaugh’s presence on the SCOTUS will “pave the path to tyranny.” His philosophical bents portend the “destruction of the Constitution,” in the words of presidential hopeful Kamala Harris of California.

If one only listened to our left-wing leaders, one might get the impression that this was Hitler we were talking about, not a middle-class dad who coaches his daughter’s basketball team.

The widespread outcry against D.C. Appeals Court Judge Kavanaugh has as much to do with the history surrounding the nomination as his actual judicial viewpoints. Many Democrats contend that Kavanaugh should not move through the confirmation process until after the November midterms, citing a similar move by Republicans to hold up then President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. The history behind this move, however, is not that simple.

In 1992, Senator Joe Biden vociferously argued against confirming a justice to SCOTUS in a presidential election year. Two years later, Biden presided over the confirmation liberal Stephen Breyer in a non-presidential election year. What is good for Biden is good for McConnell. There is nothing unethical or hypocritical about Trump nominating Kavanaugh in a non-presidential election year. However, this is not the main reason for the liberal outrage.

Regardless of whether the Kavanaugh nomination is hypocritical or not, Democrats main complaints revolve around his allegedly unhinged judicial perspectives. Railing on him from all manner of issues ranging from Gay rights to Roe v. Wade, the Democrats are presenting Kavanaugh as a deranged legal headcase. But then there are Kavanaugh’s actual words themselves. What does he believe about being a judge?

Fortunately for us, we are not left to speculate on Kavanaugh’s approach to being a judge. In a 2015 speech at the American Catholic University, he outlined ten principles for all judges everywhere. This list includes such “radical” notions as being non-partisan, following established legal principles, possessing the backbone to stand up to other branches of government and the ability to conduct oneself with proper collegiality and decorum. If these principles were showcased by SCOTUS, would it truly be our “worst nightmare”?

Perhaps our Democratic friends’ deepest, darkest fear is what a Kavanaugh confirmation would mean for the rest of the court. With Kavanaugh on the bench, SCOTUS shifts to become a decidedly center-right court with four solid proponents of originalism and textualism.

These vaguely familiar abstract terms bear the brunt of liberals vitriol towards Kavanaugh. As subscriber to these views, he believes the Constitution is to be interpreted from the text alone as opposed to other writings (textualism), that the meaning of the Constitution is set in stone and to be understood properly it must be read from the perspective of the era in which it was written (originalism). In other words, to judge rightly on the 14th Amendment, one would look principally at its words and render a ruling based on what those words were commonly understood to mean in 1868. In this narrow approach toward the Constitution, the judge is more like an umpirecalling balls and strikesand less like an MLB commissioner, creating the rules themselves.

For this reasonable, level-headed approach towards jurisprudence, supporting Kavanaugh is decried as “evil.” While we as a society may not see eye-to-eye on everything, we must be careful to never allow hyperbole such as this to strain credulity and civility.

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