07/11/2018

Trump Makes A Shrewd Political Move With Supreme Court Pick

Ilya Shapiro, New York Post

By picking Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee, President Trump showed that credentials and connections still matter — when backed up by results. One of the most scholarly members of the judiciary, Kavanaugh’s more than 300 opinions are read widely and influence courts across the country — including the one that he now hopes to join. There are few if any more respected lower-court judges.

More important than his erudition is Kavanaugh’s intense commitment to constitutional structure. As Anthony Kennedy, the justice he clerked for and now seeks to succeed, often emphasized, this is vital not simply to the functioning of our government, but to securing our freedom.

In his dozen years on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, his docket was heavy with cases involving administrative agencies and their place in our institutional design. His opinion in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2016), for example, struck down the removal protections granted to that embattled agency’s director, holding that even if it were permissible to protect members of a multi-person commission from removal, protecting the sole director in this manner was a constitutional bridge too far.

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With interest rates flattened [by the Federal Reserve], government zeroes out the future. Abandoned were 80 percent of private defined-benefit pension plans. Public plans faced a similar evisceration in the future. With no acknowledgement, the U.S. government had casually dispossessed the American middle class of its retirement assets and pushed millions of Americans into acute dependency on government programs. ... Government dependency negated the American dream.

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