‘I am a pro-law judge’: Kavanaugh’s opening remarks to Supreme Court confirmation hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh will strike a largely conventional tone in his opening remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, according to advance excerpts released to the press.
“A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy,” Kavanaugh said regarding his own judicial philosophy, according to the nominee's opening statement he plans to make as released by the White House.
“I don’t 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," reads Kavanaugh's statement.
Kavanaugh pledged that if confirmed, he will “always strive to be a team player” as “part of a Team of Nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
Kavanaugh thanked President Donald Trump and his family for being gracious hosts toward himself and his family on the night his nomination was announced, and praised the Senate for displaying what he called a “deep appreciation for the vital role of the American Judiciary” throughout the debate over his nomination.
He also followed tradition in lavishing praise on the justice he is slated to replace, the retiring Anthony Kennedy. Calling Kennedy a “mentor, a friend, and a hero” who offered a “model of civility and collegiality,” Kavanaugh credited him with “fiercely defend[ing] the independence of the Judiciary” and being a “champion of liberty.”
Kavanaugh also praised Kennedy during his nomination announcement speech. Conservatives have long anticipated Kennedy’s departure from the court for denying liberty to preborn babies and states setting their own marriage laws.
The nominee’s remarks also singled out Merrick Garland, with whom he currently serves on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, for praise as “our superb chief judge.” Garland was President Barack Obama’s unsuccessful nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and remains a source of bitterness among Democrats.
Pro-lifers are cautiously hopeful, and pro-abortion advocates intensely afraid, that Kavanaugh would vote to provide the long-awaited fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states and Congress to directly vote on whether abortion should be legal.