Offbeat Kavanaugh's views on presidential powers could be flashpoint

07:05  11 july  2018
07:05  11 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Kavanaugh works Capitol Hill, Dems warn of rightward tilt

  Kavanaugh works Capitol Hill, Dems warn of rightward tilt Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh returns to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a round of meetings with key Republican senators as Democrats ramp up their efforts to block his confirmation. Kavanaugh, the conservative appellate court judge President Donald Trump chose to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, is set to meet separately with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and other senators.Democrats, as the Senate minority, have few options to block Kavanaugh.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ' s past writings that a president should not be distracted by lawsuits and investigations could become a flashpoint in w. A look at Kavanaugh ’ s past statements on presidential powers

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives for a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)© The Associated Press Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives for a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's past writings that a president should not be distracted by lawsuits and investigations could become a flashpoint in what's already shaping up to be a contentious confirmation battle.

With special counsel Robert Mueller investigating whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, questions about whether a chief executive can be subpoenaed or indicted could potentially reach the Supreme Court. Though there's no indication at this point that will happen, it's sure to be a major topic of questioning at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing as the Senate weighs whether to confirm him to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Liberals attack Brett Kavanaugh for 'frat boy' name

  Liberals attack Brett Kavanaugh for 'frat boy' name The latest line of attack from liberals against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, is knocking the judge for his “frat boy”-sounding first name. “We'll be D***ED if we're going to let five MEN—including some frat boy named Brett—strip us of our hard-won bodily autonomy and reproductive rights,” the influential pro-choice organization NARAL tweeted Tuesday.Comedian Stephen Colbert of CBS’ “The Late Show” also mocked Kavanaugh’s name.“Now I don’t know much about Kavanaugh, but I’m skeptical because his name is Brett,” Colbert said during the monologue on his show Tuesday.

Brett M. Kavanaugh , the federal judge nominated by President Trump on Monday to the Supreme Court, has endorsed robust views of the powers of the president You're viewing YouTube in Russian. You can change this preference below.

Kavanaugh ' s views on presidential powers could be flashpoint . Through five matches, it looked as if they could finally deliver on their promise. But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.

Democrats opposing Kavanaugh are already weighing in, saying the past writings — particularly a legal article he wrote on the separation of powers in 2009 — suggest he would be inclined to side with Trump.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that he "seems exactly like the kind of man President Trump would want on the Supreme Court if legal issues from the Mueller probe arise."

A look at Kavanaugh's past statements on presidential powers:

INVESTIGATIONS AND LAWSUITS INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT

Kavanaugh was a key player in the investigation that led to President Bill Clinton's impeachment, but a decade later he wrote that the experience, coupled with his time working for President George W. Bush, had persuaded him that presidents should not have to face criminal investigations, including indictments, or civil lawsuits while they are in office. He said Congress should pass a law temporarily protecting presidents from such distractions in office.

Sen. Rand Paul 'very worried' about Trump Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh

  Sen. Rand Paul 'very worried' about Trump Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh Sen. Rand Paul said he is “very worried” about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, signaling a potential rocky appointment in the Senate. “I’m worried about his opinion on the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said in Louisville on Monday. “Kavanaugh ruled that national security trumps privacy ... that worries me.”Kavanaugh needs a simple majority in the U.S. Senate to get approved. But with Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, facing health issues, the vote could come down to one or two senators. © Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images Sen.

During his service on the appellate court, Judge Kavanaugh has written opinions reflecting an expansive view of presidential power , and on several Judge Kavanaugh ’ s approach to executive power could , moreover, affect other aspects of the federal investigations relating to Mr. Trump.

Brett Kavanaugh , Trump’ s Supreme Court pick, has sided with broad views of presidential powers . by Ann E. Marimow July 9 at 9:06 PM Email the author. Kavanaugh is “an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power ” who believes courts can and should actively seek to rein in “large

Clinton, for example, "could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal investigation offshoots," Kavanaugh wrote in the 2009 Minnesota Law Review article.

If applied on the court somehow, those opinions could have a direct impact on Trump, who has also been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment.

In the Russia probe, it's theoretically possible the court could have to weigh in on the question of whether a president is immune from criminal prosecution. The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which provides guidance to executive branch agencies, has said sitting presidents cannot be prosecuted while in office.

SUBPOENAING THE PRESIDENT

In addition to indictment, another issue tied to the Mueller investigation that has not been fully resolved in the courts is whether a sitting president must respond to a subpoena from investigators.

A Worthy Pick

  A Worthy Pick President Trump’s new nominee for the Supreme Court is a whip-smart legal conservative. As a judge in the highest-profile appeals court in the nation, he has shown an exemplary dedication to the rule of law. He has defended the separation of powers against threats coming from multiple directions. He has repeatedly cautioned his colleagues on the bench not to attempt to play a legislative role. He has also insisted on enforcing constitutional structures of accountability on government agencies.

Brett Kavanaugh , Trump’ s Supreme Court pick, has sided with broad views of presidential powers . by Ann E. Marimow July 9 at 9:06 PM Email the author. Kavanaugh is “an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power ” who believes courts can and should actively seek to rein in “large

Judge Kavanaugh said the proceedings could resume after a president left office and that Judge Kavanaugh was setting out his views on sound legislative policy and not what current law requires. The Supreme Court’ s last decision on presidential power , upholding Mr. Trump’ s travel ban, was

In the 2009 article, Kavanaugh wrote that Congress should also exempt the president from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel.

"Even the lesser burdens of a criminal investigation — including preparing for questioning by criminal investigators — are time-consuming and distracting," he wrote, adding that a president concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation "is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as president."

Mueller hasn't indicated that he will move to subpoena the president, though his team raised the prospect with Trump's legal team in March and may do so if the president's lawyers refuse to make Trump available for an interview.

Clinton was subpoenaed in 1998 during the independent counsel's Whitewater investigation, though the subpoena was later withdrawn when Clinton agreed to voluntarily testify before the grand jury.

The Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on the question of whether a president can be forced to testify, though the justices in 1974 did rule that President Richard Nixon had to produce recordings and documents that had been subpoenaed.

Liberal Democratic group seeks dirt on SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh

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Because Kavanaugh has articulated a view of presidential investigations which is precisely what Trump would like to hear given his frustration at But some have argued that Trump can sidestep this constraint by declaring that an inability to fire Mueller would be a violation of his constitutional powers .

Kavanaugh is "an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power " who believes courts can and should actively seek to rein in "large swaths of the He laid out the grounds for impeaching Clinton after the president ' s affair with a White House intern. His views of presidential power were shaped

FIRING THE SPECIAL COUNSEL

Trump has repeatedly criticized Mueller and the investigation on Twitter, raising concerns in Congress that he will move to fire the special counsel. The White House has asserted that Trump has the authority to fire Mueller, but only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has the power to fire him under current regulations. Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May 2017 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

In a 1998 article in the Georgetown Law Journal, Kavanaugh wrote that Congress should give the president the ability to fire special counsels, an opinion that Democrats have highlighted in the hours since he was nominated Monday evening.

Kavanaugh's reasoning, however, was not to protect presidents but to make them more accountable. He wrote that presidents can complain that independent counsels are politically motivated while implying they are powerless to do anything about it. Giving the president firing power would "force the president and his surrogates to put up or shut up."

Noting Nixon's resignation after firing Justice Department officials, Kavanaugh wrote that "history clearly demonstrates that the president will pay an enormous political price if he does not have a persuasive justification for dismissing a special counsel."

Kavanaugh May Shield Trump From Mueller's Probe, Democrats Say

  Kavanaugh May Shield Trump From Mueller's Probe, Democrats Say Senate Democrats trying to rally opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are portraying him as a potential threat to the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that of the 25 names on President Donald Trump’s list of possible high court nominees, “he chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation.” The Senate shouldn’t consider Kavanaugh until the nominee “specifically commits to recuse himself” from any criminal investigations concerning the president, Senator Richard Blumenthal said.

Kavanaugh is "an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power " who believes courts can and should actively seek to rein in "large swaths of the He laid out the grounds for impeaching Clinton after the president ' s affair with a White House intern. His views of presidential power were shaped

He said Democrats would use confirmation hearings to drill down on Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh ’ s views on executive power .CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times. He is almost certainly the one who would most yield to presidential power .”

PLAYING POLITICS

Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, who specializes in constitutional studies, on Tuesday warned Democrats not to overstate or misinterpret Kavanaugh's words. He argues that because Kavanaugh is suggesting Congress make new laws to exempt presidents from investigations or lawsuits, it's not the same thing as saying the courts should step in. Feldman suggests that Kavanaugh could even be implying that a president can be indicted, since he believes there should be a law preventing it.

"It's a mistake for Democrats to make this their main line of criticism," Feldman said.

Democrats showed little sign of heeding that advice Tuesday.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said the Senate shouldn't consider Kavanaugh's nomination until the Mueller probe is finished.

"The president of the United States should not be beyond criminal investigations," Booker said.

But South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the Senate's No. 3 Republican, chalked the opposition up to "Democrat paranoia."

"It's part of their obsession with Russia, and the president," Thune said, noting that Kavanaugh wrote the article proposing presidential exemptions from lawsuits and investigations when President Barack Obama was in office.

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Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Mark Sherman, Matthew Daly, Alan Fram and Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.

Santorum on Kavanaugh: Trump bowed to Washington elite .
Rick Santorum said Monday that President Donald Trump "bowed to the elite in Washington" by picking Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee. "Well, I think that Donald Trump said he was going to energize the base with this pick. I don't think he did that," the Republican former Pennsylvania senator and CNN political commentator told Chris Cuomo on CNN's "Cuomo PrimeTime." Kavanaugh has been dubbed a Washington insider, having worked in both Bush administrations, and is currently a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

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