Libertarians are Cool on Kavanaugh

Libertarians are concerned that Judge Kavanaugh will not emphasise individual rights over those of the government.

Progressives not surprisingly, hate President Trump’s pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He won’t create rights not enumerated in the Constitution, nor will he legislate from the bench.   Conservatives like him, as he was vetted and approved by the Federalist Society for consideration.  They love him for the same reason the Left hates him. Libertarians have given the choice a cooler reception, citing concerns about privacy rights, especially when it comes to Fourth Amendment protections.  Judge Andrew Napolitano, a libertarian-leaning judge had this to say about the pick:

Now he has given us a nominee to the highest court in the land who typifies the culture he railed against when he claimed he’d drain the swamp. This man and this culture accept cutting holes in the Fourth Amendment because they don’t believe that it should protect privacy. This man and this culture accept unlimited spying on innocent Americans by the National Security Agency because they don’t believe that the NSA is subject to the Constitution.  — Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Napolitano’s concerns have been echoed by others on the libertarian side:

Kavanaugh is not another Gorsuch—not even close. Disappointing pick, particularly with respect to his #4thAmendment record. Future decisions on the constitutionality of government surveillance of Americans will be huge. We can’t afford a rubber stamp for the executive branch.  –Rep Justin Amash, (R) MI

Senator Rand Paul, arguably the most notable libertarian on Capitol Hill was also cool on Kavanaugh, reserving his judgment for now…  “I’m not going to make any comment until we’ve had a chance to look through and really go through a discovery process, meet the nominee,” — Sen Rand Paul, (R) KY

Liberals don’t like Kavanaugh, they are deathly afraid of him overturning Roe v. Wade, and would prefer a justice who believes in a “living Constitution”.  Conservatives like him because they think he won’t legislate from the bench.  Libertarians are concerned that he will opt for an interpretation of the Constitution that favors the government over individual rights.  Will Senator Rand Paul, who might well be the deciding vote in the Senate, be able to overlook past rulings on the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance?  Will he decide that perfect is the enemy of good-enough, or will he find he has irreconcilable differences with Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy when it comes to privacy versus security?

Comments
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Philip Carino
Philip Carino

Thanks for the list. I whipped a quick google search and Lee seems to be backing Kavanaugh publicly and Brown may be too old. Wishfully thinking aside, Trump has his list from 2016 that he religiously follows, so I guess any chance Libertarians will be nominated is slim. Sadly

JP Mac
JP Mac

I'm happy with the pick, but I'm more of a 'conservaterian'. I would be happy with Sen Mike Lee, but more of a backup in case the Kavanaugh confirmation goes sideways. The Cato Institute seems to think Kavanaugh is a good pick, but have the same 4th Amendment reservations I mentioned above. If a big "L" Libertarian were in the White House, my guess is that the recently retired Judge Janice Rogers Brown would get the nod.

Philip Carino
Philip Carino

Who would you have rather he nominated if not Kavanaugh?

JP Mac
JP Mac

I predict Rand Paul will have some tough questions for Judge Kavanaugh on the Fourth. The Constitution is there to protect our rights, so it stands to reason that a strict constitutionalist will protect our rights by default, but the security argument might be too tempting for Kavanaugh. Would that be a deal-breaker for Paul? We'll find out once the hearings start.

Jon Saltzman
Jon Saltzman

Editor

JP I was concerned with his Bush connections and Kennedy. This privacy thing is really important. We are slowly but surely giving away our rights.

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