The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has voters and lawmakers focused on hot-button topics such as abortion rights and gun ownership, but the judge also has a long track record of pro-business decisions.
If he takes a seat on the Supreme Court, his vote could weaken consumer protections and favor expanded corporate rights, say pro-consumer advocates. Indeed, Kavanaugh's business bona fides were touted by the White House to the business community, describing him as "protect[ing] American businesses from illegal job-killing regulation," according to Politico.
Consumers might feel the shift to a more conservative court through rulings that could reduce the authority of watchdogs like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or strip away healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions. To be sure, reducing regulations could have the benefit of lowering costs for businesses and their customers, but such decisions could also shift costs to consumers.
"His record is clear -- when given the choice he has sided with Wall Street special interests over consumers time and time again," said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, a left-leaning watchdog group, in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. "Most notably he ruled the CFPB's structure was unconstitutional in 2016 -- a position cheered on by Wall Street and conservative activists but soundly rejected by his colleagues on the D.C. Circuit Court who reversed his decision."
His appointment "will cost consumers and investors more money."
Kavanaugh overruled regulators 75 times on cases that spanned from net neutrality to consumer protections, the White House said in the letter sent to business groups.