Liberals will unleash “a lot of scare tactics” to smear Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because they crave an “outcome-based” judiciary to deliver decisions “they know they can’t get through the political process,” a White House judicial adviser said Monday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“You’re going to see a lot of scare tactics,” Federalist Society President Leonard Leo (pictured above left) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. Leo has been on leave from the legal group to work with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination team.
“This is really hyped up. And of course we know why — because the Left wants to have a court that is outcome-based,” Leo said. “They want to make sure they get results from the court that they know they can’t get through the political process.”
Trump had hardly uttered Kavanaugh’s name in the East Room of the White House on Monday evening when screaming liberal activists and nearly hysteric Democratic lawmakers began predicting what for them amounts to the end of the world — namely, high court decisions overturning liberal milestones such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Trump nominated Kavanaugh, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy and is Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee in just a year and a half of his presidency.
Many liberal activists and lawmakers accused Kennedy of betraying them by retiring during the Trump presidency, thus allowing him to appoint his successor.
“Let’s face it. Justice Kennedy was not really a moderate or a liberal. He was, for the most part, a conservative justice, especially on issues like separation of powers, federalism, areas of religious freedom, free exercise in particular,” Leo noted. “We saw the last term he voted with the conservative majority of the court 75 percent of the time. So this is hyped up.”
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume said he watched some of Fox News’ “competing channels” prior to appearing on “The Ingraham Angle” to gauge their hosts’ and guests’ reactions to the Kavanaugh nomination.
“And I must tell you that it’s already starting,” Hume warned. “[Kavanaugh] will be portrayed, Laura — I can tell you without any fear of contradiction — as an enemy of the environment, as a defender of the big interests against the little guy, and so on down the line.”
“It’s a litany you’ve heard before, and we’re going to hear it again. It will get very loud. It will probably be almost 100 percent humbug, but it’s going to be out there,” Hume added. “And all I can say about it is that he needs to be well-prepared to defend himself in the hearings. And the White House … better be prepared to rebut the allegations because they’re going to be thick and fast.”
Liberals “are accustomed now to winning these victories on social policy and other issues by judicial fiat because they’re not able to win them in the legislative process.”
Former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, for whom Kavanaugh worked during the Whitewater investigation, which ultimately led to President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, told Ingraham that liberal hysteria over Kavanaugh’s nomination “is really beyond the pale.” Starr noted that many liberals want Supreme Court justices who will create new policies based on “what they believe to be the most humane and compassionate public policy.”
“You’re rather to be stewards of the law and to take the text … meditate on that text, but don’t just make it up. And that is the great divide that is going to, I think, divide the United States Senate,” Starr warned.
Hume noted this divide is why “Democrats and their allies are so opposed to such nominees” as Kavanaugh.
Liberals “are accustomed now to winning these victories on social policy and other issues by judicial fiat because they’re not able to win them in the legislative process,” Hume said. “That is why there is so much at stake with a nomination like this, which tips the balance of the Supreme Court.”
But Justin Walker, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville who clerked for both Kavanaugh and Kennedy, told Ingraham he believed that “anybody who comes at” Kavanaugh’s nomination “with an open mind” is “going to find a judge who has spent 12 years adhering to the structure and the history and the meaning and the text of the Constitution and doing so in such a fair-minded way.”
“[Supreme Court] Justice [Elena] Kagan, Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor, Justice [Stephen] Breyer — three left-of-center justices — they’ve all hired former clerks of Judge Kavanaugh. And that’s because Left, Right and center — Judge Kavanaugh is so easy to respect and admire,” Walker insisted. “I also think America is probably — I think they’re going to fall in love with Judge Kavanaugh.”
“And I think there are going to be some senators who will find it very difficult to vote against such a family man, such a patriot and someone who has just spent the past 12 years on the second-highest court writing 300 opinions 300 times out of 300 times [that] adhere to the Constitution, adhere to text and approach every matter in an impartial, fair, independent way,” Walker continued.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hopes to push Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate to a confirmation vote by October 1. But Democratic senators and their base are clamoring for McConnell to delay the confirmation process until after the November midterm elections.