Fear of the Constitution drives much of the campaign against Kavanaugh

David Harsanyi explains for the Daily Signal why most liberal opposition to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stems more from the Constitution than the man.

Sure, some of the anger aimed at President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is partisan bluster meant to placate the activist base.

Still, most Democrats were going to get hysterical about any pick, because any conservative pick was going to take the Constitution far too literally for their liking.

For those who rely on the administrative state and coercion as a policy tool—forcing people to join political organizations, forcing them to support abortion, forcing them to subsidize socially progressive sacraments, forcing them to create products that undermine their faith, and so on—that’s a big problem. …

… [A]lmost none of the objections coming from leading Democrats have been even ostensibly about Kavanaugh’s qualifications as a jurist or, for that matter, his interpretation of the Constitution.

“Specifically,” prospective presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., argued, “as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.” Surely, the former attorney general of California comprehends that “health care” is not a constitutional right but rather a policy concern whose contours are still being debated by lawmakers—and probably will be for decades.

What Harris probably meant is that Kavanaugh is an existential threat to the practice of forcing Americans to buy products in the private marketplace against their will. Kavanaugh, incidentally, upheld Obamacare as an appellate judge for jurisdictional reasons even though it displeased him on policy grounds. (He wrote that the law is without “principled limit.”) He did this because he has far more reverence for the law than Harris does.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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