Politics Democrats Zero In on Kavanaugh’s Defense of Presidential Power

05:30  12 july  2018
05:30  12 july  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

McConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday

  McConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will meet with Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court pick, on Tuesday as he begins to build support on Capitol Hill. Kavanaugh will meet with McConnell and Vice President Pence at 11:15 a.m., according to guidance from the White House. The meeting comes after Trump announced on Monday night that he would nominate Kavanaugh-currently a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit- to succeed retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In an interview, Mr. Schumer said questions of Judge Kavanaugh ’ s stance on presidential power could resonate with moderate voters.CreditLawrence Jackson for The New York Times. Democrats are making the case that Judge Kavanaugh should pledge to recuse himself from any case involving Mr

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. A look at Kavanaugh ’ s past statements on presidential powers

a man wearing a suit and tie: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, meeting with senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. © Erin Schaff for The New York Times Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, meeting with senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — Democrats who once saw health care and abortion as their best lines of attack against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, are recalibrating their approach to go after him for his view that a sitting president should not have to answer questions in a criminal case, much less face indictment.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in an interview on Wednesday that Judge Kavanaugh’s belief in broad presidential authority was “just off the deep end.”

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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. A look at Kavanaugh ’ s past statements on presidential powers

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. A look at Kavanaugh ’ s past statements on presidential powers

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For Democrats facing an uphill struggle to block Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, his protective views of the presidency could prove to be a bright red ribbon. Rather than just playing it safe with a broad swath of voters worried about access to health care and abortion, Democrats now see an opportunity to excite their base by fanning fears that the highest court in the land could turn into a bulwark to protect the man appointing its members.

As the judge made the rounds of the Capitol — he paid courtesy calls on Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina — Mr. Schumer and his Democratic colleagues were gaming out a line of questioning that, they hope, will create a perception that a Justice Kavanaugh would compromise the independence of the court.

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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. A look at Kavanaugh ’ s past statements on presidential powers

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also warned of Kavanaugh ’ s shifting stance on White House investigations. While the White House has downplayed Kavanaugh ’ s extensive background in the most high-profile presidential investigation in decades, the judge’s views

Mr. Schumer said the questions could appeal even to more moderate voters.

a man standing in a room: Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, with a staff member during a press conference about Judge Kavanaugh on Wednesday. In an interview, Mr. Schumer said questions of Judge Kavanaugh’s stance on presidential power could resonate with moderate voters. © Lawrence Jackson for The New York Times Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, with a staff member during a press conference about Judge Kavanaugh on Wednesday. In an interview, Mr. Schumer said questions of Judge Kavanaugh’s stance on presidential power could resonate with moderate voters.

“This issue, I think, will affect a lot of people who are sort of O.K. with Trump but think there needs to be a check and balance,” Mr. Schumer said. “There are a lot of people in America who still say, ‘I voted for him, I guess he’s O.K.’ But when you ask them, ‘Does he need a check and balance?,’ they say, ‘Definitely.’”

In two law journal articles — one published in 1998 and another in 2009 — Judge Kavanaugh raised questions about whether a sitting president could be indicted, and suggested that presidents should be shielded from civil suits and criminal investigations. Both explore issues that are deeply relevant to Mr. Trump and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

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Critics note that Kavanaugh was an administration lawyer when the infamous "torture memos" justifying harsh interrogations of detainees were drafted, and his writings indicate he has adopted a vast view of presidential power

Democrats opposing Kavanaugh are already weighing in, saying the past writings — particularly a legal A look at Kavanaugh ' s past statements on presidential powers Texas' Brooks County, part of the Border Patrol's massive Rio Grande Valley Sector, is ground zero for migrant deaths.

Even before Mr. Trump chose his nominee for the court, Democrats had decided that they would focus almost exclusively on abortion and health care, issues that “resonate very deeply in America,” Mr. Schumer said earlier this week. But their lines of attack have expanded.

Republicans are pushing back, accusing Democrats of distorting the judge’s words. (In a fact-checking article published Wednesday, The Washington Post gave Democrats “two Pinocchios” for some of their claims about Judge Kavanaugh, and concluded that there was “no smoking-gun evidence that he would vote to dismiss an indictment against Trump, should one ever be filed.”)

Mr. Cornyn said he asked Judge Kavanaugh about the law journal articles during their “courtesy visit” on Wednesday. He said the judge noted that he had proposed that Congress impose limits on investigations of sitting presidents.

“He said, ‘If you read the law review article, this basically makes clear that this is a decision for Congress to make, not the courts,’ and he was writing from his experience in the Clinton impeachment matter,” Mr. Cornyn said, referring to Judge Kavanaugh’s time on the staff of the independent counsel, Kenneth W. Starr.

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Democrats opposing Kavanaugh are already weighing in, saying the past writings — particularly a legal article he wrote on the separation of powers in 2009 A look at Kavanaugh ' s past statements on presidential powers : Investigations and lawsuits involving the president .

Democrats opposing Kavanaugh are already weighing in, saying the past writings — particularly a legal article he wrote on the separation of powers in 2009 A look at Kavanaugh ' s past statements on presidential powers : Investigations and lawsuits involving the president .

He added: “It was a law review article. Lawyers think about these issues and come up with proposed ideas, but it doesn’t really bear on his fitness to be on the Supreme Court.”

Democrats are making the case that Judge Kavanaugh should pledge to recuse himself from any case involving Mr. Trump’s financial dealings or the Russia investigation.

“For me it’s a threshold qualifying question,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut. “If he is unwilling to state that he will recuse himself, I think everyone should really reconsider whether they can support this nominee.”

Those arguments could energize Democratic voters before the midterm elections. Whether they will be enough to sway Senate Democrats from Republican states or moderate Republicans whose votes are critical to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation remains to be seen.

One key swing vote, Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, spoke favorably of Judge Kavanaugh on Wednesday, noting that the articles reflected Judge Kavanaugh’s “contemplation of his role in the Clinton impeachment.”

“This was long before there was a Russia investigation and long before Donald Trump was president, so I think those who are trying to draw a link here are missing the timeline,” Ms. Collins said. “But nevertheless it’s an issue that I certainly will raise with him.”

Kavanaugh works Capitol Hill, Dems warn of rightward tilt

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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. A look at Kavanaugh ’ s past statements on presidential powers

Democrats opposing Kavanaugh are already weighing in, saying the past writings — particularly a legal A look at Kavanaugh ' s past statements on presidential powers Texas' Brooks County, part of the Border Patrol's massive Rio Grande Valley Sector, is ground zero for migrant deaths.

Democrats hope that more issues will arise as senators comb through Judge Kavanaugh’s writings and opinions. The nominee’s paper trail is so long that Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has asked federal prosecutors to help review the judge’s government documents to speed the confirmation process, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times on Wednesday.

The Democrats’ argument on presidential power may not sway Republican senators, but it will resonate with voters, said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.

“Voters, including many independent voters and some Republican voters, care deeply about maintaining the Supreme Court as an independent check and balance on the power of the president,” Mr. Garin said. “Our polling in red states shows that voters would approve of their senator voting against confirmation if he or she believed that the nominee would weaken the court’s role as providing an independent check and balance.”

The articles grew not only out of Judge Kavanaugh’s experiences working for Mr. Starr, but also his service to former President George W. Bush. They are entering the public discourse just as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has suggested he may subpoena the president as part of his inquiry into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to influence the 2016 election, and whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice.

“Whether the Constitution allows indictment of a sitting president is debatable,” Judge Kavanaugh wrote in the Georgetown Law Journal in 1998. He proposed that Congress adopt legislation specifying that the president “is not subject to indictment or information under the laws of the United States while he serves as president.”

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.

Because Kavanaugh has articulated a view of presidential investigations which is precisely what Trump would like to hear given his frustration at the ongoing probe Why shouldn’t someone have the authority to fire such persons at will? And if anyone is to possess that power , it must be the President .

Superb defense takes France close to another World Cup title. 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 A look at Kavanaugh ' s past statements on presidential powers

In 2009, writing in the Minnesota Law Review, he argued that civil suits and criminal investigations are a burdensome distraction for a president: “Like civil suits, criminal investigations take the president’s focus away from his or her responsibilities to the people. And a president who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as president.”

There is precedent for a Supreme Court nominee to be grilled on his view of executive powers relating to a special counsel investigation, said Nan Aron, the founder and president of Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group. In 1987, Judge Robert H. Bork, a Supreme Court nominee of Ronald Reagan’s who ultimately did not get confirmed, was questioned extensively about his role in dismissing Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor who was investigating President Richard M. Nixon.

But Carrie Severino, chief counsel for Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative advocacy group, drew a different Nixon parallel, noting that of four justices appointed by Mr. Nixon, three — Warren E. Burger, Harry A. Blackmun and Lewis F. Powell Jr. — sat on U.S. v. Nixon, the case in which the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to comply with a subpoena — and joined the unanimous decision against the president.

Senate GOP, Dems fight over Kavanaugh confirmation documents .
There's a Senate battle brewing over Democrats' requests for documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's career. No. 2 Senate Republican leader John Cornyn says he's heard "rumblings" that Democrats want "every scrap of paper" on Kavanaugh. A top Democratic aide says Democratic senators haven't yet agreed to meet with Kavanaugh and want to understand what documents they'll get to examine, especially from Kavanaugh's time as White House staff secretary under President George W. Bush. The aide says Democratic senators haven't agreed to meet with Kavanaugh because they want to understand what documents the White House and Republ

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