This past Monday night, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, predictably sending progressives into apoplectic (and apocalyptic) fits of self-righteous virtue-signaling and white-knighting. Naturally, Leftists realize their decades-long project of circumventing representative government through the courts might backfire—when you create an excessively powerful institution and lose control of it, you start to worry that weapon will be turned back on you.
There’s been a great deal of analysis since then of Kavanaugh and how his nomination might shift the direction of the Court. I’m not steeped enough in the details to make a judgment call myself, though it seems that Kavanaugh is remarkably experienced, and interprets the Constitution fairly narrowly (in the sense that he’s not one to create “emanations of penumbras” of rights or legislate from the bench).
I’m a bit concerned that he’ll be too restrained, a la Chief Justice John Roberts, who disastrously upheld the Affordable Care Act twice, the second time largely on the grounds that the Court should avoid overturning what legislatures enact. That’s a good impulse generally, but not when the plain language of the act states something contrary to what the Court rules, and the Court deciding that Congress “meant to write it another way” is a funny way of exercising judicial “restraint.”
Regardless, my sense is that Kavanaugh is a solid and safe pick. I’d much rather have seen, say, Utah Senator Mike Lee get the nomination—there’s no ambiguity about his commitment to constitutionalism—but Kavanaugh might stand a better chance of surviving his confirmation vote (after a predictably theatrical bout of boisterous dissent from doomsday-speaking Democratic Senators).
But I digress. In attempting to analyze the Supreme Court, Conservative Review‘s Joseph Koss has applied a nifty little model to try to make sense of where the Court has been, and where it might be headed with the addition of Kavanaugh.
Koss is quick to point out that he’s not completely satisfied with this model—he applies the classic Dungeons and Dragons alignment system (the nerd in me is rejoicing)—and that some justices don’t quite fit into one of the nine slots, but he explains his placements thoroughly and carefully.
Check out his analysis here: https://mailchi.mp/ab9d22079504/supreme-court-alignment?e=0d04a04a52
He also invites readers to tell him how wrong he is here.
What do you think, TPP readers? Is Kavanaugh a slam-dunk pick? A Washington-insider swamp creature sell-out? A rock-ribbed conservative? Leave your thoughts and comments below!