Monday, September 3, 2018

Chemerinsky on upcoming Kavanaugh confirmation hearing

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and  professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. recently wrote about the upcoming confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh:

When the president and the majority of the Senate are of the same political party, confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court nominees rarely matter. 
The upcoming confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh are likely to replicate this. But what should be the strategy for Democratic senators in asking questions to try and make the hearings matter?
When asked by an audience member about what precedent he would like to see overruled, Kavanaugh said Morrison v. Olson, a 1988 decision which, 7-1, upheld the constitutionality of the appointment of an independent counsel under the Ethics in Government Act. He also has criticized the court’s decision in United States v. Nixon, a unanimous 1974 decision which held that Richard Nixon was required to comply with a subpoena and produce the White House tapes. In a law review article, Kavanaugh expressed the view that a sitting president should be immune from civil or criminal investigations.
These are extreme views about topics of great importance given the current president. At a time when checks and balances are more important than ever, Kavanaugh should be pressed by senators to explain these views. If indeed these are his positions, my hope is that they might be enough to persuade senators to vote against him.

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