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What Brett Kavanaugh's Past Says About The Possible Future Of The Supreme Court49:13
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President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, speaks as he officiates at the swearing-in of Judge Britt Grant to take a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, speaks as he officiates at the swearing-in of Judge Britt Grant to take a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
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With Meghna Chakrabarti

What kind of Supreme Court justice could Brett Kavanaugh be? We’ll look deeply into cases he’s already ruled on to see where he stands on executive power, abortion and national security.

Guests

David Savage, Supreme Court correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. (@DavidGSavage)

Nancy Gertner, retired Massachusetts federal judge, senior lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and WBUR legal analyst. (@ngertner)

Ronald Cass, dean emeritus of Boston University Law School. Held leadership positions with the Federalist Society, and received six presidential appointments, spanning from Presidents Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. President of the legal consulting firm, Cass & Associates.

From The Reading List

CNBC: "What to expect from Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings next week" — "The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on Tuesday with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Don't expect much to come out of it.

"Elena Kagan, in 1995, famously described confirmation hearings as a 'vapid and hollow charade.' There is little evidence that anything has changed — and much to suggest the opposite. (Kagan, by the way, was eventually confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2010.)"

Los Angeles Times: "Kavanaugh argued that a president can be impeached for lies, cover-ups and refusing to testify" - "The young attorney decided the president deserved to be forced from office for 'his pattern of revolting behavior' and the 'sheer number of his wrongful acts.'

"'The president has disgraced his office.… He has lied to his aides. He has lied to the American people,' Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a 1998 memo to his colleagues. 'I’m strongly opposed to giving [him] any "break" … unless he either resigns or … issues a public apology.'

"Kavanaugh, a fast-rising Republican legal star, then 33, went back to work on a 132-page memo to his boss, independent counsel Kenneth Starr, that outlined the grounds for impeaching President Clinton.

"It was 20 years ago this month that Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, set out his broad view of obstruction of justice and of what constitutes an impeachable offense, arguing the president could be removed from office even for a rarely charged crime — in this case, lying under oath in a civil deposition, to deny a sexual affair with a 22-year-old White House intern. By repeating false stories for months, lying to the public and his aides, trying to cover up the affair with Monica Lewinsky and helping her find a job in New York, the president, Kavanaugh argued, engaged in “a conspiracy to obstruct justice.”

USA Today: "Nixon lawyer John Dean to testify at Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearing" — "John Dean, the former White House counsel under President Richard Nixon, is one of dozens of witnesses set to testify next week during confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Dean had a massive role in the Watergate scandal, and his cooperation with prosecutors eventually led to Nixon's resignation from the White House. He served a prison term for obstruction of justice in the aftermath of the probe.

"He is listed on the Senate's website as a guest of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is scheduled to speak about the abuse of executive power.

"Democrats are desperately attempting to deny Kavanaugh’s nomination to the court and have pointed to accusations the president chose him as his pick because he would protect the White House from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and block the president from being subpoenaed."

This program aired on September 3, 2018.

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