MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Explains Why Brett Kavanaugh Is a Uniquely Suspicious Choice for the Supreme Court
On Tuesday, the hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee began in a whirl of chaos. And while much of the focus has been on how suspicious the coverup of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's records is, equally suspicious are his views of executive power, at precisely the moment when the president who nominated him could face massive constitutional challenges.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow laid out the problem on Tuesday evening.
"Republicans could have chosen a gazillion different Brett Kavanaugh-type judges," said Maddow. "When it comes to policy issues, on which we are quite sure that Brett Kavanaugh will vote as a hardline, uncompromising right-wing justice. But out of all the judges this president could have picked, this president picked the one, the only judge we know of to have been on the president's supposed list of contenders, who, for example, had gone out of his way at a public Senate hearing to say that the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in U.S. v. Nixon might have been wrongly decided. The only nominee who has sketched out a truly unique, even to the point of being strange, view of a president's susceptibility to serious criminal investigations."
United States v. Nixon was the landmark Supreme Court case that found the right of the president to use "executive privilege" to block the release of White House information was not exempt from judicial review. It was a pivotal ruling that spelled doom for President Richard Nixon in the Watergate investigation — and would similarly restrict Trump's right to withhold information from those investigating his campaign's alleged ties to Russia.
"Brett Kavanaugh is the only one out there that we know who says a president shouldn't even be questioned, let alone indicted or prosecuted," Maddow continued. "And so yes, it is a little on the nose that this particular nominee was chosen by a president who is, himself, the subject of serious criminal investigation right now, while Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings are underway."
Republicans could have picked from a lot of conservative judges, but only Kavanaugh has taken a particular position… https://t.co/AL7fHWrRBg— Maddow Blog (@Maddow Blog) 1536111158.0
Trump, who was recently named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the plea agreement that found his former attorney Michael Cohen guilty on multiple counts of bank fraud, tax evasion, and serious campaign finance violations, may soon have a justice on the Supreme Court who will rule aggressively in favor of the executive branch's immunity from investigation.
That Senate Republicans have no interest in weighing this risk is horrifying.