Texas Tech University

Experts Available to Discuss Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

George Watson

September 4, 2018

Arnold Loewy is available to discuss the nomination of Kavanaugh and its potential impact on the Supreme Court. Tracy Hresko Pearlis available to discuss the nomination and its impacts.

Today, (Sept. 4), confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee began for Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court created in June when Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the bench. The nomination of Kavanaugh, currently a federal appeals court judge for the D.C. Circuit who clerked for Kennedy, gives the president the opportunity to shape the court for perhaps the next generation or two. But Kavanaugh's nomination is not expected to go smoothly, with many Senate Democrats promising to fight the nomination even though Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Arnold Loewy
Arnold Loewy

Arnold Loewy, the George R. Killam Jr. Chairman of Criminal Law and expert on the U.S. Supreme Court in the Texas Tech University  School of Law, is available to discuss the nomination of Kavanaugh and its potential impact on the Supreme Court. Tracy Hresko Pearl, an associate professor in the School of Law, is available to discuss the nomination and its impacts.

Expert

Arnold H. Loewy, George R. Killam Jr. Chair of Criminal Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, (806) 834-1852 or arnold.loewy@ttu.edu; Tracy Hresko Pearl, associate professor, Texas Tech University School of Law, (806) 834-7055 or tracy.pearl@ttu.edu

Tracy Hresko Pearl
Tracy Hresko Pearl

Talking points

  • Brett Kavanaugh is a very experienced federal judge who is undoubtedly qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. His 12 years of service on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, as well as his prior work as an attorney, give him the experience he needs to be a competent and effective Supreme Court justice.
  • Kavanaugh will almost certainly be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, although there is likely to be grumbling from both Democrats and far-right Republicans along the way.  Democrats will argue he is too conservative. Extremely conservative Republicans will likely argue he isn't conservative enough.

Quotes

  • “Judge Kavanaugh will pull the court further to the right, though perhaps not as far to the right as many conservatives may hope,” Pearl said. “He is a more conservative judge than Justice Kennedy, whom he will replace. He has, for instance, a very conservative view of executive power and regulation. He also follows a judicial philosophy called ‘originalism,' meaning that he believes we should interpret the Constitution based on the meaning of the text at the time it was written. However, on occasion, he has issued opinions that have been surprisingly centrist.”
  • “I do not see Kavanaugh as a wide-eyed conservative whose aim is to tear down the work of his predecessors,” Loewy said. “Rather I see him as someone who will seriously listen to arguments and will decide cases based on the power of the arguments.”
  • His belief is that a sitting president should not be subject to indictment and that may have influenced the current president's choice,” Loewy said. “But I am inclined to agree with that position. I believe that impeachment is the way to go if Congress believes that is appropriate. All in all, I expect Kavanaugh to be confirmed and to be a good justice, although I may not like all of his decisions.”