Kavanaugh’s qualifications to take center stage at confirmation hearing
Cindy Hyde-Smith, Guest columnist
Mississippians will have an opportunity soon to learn firsthand what I already know — Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent choice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
When Judge Kavanaugh raises his right hand at the start of his confirmation hearing on Sept. 4, the people of Mississippi will be able to hear directly from a nominee who is eminently qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court. I believe we’ll find that he is a genuine gentleman with a keen legal mind and an unyielding devotion to the Constitution and the rule-of-law.
It was an honor to be among the senators invited to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House in early July just before Judge Kavanaugh was introduced to the nation. It was also a privilege to be among the first senators to be able to sit down and visit with him as a part of the confirmation process.
During our visit, I found him to have a genuine concern for our country, a deep devotion to his family and, most importantly, an unbending belief that a judge’s job is to study the facts and apply the law fairly without legislating from the bench. Everything I’ve learned about him since then reaffirms the fact that President Trump has again nominated an excellent jurist to serve the American people.
Senate Democrats and outside groups are grasping at straws trying to stop the confirmation process. They’re ignoring Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and the fact the Senate Judiciary Committee has reviewed and made available more than 280,000 pages related to his work in the judiciary and executive branch. That’s a high-water mark for disclosure for any recent Supreme Court nominee. Simply put, we have extensive material on Judge Kavanaugh’s credentials and his judicial philosophy.
Judge Kavanaugh’s history of well-reasoned decisions rooted in respect and devotion to the Constitution will take center stage at his confirmation hearing. We’ll see that he understands the separation of powers — that Congress should make policy, the executive should enforce policy and the judiciary should interpret policy but not impose its own will. He has a proper view of judicial restraint.
Those qualities have been a constant trait among the judicial nominations made by President Trump. The Senate has confirmed 53 of the president’s judicial nominees, and one in every seven circuit court judges in the country has been named by President Trump. And we already know that his choice of Justice Neil Gorsuch has been just as advertised — a justice who is qualified, thoughtful and constitutional.
Voting on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is one of the most important duties of a U.S. senator. And it shows how important it is to have a Senate majority which will support smart, conservative picks like Judge Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch. The slate of judges I’ve voted to confirm will have a great impact on our country by dedicating themselves to the Constitution.
I encourage Mississippians to follow Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process and hear how he will respect, protect and maintain the Constitution. The debate by the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate will show that President Trump made an excellent choice.
It will be an honor to cast a vote in favor of Judge Kavanaugh on behalf of the people of Mississippi. We can all look forward to him taking a seat on the court before the first Monday in October when the Supreme Court opens its new session.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican, is the junior U.S. senator from Mississippi. She previously was the state agriculture commissioner and a member of the Legislature.