Brett Kavanaugh, Admiral Donald Trump’s appointee to ample Justice Anthony Kennedy’s bench on the Supreme Court, faces a acceptable advancing acceptance audition afore the Senate Judiciary Committee starting Tuesday. We asked dozens of lawyers, activists and added experts what they would ask Kavanaugh, who currently sits on the U.S. Cloister of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, if they had the chance. Below is a active alternative of their questions, categorized by affair and edited for clarity.
On Aborticide Rights
WHY: Aborticide rights activists are anxious that Kavanaugh, a amusing bourgeois who opposed an undocumented teenager’s appeal to admission an aborticide while in federal aegis aftermost year, could be attainable to added akin admission to the procedure.
Nicole Austin-Hillery, U.S. affairs administrator at Human Rights Watch: What do you acquire are constitutionally reasonable restrictions that ability be placed on women accessing changeable bloom care? What are your angle on whether women acquire the appropriate to admission authentic and complete advice about the abounding ambit of changeable bloom affliction offered by a provider?
Erwin Chemerinsky, administrator of Berkeley Law: If you had been on the Supreme Cloister in 1973, how would you acquire voted in Roe v. Wade [the battleground accommodation acknowledging a built-in appropriate to admission safe, acknowledged aborticide nationwide]? The catechism is not “What would you do in the future?” but “How would you acquire voted then?”
Sara Rosenbaum, assistant at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Accessible Health: What are your angle on axiological freedoms and what burdens individuals should be asked to buck and what evidentiary standards you would demand? On abortion, as with religious freedom, the affair is how abundant a accountability to appoint on individuals who affirmation that government is burdening the exercise of their rights. This cloister has fabricated it actual attainable to affirmation accountability back religious abandon is at stake, but far harder to actualization disproportionate accountability in laws that blemish admission to abortion.
David Cole, acknowledged administrator of the American Civilian Liberties Union: Do you acquire the Constitution’s agreement of alone alternative protects the appropriate to accomplish claimed decisions apropos one’s own anatomy and affectionate relationships, including whom one chooses to marry, how to accession one’s children, whether to use contraception, and whether to admission an abortion?
Ira L. Black / Corbis via Getty Images The added anniversary Women’s March passes in advanced of Trump International Hotel and Tower on Jan. 20, 2018.
On Controlling Power and Investigations of Sitting Presidents
WHY: Kavanaugh has argued that a sitting admiral shouldn’t be abounding by lawsuits, investigations and indictments ― a position that may put him at allowance with appropriate admonition Robert Mueller as the closing continues his ysis into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Kavanaugh additionally told a bourgeois accumulation two years ago that he would “put the final nail” in Morrison v. Olson, a 1988 Supreme Cloister cardinal that affirmed the amends of allotment absolute counsel.
Kristen Clarke, admiral and controlling administrator of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civilian Rights Beneath Law: Why do you anticipate the accommodation in Morrison v. Olson was wrong? Do you argue the arrangement of a appropriate admonition in all circumstances?
Cole: Admiral Trump has nominated you to the career befalling of your lifetime. If presented with a case involving his claimed interests, what accepted will you use in chief whether to recuse yourself from the case?
On Gun Control
WHY: Kavanaugh argued in his 2011 bone in Heller v. District of Columbia that a ban on semiautomatic rifles was unconstitutional. (Don’t be abashed by the name: This Heller case challenged D.C.’s aldermanic acknowledgment to the Supreme Court’s 2008 battleground gun rights decision, District of Columbia v. Heller.) The 2011 assessment has gun ascendancy advocates afraid that Kavanaugh supports an amplification of gun rights.
Eric Tirschwell, administrator of activity and civic administering activity for Everytown for Gun Safety: You accompaniment in your Heller bone that you can’t await anon on history and attitude and acquire to acumen by affinity back it comes to “new gun regulations because of altitude that acquire not commonly existed.” What is an example, for the purposes of this test, of a “condition that has not commonly existed”? What about accumulation shootings ― like Parkland, Newtown, Pulse nightclub, Las Vegas and so abounding others ― which are almost new phenomenon?
Tirschwell: Without accepting into how you would adjudge the cases, how would you go about allegory almost new gun laws, including laws closing the accomplishments ysis artifice for gun sales from actionable sellers at gun shows or over the internet, laws that prohibit calm abandon offenders and abusers beneath abstinent orders from possessing guns, laws that crave abandonment of accoutrements in such circumstances, red banderole laws that acquiesce ancestors associates or law administering to get a cloister adjustment to briefly block firearm admission from those acceptable to abuse themselves or others, and prohibitions on bang stocks?
George Frey via Getty Images Semi-automatic AR-15 rifles for auction at Good Guys Accoutrements & Ambit on Feb. 15, 2018, in Orem, Utah.
On Buried Government Surveillance of Americans and Torture
WHY: In 2015, Circuit Adjudicator Kavanaugh acerb dedicated the Civic Security Agency’s broad, buried accumulating of calm buzz anxiety annal in a case alleged Obama v. Klayman. Questions about Kavanaugh’s beforehand canicule as an official in the George W. Bush administering and his role, if any, in crafting counterterrorism behavior acquire additionally been raised. Kavanaugh has ahead denied that he was complex in abstraction those policies.
Austin-Hillery: What are your angle on whether mass, all-embracing or abominable surveillance is permissible in and alfresco the U.S.? Do you accede that anxiety annal and added abstracts about communications can be awful sensitive? What are your angle on how the accreditation claim applies to avant-garde communications technology?
Austin-Hillery: Do you acquire that the techniques acclimated on detainees in abstruse CIA apprehension sites ― not aloof waterboarding, but the aching accent positions, canicule of beddy-bye deprivation, affected nudity, diapering and abnegation of food, alone or in a ― amounted to torture? Did you comedy any role in conception of any detention-related behavior back you served beneath the Bush administration, and if so, what was that role?
Cole: In your 2006 acceptance hearings for a federal cloister judgeship, you said that you “absolutely” believed Admiral Bush’s statements that the United States does not ache and does not disregard torture. Knowing what you apperceive now about the United States’ use of waterboarding and added arrogant methods adjoin detainees, do you still acquire that the United States did not torture?
On LGBTQ Rights
WHY: Kavanaugh has no administrative almanac on gay rights cases, but he did serve in the Bush White House back the admiral pursued a built-in alteration that would acquire banned same- marriage, which has aloft anxiety amid advocates for according rights.
Cole: Do you accede that a amount activity of the Supreme Cloister in our autonomous association is to assure the rights of minorities that cannot assure themselves in the political process? Does that assumption absolve the court’s precedents attention LGBT individuals?
Austin-Hillery: Do you acquire that Obergefell v. Hodges [the Supreme Cloister cardinal that gave same- couples the appropriate to ally nationwide] was accurately decided? What do you acquire the appellation “substantially” to beggarly in the ambience of the Religious Abandon Restoration Act [which about confined federal laws that essentially accountability a person’s exercise of religion], and what is the court’s role in ytical whether any accountability imposed is substantial?
Handout / Reuters The Fort Meade, Maryland, address of the Civic Security Agency.
On Adopted Money in U.S. Elections
WHY: In 2011, Kavanaugh wrote an assessment advancement the ban on adopted spending for or adjoin candidates in U.S. elections.
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, law assistant at Stetson University Academy of Law: You declared in Bluman v. Federal Acclamation Commission that foreigners should not be accustomed to absorb in U.S. elections. Do you still acquire this is true? If so, why? And does it agitation you that according to an allegation from appropriate admonition Robert Mueller, Russian nationals allegedly purchased political ads on Facebook during the 2016 acclamation in contravention of the ban on adopted political spending?
On Kavanaugh’s Claimed Debt
WHY: In 2016, Kavanaugh had amid $60,000 and $200,000 in debt through three acclaim cards and a claimed loan, according to his banking acknowledgment forms. The White House has said that he congenital up the debt by affairs Washington Nationals division tickets and tickets for playoff amateur for himself and a accumulation of friends.
Torres-Spelliscy: Is there cardboard advancement that can prove that your debts were absolutely all acquired by antic accident tickets?
On the Affordable Affliction Act
WHY: A approaching Supreme Cloister cardinal ability bang bottomward Admiral Barack Obama’s signature bloom affliction law, which has fabricated bloom affliction added attainable to millions. Kavanaugh has bidding abysmal skepticism about the statute.
Rosenbaum: What are your angle on the severability doctrine, which underlies Texas v. Azar, the case in which the challengers advance that the zeroing out of a tax amends agency that the best ytical allowance protections beneath the ACA no best can be enforced?
Austin-Hillery: Do you acquire the Affordable Affliction Act is constitutional? What are your angle on how to antithesis the rights of religious abandon with the appropriate to be chargeless from discrimination?
On Voting Rights and Aborigine ID Laws
WHY: In 2012, Kavanaugh wrote the decision in an accepted cardinal to advocate a South Carolina law that appropriate a government-issued photo ID to vote. The Obama administering said the law would bind tens of bags of boyhood citizens. That cardinal has sparked fears that Republican efforts to aish voters could get worse if Kavanaugh is confirmed.
Clarke: Do you actualization that vote concoction claims based on abominable after-effects are apparent beneath Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and that the act is built-in for allowing such claims? Do you acquire that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is facially constitutional?
Austin-Hillery: Do you acquire the protections afforded beneath the Voting Rights Act above-mentioned to the Shelby County accommodation in 2013 [a Supreme Cloister cardinal that acutely apprenticed the Voting Rights Act] are still bare by the states to ensure fair and according admission to the ballot? Given the contempo allegation of lower courts in cases arduous aborigine ID and added forms of aborigine suppression, do you anticipate the mechanisms afforded by the Voting Rights Act, pre-2013, to activity bigotry in voting should be reinstated or updated?
Scott McIntyre / Bloomberg via Getty Images A Miami Beach, Florida, polling abode during the Aug. 28, 2018, primary elections.
On Net Neutrality and Broadband Regulation
WHY: Kavanaugh is not a adherent of government-enforced internet neutrality. In a bone aftermost year, he wrote that the Obama-era net neutrality aphorism was “unlawful and charge be vacated,” alarming advocates for according ysis of abstracts online.
Austin-Hillery: What are your angle on the appropriate to admission advice and abandon of announcement in the agenda age? In your view, does the Federal Communications Commission acquire the albatross and ascendancy to assure these rights for all bodies ― not aloof cable companies?
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Can paid prioritization practices run afield of customer aegis or civilian rights laws? How should the broadband internet bazaar be yzed beneath accepted antagonism laws? Does the Federal Communications Commission acquire the ascendancy to actuate the allocation of broadband internet account providers? Does the Communications Act absorb the acreage and pre-empt states and municipalities from casual their own laws blocking throttling, paid prioritization, and aught appraisement by broadband internet account providers? How would the Constitution actualization federal attempts to absolute accompaniment broadband regulation?
On Ecology Protection
WHY: Advocates for able-bodied aegis of the ambiance acquire been abashed by Kavanaugh’s jurisprudential record, which reveals a acutely aloof actualization of ecology interests.
Austin-Hillery: To what admeasurement does the Ecology Aegis Agency acquire acumen in active bloom risks associated with ecology abasement and altitude change?
Sanjay Narayan, managing advocate at the Sierra Club: In PHH Corporation v. Customer Banking Aegis Bureau, Adjudicator Kavanaugh opined that the built-in assumption of break of admiral creates a appropriate to “liberty” from federal adjustment for ample corporations, apparently including above polluters. Does Adjudicator Kavanaugh acquire that consumers and the accepted accessible acquire any agnate built-in appropriate to alternative from abuse or added accumulated misbehavior? If so, how would he administer his built-in “liberty” approach to that right? And does his all-embracing actualization of the courts’ built-in admiral alone extend to attention accumulated rights, or does he additionally acquire that the courts acquire a able role in attention due activity rights, e.g. to abortion?
Narayan: The Supreme Cloister has held, in Massachusetts v. EPA, that EPA has an obligation to adapt adaptable sources of greenhouse gases. In Coalition for Responsible Adjustment v. EPA, Judge Kavanaugh opined that EPA has ascendancy to adapt greenhouse gases alone to the admeasurement that such ascendancy produced no “extreme consequences” in the ambience of emissions. Does Adjudicator Kavanaugh acquire that Massachusetts v. EPA was abominably absitively or should be apprenticed to admittance alone de minimis climate-related regulation? Or that Massachusetts v. EPA authorizes any adjustment of greenhouse gases, above mobile-source emissions?
On Acknowledging Action
WHY: In a 1999 acknowledged abrupt on account of the Center for According Opportunity, a accumulation that opposes race-based acknowledging activity in academy admissions, Kavanaugh argued that it is “inevitable” that the Supreme Cloister will eventually achieve that “we are all one chase in the eyes of the government.” The Trump administering absitively to book a abrupt in abutment of a accepted accusation adjoin Harvard University gluttonous to end acknowledging activity practices.
Clarke: Do you argue the application of chase in university admissions in all circumstances? Do you accede the captivation in the University of Texas cases as acclimatized law?
Cole: Do you acquire that accessible colleges and universities acquire a acute absorption in ensuring that they acquire assorted apprentice bodies?
On Withholding Annal During the Acceptance Process
WHY: Kavanaugh’s acknowledged aggregation has angry over added than 400,000 pages of records from his time alive in the Bush White House. But more than 140,000 pages have been withheld from accessible actualization and Trump has claimed controlling advantage on added than 100,000 added pages of records. The secrecy, according to the Bush acknowledged aggregation absolution the records, is bare due to the acuteness of the communications. But the abridgement of acknowledgment has abashed advocates for accuracy in the process.
Rick Barton, advocate and accessory law assistant at the University of San Diego School of Law: As a sitting federal judge, do you actualization yourself as apprenticed by the Code of Conduct for United States and the Canons, which crave that a adjudicator “uphold the candor and ability of the judiciary” and “should abstain barbarism and the actualization of barbarism in all activities”? Do you actualization that as applying to the acceptance process? Do you accede with the Code of Conduct which states that a adjudicator “must apprehend to be the accountable of accessible ysis and acquire advisedly and agreeably restrictions that ability be beheld as crushing by the accustomed citizen”? As a appointee to the accomplished court, did you feel it was your obligation to ensure that this activity accustomed for a abounding and fair appraisal of your qualifications? In that regard, did you see it as your obligation to acquaint those in the controlling or aldermanic branches to abstain accomplishing annihilation which would possibly accommodation the candor of this activity or do annihilation to anticipate admission to abstracts which buck on your qualifications?
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