Reynolds: Another Ivy Leaguer for the Supreme Court? How originalist. [Opinion]

Reynolds: Another Ivy Leaguer for the Supreme Court? How originalist. [Opinion]

The country dodged a bullet Monday night, when President Donald Trump did not nominate one of the lesser demons of Hell to create a bottomless pit in which to toss stare decisis, as so many had predicted he would do. Of course, even if the president had put forward Abaddon to face Senate confirmation hearings (which, as a presumed conservative jurist, he would traverse successfully), not all that much would really change. The court’s newly entrenched conservative side will likely chip away at precedents rather than make wholesale changes to pretty darn resilient constitutional law. Instead, Trump — naturally on prime time TV — nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a man at least smart enough to marry a West Texan (his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh hails from Abilene). Kavanaugh, 53, serves on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (he won’t even have to move! Think of the savings in relocation expenses alone!), and was the early favorite to grab the seat. Kavanaugh, of course, went to Yale Law School, because all justices nowadays have to come from the Ivy League. Once Trump stopped talking about himself and actually revealed the nomination, Kavanaugh immediately said “a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, tradition and precedent,” a view formerly described as “strict constructionist” but now referred as “originalist,” essentially a marketing term that allows for wider interpretation of the Constitution. The opening on the Supreme Court came in late June, when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement and people […]

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