SCOTUS Shortlister Raymond Kethledge on Free Speech, Gun Rights, Originalism, and Chevron Deference

SCOTUS Shortlister Raymond Kethledge on Free Speech, Gun Rights, Originalism, and Chevron Deference

Judge Raymond Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is reportedly among a handful of finalists under consideration by President Donald Trump to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kethledge, 51, attended law school at the University of Michigan and went on to clerk for Justice Kennedy at SCOTUS. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed him to the 6th Circuit. During his decade on the bench, Kethledge has had the opportunity to weigh in on some of the most contentious issues in American law. His judicial record therefore offers a good indication of what sort of Supreme Court justice he might turn out to be. He is perhaps best known to the general public for his 2016 ruling in United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots , which rejected the Internal Revenue Service’s attempt to withhold documents relevant to a lawsuit that charged the I.R.S. with unfairly treating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The federal law applicable in the case, Kethledge wrote, "does not entitle the IRS to keep secret (in the name of ‘taxpayer privacy,’ no less) every internal IRS document that reveals IRS mistreatment of a taxpayer or applicant organization." The law "was enacted to protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers." Kethledge has authored several notable opinions in First Amendment cases. In Lavin v. Husted (2012), he struck down an Ohio statute that made it illegal for state attorney-general and state county-prosecutor candidates to […]

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