July 11, 2018
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor about President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
“It is a fantastic choice.
“I’ve said before that there are three things I wanted to see in any nominee for the court: the appropriate judicial philosophy; a strong intellect; and a solid character.
“Everything I’ve seen so far confirms that Judge Kavanaugh satisfies all three of these requirements.
“I’d like to talk today about a few things that I think we can expect to see over the next couple of months.
“First, I think it’s safe to say that throughout this process Judge Kavanaugh will not announce how he’s going to rule on cases that might come before him on the Supreme Court.
“That’s a very appropriate thing for the judge to do –to not announce how he’s going to rule on cases that might come before him on the Supreme Court.
“In fact, the ethics rules say it’s exactly what a nominee should do.
“The rules say that judges and nominees should not answer questions about how they would rule on a case that they might consider.
“So I expect that Judge Kavanaugh will follow the rules and not get into specifics on which side he may favor.
“It’s what Ruth Bader Ginsburg did during her confirmation process in 1993.
“She said that ‘a judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints.’
“She said that this would ‘display disdain for the entire judicial process.’
“She was confirmed.
“That’s the Ginsburg standard – every nominee since then has followed that standard.
“The second thing I expect to happen is that Democrats are going to complain that Judge Kavanaugh follows the Ginsburg standard.
“They’re going to complain that he won’t promise to take their side in cases that might come up before the court.
“They’re going to complain that some of the cases he’s decided in the past didn’t work out the way they wanted them to work out.
“That’s what Democrats on the Judiciary Committee did when Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court last year.
“They criticized him for some of his rulings that they didn’t like.
“They suggested that he should have ignored the law and sided with ‘the little guy’ in a case regardless of what the law had said.
“Judge Gorsuch knew the same thing that Judge Kavanaugh knows – judges are absolutely not supposed to consider who they think is sympathetic in a case.
“They’re supposed to be making decisions and rules based on the law.
“Federal judges actually swear an oath to ‘administer justice without respect to persons, and to do equal right to the poor and to the rich.’
“That’s what Judge Kavanaugh has done during his 12 years as a member of the D.C. Circuit Court.
“The Minority Leader, Senator Schumer, has already said that’s not good enough for him.
“He wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on July 2nd.
“He wrote this op-ed before the president had even made a decision as to who he might nominate.
“It didn’t matter to Senator Schumer.
“He made it clear that he is going to fight any mainstream nominee unless he could confirm that the nominee will rule in a certain way.
“Judges don’t do that – judges shouldn’t do that.
“That’s the litmus test for liberal Democrats in the United States Senate.
“They’re going to try to make people believe that they know how Judge Kavanaugh is going to rule on the Supreme Court.
“When President Obama was picking people to serve as judges and justices, he said he was looking for people who decide cases based on empathy.
“President Trump has consistently selected judges—and we’ve approved and confirmed quite a few now since President Trump has taken office—judges and justices who decide cases based upon the law and the Constitution of the land.
“Judge Kavanaugh is exactly that kind of a judge.
“He understands that writing the laws is not his job.
“He gave a speech last year in which he said that ‘Congress and the president – not the courts – possess the authority and responsibility to legislate.’
“The third thing that I expect to happen in this process is that we will vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination before the next Supreme Court session starts in October.
“That’s what the American people want us to do.
“NBC News did a recent poll and they found that 62 percent of Americans want us to vote on this nomination before the November elections.
“Only 33 percent said we should wait.
“Democrats want to delay, they want to delay the process – and the American people are saying get on with it.
“It’s early July now, and we’re going to work through the month of August. That gives us plenty of time to consider this nomination.
“When you look at the people serving on the Supreme Court today, we typically spent around 66 days to confirm each of them.
“That’s going to put us around the middle of September. There’s no reason we need to take any longer than that.
“Judge Kavanaugh has been through this process before—been confirmed by the Senate before.
“He was confirmed to the circuit court by a vote of 57 to 36 in this body.
“Four Democrats supported his confirmation.
“He’s served on the Circuit Court for over 12 years. He’s written a number of rulings, over 300.
“His background as a judge gives us powerful evidence of the kind of justice that he will be.
“He’s going to take the law and the Constitution at face value.
“He’s not going to treat them like blank pages on which he can rewrite the law in his own making, in his own wishes.
“In his speech last year he made it very clear, he said: ‘The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy.’
“This view – and every example I have seen from Judge Kavanaugh’s record – is squarely in the mainstream of American legal thinking today.
“He is smart, he is fair, and I believe he is very well qualified.
“Regrettably, none of this matters to some of the Democrats.
“They’re going to use the same scare tactics that they use every time a Republican president nominates someone to the Supreme Court.
“They did it 40 years ago when President Gerald Ford nominated John Paul Stevens to the court.
“Liberals accused him of ‘antagonism to women’s rights.’
“When President Reagan nominated Justice Kennedy 31 years ago, Democrats said of his nomination that the nomination ‘should be unsettling to those concerned with the health and legal status of women in America.’
“They’ve been using the same old lines for more than 40 years. It’s never true, it’s never reality.
“I hope that Democrats in the Senate will give Judge Kavanaugh a chance.
“I hope that they will take the time to consider his qualifications – and that they will actually sit down to talk with him before they rush to condemn him—although quite a few had rushed to condemn him even before the president decided and he was named to the court.
“I also look forward to sitting down with the nominee, and to exploring some of his views more fully.
“Everything that I have seen so far suggests to me that it’s going to be a very good conversation and that Judge Kavanaugh would make an excellent justice of the Supreme Court.”