Why the Latest Kavanaugh Attack, on U.S. v. Nixon, is Not What It Seems Why the Latest Kavanaugh Attack, on U.S. v. Nixon, is Not What It Seems – NTK Network

Why the Latest Kavanaugh Attack, on U.S. v. Nixon, is Not What It Seems

At least one prominent liberal group is pouncing on a new story concerning Judge Brett Kavanaugh's past views on U.S. v. Nixon. That story doesn't reveal a complete picture of Kavanaugh's views, though.

By NTK Staff | 07.22.2018 @8:39am
Why the Latest Kavanaugh Attack, on U.S. v. Nixon, is Not What It Seems

Liberals are pouncing on a new detail in the thousands of pages of documents Judge Brett Kavanaugh gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee, published Saturday by the committee.

That detail concerns the 1974 Supreme Court ruling on U.S. v. Nixon, which, The Associated Press reports, “marked limits on a president’s ability to withhold information needed for a criminal prosecution.” The decision ultimately led to Nixon turning over the infamous Watergate tapes.

Kavanaugh was taking part in a roundtable discussion with other lawyers when he said at three different points that the decision in U.S. v. Nixon, which marked limits on a president’s ability to withhold information needed for a criminal prosecution, may have come out the wrong way.

Demand Justice’s Brian Fallon, a former Hillary Clinton spokesman who’s leading the anti-Kavanaugh effort, suggested it was a big deal.

But what the AP story on U.S. v. Nixon did not expose is Kavanaugh’s multifaceted views on U.S. v. Nixon. For example, in a 2016 speech at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Kavanaugh called Nixon (on page 8 of the link) one of:

…the greatest moments in American judicial history … when judges stood up to the other branches, were not cowed, and enforced the law.

And earlier, in 1998, Kavanaugh wrote in the Georgetown Law Journal (pages 29-30 of the link) that Congress should pass a law that limits claims of executive privilege.

The following statutory language is proposed: In response to a federal grand jury or criminal trial subpoena sought by the United States, no court of the United States shall enforce or recognize a privilege claimed by the President in his official capacity, or by an Executive department or agency, except on the ground of national security, or as provided by federal statute or rule that refers specifically to the privileges available to government officials or agencies in grand jury or criminal trial proceedings.

In that same journal entry, Kavanaugh writes in a footnote (number 89) that “there is no reason to revisit” Nixon.

Clearly, Kavanaugh’s position on U.S. v. Nixon, and executive privilege, is not one of complete deference to the executive branch, despite what Kavanaugh’s opponents may claim.

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