Chief Justice

()The last most Americans saw Brett Kavanaugh, he was on national tele testifying before senators, emotional, angry and insistent that Democratic partisans were trying to destroy him with allegations of ual from decades ago.

news media

    Kavanaugh: This is a national disg

, as Prent Donald continues to h up Kavanaugh as a political trophy, the new Supreme justice himself is trying to lower his profile.
For his formal investiture at the Supreme on Thursday, he did not ear for any photographs by the news and skipped a traditional photo op on the marble steps where the public could have seen — and protested — him. (The cited security concerns.)
Kavanaugh also seems inclined agnst a prominent role at week’s annual meeting of the Federa Society, the group ing with the White to confirm s, to which Justice Neil Gorsuch, ’s first ointee, gave a rousing keynote speech last year.
Within the , Kavanaugh has defer to his colleagues in oral s and quickly adhe to the ’s institutional traditions. The justices have gone out of their way to be publicly welcoming and have shown an unusual degree of collegiality all around during s so far this term, even laughing more at one an’s jokes.
Republican Party
In the few cases he has handled so far, Kavanaugh has declined some opportunities to favor the administration, separating himself from Gorsuch in votes. He has aligned more with Chief Justice John Roberts than the far right of the bench.
All t, Kavanaugh ears to be lying low after the volatile confirmation process and buttressing Roberts’ efforts to move the away from the white-hot spot.
Yet Kavanaugh, a political inr who spent 12 years on a US eals , also understands that the scrutiny fade. The record of Kavanaugh, 53 and ointed for life, become clear only over many months and years.
    For the in America, the newest of the nine represents only part of a ous change underway. For years as the justices met privately to decide cases in a rich oak-paneled conference room, the person whose s matte most was Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh succeeded.
    A with centrist tendencies on social issues — including abortion, and gay — Kennedy was regularly the deciding vote. Like the s who stood at the lectern and publicly argued before the high , individual justices often tlo their s around the private conference table to Kennedy.
    team player
    Not one of the current nine has a similar centrist roach. Justices on both s of the ideological divide are ing Kavanaugh for any clues about how to best roach the new justice.
    Kavanaugh was efully vetted by a that did not want a vacillating jurist in the mode of Kennedy.
    Gorsuch has fulfilled those expectations, often ing on the far right with Justice Clarence for an origina roach to the , tied to the Constitution’s 18th-century origins.
    Gorsuch’s emergence in the public eye last year, however, was fraught. Some of his moves spurning prices miffed his colleagues, who made their displeasure known. He also garne unusual attention on social , including among professors, for statements and writing that found inflated and self-.
    Kavanaugh’s is different and he ears to be trying to make good on his oft-repeated confirmation mantra about “always being a player on the of nine.”
      Where Gorsuch imtely opted agnst having his s join the pool that collectively s petitions for certiorari, seeking of cases lost in lower s, Kavanaugh has had his s join. (All justices but Gorsuch and Samuel Alito are in the so-called cert pool, which dates to the 1970s.)
      In the private conference, the junior justice has the responsibility of taking notes on the proceedings and answering the if any de knocks to offer a document or even a fetched set of forgotten or a coffee requested by a justice.
      That person is Kavanaugh. He also be last in line to cast his vote. In tight cases, he likely would be the fifth , ling a victory for the right wing. Or he prove unpictable, perhaps even defying his beneor.
      Before this week’s midterm , as tried to rally , he constantly invoked Kavanaugh’s ointment and the Democratic opposition he faced. The day after the election, the Prent boasted that the Kavanaugh strategy pd off.
      “By epanding our Senate ity, the voters have also cl rebuked the Senate for their handling of the Kavanaugh hearings,” sd at a White news conference.
      “Tremendous was given to the Republican Party by the way they treated then- Kavanaugh, Justice Kavanaugh,” he sd.
      Chief Justice

        Voter: Kavanaugh hearing was ’embarrassing’

      Playing nice in public

      Kavanaugh’s to the ual allegations of Christine Blasey prompted some s and s, including reti Justice John ns, to question his temperament and ability to be an impartial jurist.
      news media
        During the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh described ’s clms as part of “a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with arent pent-up about Prent and the 2016 election … revenge on behalf of the s and millions of dollars in from out left-wing opposition groups.”
        Individual justices are conflicted over how Kavanaugh’s confirmation unfed, yet all have an incentive to be collegial and forward-ing. They have projected a “business as usual” im, even earing to be getting a better on the bench.
        Kavanaugh has sat through three weeks of oral s. He has held back and his colleagues r their queries before jumping in. He also has tried to take opportunities to question both s in frious cases, perhaps to avoid being labeled with a pictably roach.
        Fellow justices have shown regard for his questioning, occasionally picking up on his line of inquiry.
        “What the treaty seems to prevent,” Justice Elena Kagan observed to a at the lectern in one case, “is the state from taking either or, as Justice Kavanaugh says, with goods.”
        At an point, Kagan, who sits to Kavanaugh on the bench, sd, “I think the import of Justice Kavanaugh’s question is that in the usual case. … ”
        In a separate dispute, after Kavanaugh had tried to enter the fray but was interrupted, Roberts stopped the at the lectern. “I think Justice Kavanaugh had a question,” Roberts sd, ensuring Kavanaugh an opening.
        Later in the same , Kavanaugh sd, “to pick up on the ’s comments. … “
        Republican Party

          Staying close to the

          While they are united in public, with Kennedy’s departure the is more divided on the substance of the , split between five s (Roberts, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Alito and Clarence ) and four s (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotoor and Kagan).
          Yet the has been determined to show that the is above . Roberts end up inching to the left himself in some cases, to avoid some 5-4 splits, and find a new ally in Kavanaugh.
          Republican Party
          How those justices on the right band together — or not — could make a difference in the cases the takes up and the fate of - precedents, for eample on abortion . Where Kavanaugh falls on the ideological spectrum could also affect larger constitutional dilemmas, provoked by ’s demonstrated disregard for legal norms.
          Kavanaugh and Roberts, a decade er at 63, have kn each for n 30 years. Both served in the US ’s Office during the George H. administration, Roberts as a deputy SG and Kavanaugh on a fellowship for young s. During the George administration, Kavanaugh obtned top legal jobs and Roberts won ointments, first to the US of eals for the District of Circuit, in 2003, and then to the Supreme , in 2005.
          Kavanaugh himself then served on the Circuit, reinforcing their common path. They have had a friendly .
          Last month, when Kavanaugh underwent a ceremonial investiture at the White , following his 50-48 confirmation vote by the Senate, he went out of his way to prse Roberts.
            Roberts is a principled, independent and inspiring er for the American judiciary,” Kavanaugh sd. “As a country, we are fortunate to have John Roberts as of the .”
            Roberts returned the favorable comments when he spoke of judicial independence, after referring to “the ious in ,” at the University of Minnesota the following week.
            “As our newest colleague put it, we do not sit on opposite s of an sle, we do not caucus in separate rooms, we do not serve one party or one interest. We serve one nation,” Roberts sd.

            Not siding with — yet

            The 2018-19 session, which began a week before Kavanaugh was ted last month, is still so new that he and most justices have yet to issue any written opinions. But Kavanaugh has taken ions that separate him from the stalwarts.
            In late October, when the took up a challenge to the Commerce Department’s addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, Kavanaugh was with the ity in allowing lower proceedings to continue and testimony to be taken from a key Justice Department in the dispute, while his fellow s Gorsuch and dissented. (Separately, the full blocked the challengers from obtning testimony from Commerce Wilbur Ross.)
            Chief Justice
            A week later, on November 2, the by a 6-3 vote rejected a subsequent administration request to postpone the trial. , Alito and Gorsuch publicly dissented, but Kavanaugh, who have been picted to join them, did not.
            That same day, the Supreme — agn over public dissents from and Gorsuch — rejected a Trump administration request to block a lawsuit by youths who want to h the responsible for emissions policy and .
              In none of those three matters did Kavanaugh write anything that became public.
              had no public comment on any of them, either. The Prent still speaks enthusiastically of his new nominee and suggests he believes the high be more on his .
              When a federal eals on Thursday upheld a decision that blocked the administration from ending an -era program shielding undocumented immigrants who came to the when young from deportation, sd he would be hy to take the case to the nine.
              news media
              “We want to be in the Supreme on DACA,” t reporters Friday morning, later adding, “where we’ll be given a fr decision.”
              And in the week, before Tuesday’s , the Prentrsed Kavanaugh’s name to rally campgn crowds. He cast Kavanaugh as a victim of false accusers and their Democratic enablers.
              “False accusations. False accusations,” sd. “They want to ruin a man or a woman. Ruin a man.”

              Related posts