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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

The Best Choice

September 7, 2018
Weekly Columns
For the second time during his term in office, President Trump has had the opportunity to place a new Justice on the Supreme Court. His first pick Justice Neil Gorsuch was an excellent one, and since joining the high court, Justice Gorsuch has served faithfully and diligently. When Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years, announced his retirement earlier this year, another critical seat opened. President Trump swiftly and decisively nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. to replace Justice Kennedy.
This week there has been plenty of fervor surrounding the confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh. My Democratic colleagues in the Senate have been primed to disrupt these hearing proceedings before even listening to Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony. They should remember that Judge Kavanaugh stands before them with an exceptional resume and superb credentials. In fact, he has been praised many times as one of the most qualified nominees in years. I certainly agree with those sentiments.
Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding jurist with a sharp legal mind. He is known as a “judge’s judge,” and will apply our laws as written and adhere to an original understanding of the Constitution. Many have argued that his decision-making will be too influenced by personal opinion. I believe that he will decide cases, as he has in the past, based on that original understanding of the Constitution, not personal policy preferences. His record is clear as an independent and impartial arbiter of the law. He will apply the law as written, while also bringing the depth and understanding of the Constitution that is required of all Supreme Court Justices.
In addition to Judge Kavanaugh’s solid foundation as a jurist, he has also served the legal community in other various capacities. He taught as a law professor for decades at both Yale and Harvard law schools and served as Counsel to the Bush Administration directly in the White House. He has also co-written a book on judicial precedent with ten other judges. His work demonstrates a steadfast devotion to precedent and stability in the law.
Although his confirmation process will certainly be contested, Judge Kavanaugh is a solid, stellar selection. It is hard to imagine how anyone can question his incredible legal career, character and integrity. Beyond his service as a jurist, he is a humble citizen and family man. He is one of the brightest and best to stand before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is my hope that he will complete his confirmation successfully with bipartisan support and become our next Supreme Court Justice.