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Justice Kavanaugh seeks to dispel the notion that the Supreme Court is partisan

by Chloe Baker
3 comments
Supreme Court partisanship

Justice Brett Kavanaugh aimed to challenge the prevailing belief that the Supreme Court operates with partisan bias. During a judicial conference in Minnesota, Kavanaugh highlighted the varied decisions reached by the U.S. Supreme Court this term as evidence against its perceived partisanship. Despite conservative rulings that terminated affirmative action in college admissions and invalidated President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief program, Kavanaugh emphasized that the court serves as an institution of law, divorced from politics and partisanship.

Since President Donald Trump’s appointments, including Kavanaugh himself, the Supreme Court has undergone changes. While Kavanaugh aligned with conservative majorities in cases involving affirmative action, student loans, and the nationwide right to abortion, he also contributed to mixed conservative-liberal majorities that protected Black voters in Alabama and upheld a federal law promoting Native American children’s placement within Native families.

The term also witnessed surprising decisions, such as rejecting conservative stances in a North Carolina redistricting case that could have had significant electoral consequences nationwide, and supporting the Biden administration in a dispute over deportation priorities.

Kavanaugh asserted that the court adheres to the practice of deciding cases based on law rather than partisan affiliation. He emphasized that the justices work together as a group, dismissing the notion of separate caucuses or divided arguments during oral proceedings. Kavanaugh further revealed the extent of the justices’ interactions, including approximately 65 shared lunches annually, where work discussions are prohibited. He regarded this practice as beneficial, fostering relationships and goodwill among the justices, which proves invaluable during challenging cases.

Recalling his initial term in 2018, Kavanaugh expressed gratitude for the warm reception he received from liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, demonstrating the harmonious working relationships he has cultivated, including those with the newest justices, conservative Amy Coney Barrett and liberal Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Kavanaugh, who frequently found himself in the majority during divided cases this term, revealed that the Supreme Court hears 60 to 70 cases annually. He noted that while only a few cases garner substantial attention, numerous decisions are reached with unanimous or lopsided votes, fostering a variety of alliances among the justices. He cited examples of working with Justice Sonia Sotomayor in one case while disagreeing on another, emphasizing that individual disagreements do not impede their collaborative efforts.

Although Kavanaugh briefly mentioned the ethical concerns surrounding some justices, including Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor, which have potentially eroded public confidence in the court, he acknowledged Chief Justice John Roberts’ previous statement that the justices were addressing the issue collectively. However, no specific measures or ethical codes have been implemented thus far.

Kavanaugh acknowledged that criticism is an inherent aspect of their work, particularly when the court renders difficult decisions. He emphasized that the justices strive for consistency, articulate their reasoning clearly, and demonstrate their unity as a nine-member team, devoid of partisan caucusing. He concluded by acknowledging that criticism is inevitable and should be expected in their line of work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Supreme Court partisanship

What is Justice Kavanaugh’s stance on the perception of partisanship in the Supreme Court?

Justice Kavanaugh seeks to dispel the notion that the Supreme Court is partisan. He emphasizes that the court is an institution of law, not of politics or partisanship. Kavanaugh highlights the mixed decisions reached by the court, where conservative and liberal justices have collaborated on various cases, demonstrating their commitment to deciding based on law rather than partisan affiliation.

How does Justice Kavanaugh describe the working dynamics among the justices?

Justice Kavanaugh describes the justices as working together as a group of nine. He emphasizes that they do not caucus in separate rooms, meet separately, or sit on different sides of the aisle during oral arguments. They spend a significant amount of time together, including approximately 65 shared lunches annually, where work discussions are prohibited. Kavanaugh believes that this fosters relationships, friendships, and goodwill among the justices, which contributes to their collaborative efforts on tough cases.

How does Justice Kavanaugh address the issue of ethics within the Supreme Court?

While briefly mentioning the ethics concerns that have surrounded some justices, Justice Kavanaugh acknowledges that Chief Justice John Roberts has stated that the justices are collectively working on the matter. However, no specific details or ethical codes have been adopted at this time. Kavanaugh does not elaborate further on this topic.

What is Justice Kavanaugh’s perspective on criticism of the Supreme Court?

Justice Kavanaugh recognizes that criticism is an inherent aspect of their work and emphasizes that one should not be in this line of work if they dislike criticism. He believes that the justices should strive to be consistent, clearly explain their reasoning, and demonstrate that they work together as a team of nine on difficult cases rather than engaging in partisan caucusing. Kavanaugh acknowledges that criticism is inevitable and should be expected in their roles as justices.

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3 comments

LegalEagle July 14, 2023 - 5:37 pm

Kavagh wants 2 dispel the idea of partisanship in the Supreme Court. He points to mixed decisions & says they work as a team. But will ppl believe it? Critics think not!

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JohnDoe July 14, 2023 - 11:00 pm

justice kavanaugh really wants ppl to see that the supreme court isn’t partisan which is pretty cool. he says its all about the law not politics. im not sure if everyone will buy it tho

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CourtWatcher July 14, 2023 - 11:15 pm

Kavanaugh talks about how they eat lunch together without talking about work. He says it builds relationships and helps when they have tough cases. Interesting insight into their dynamics.

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