'How Brett Kavanaugh Worked to Weaponize the War on Terror'
Not holding my breath on that one.According to newly public documents, Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, was involved in strategizing about how to present the Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo. The documents are an important reminder that Kavanaugh served close to a president at a time when our most fundamental values were routinely discarded in the name of national security.
The tendency to overestimate national security claims runs through some of Kavanaugh’s decisions as a judge, supporting his expansive vision of executive power. Senators charged with vetting Kavanaugh would do well to plumb his views on the topic, particularly since this administration has made a habit of proffering weak security rationales for its policies on everything from tariffs and trade to separating children from their parents at the border.
Of course, Kavanaugh is not alone. American courts have a long history of caving to the executive’s broad claims of national security, sacrificing constitutional values and individual liberties along the way. Indeed, in times of perceived security crises, judges have routinely abrogated Americans’ liberties and only realized—and regretted―these mistakes once the crisis ended.
The “war on terror,” however, has no end in sight, and our judges must be “capable of sustaining the supremacy of civil liberties over exaggerated claims of national security.” Senators need to make sure that Kavanaugh is such a judge.