CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Sen. Mike Lee fears Kavanaugh hearing may be a sign of things to come

Oct 11, 2018, 3:25 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:29 am
Sen. Mike Lee with Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 18, 2018...
Sen. Mike Lee with Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing became a media circus, but Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, thinks that all that pandemonium could have been avoided.

He blames fierce partisanship on the parts of the Democrats and a widespread misunderstanding of the Supreme Court’s role for what he calls a “needlessly contentious” process.

Sen. Mike Lee sat down for an exclusive interview with KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic and shared why he thinks that a better understanding of the Supreme Court could keep these appointments from erupting into chaos.

The Purpose of the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in, as President Donald Trump looks on, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“The better we can educate people as to the purpose of the Supreme Court,” Sen. Lee told Dave & Dujanovic, “the less political we can make it.”

A lot of the worries over Kavanaugh’s appointment, Sen. Lee seemed to suggest, were sparked over a misconception that the Supreme Court is a policy-making body.

Indeed, many articles criticizing Kavanaugh have expressed deep worries about what his appointment might mean for abortion rights in the United States, with several fretting that Kavanaugh might help overturn Roe v. Wade.

Sen. Lee, however, rejects the idea that the Supreme Court would play a heavy-handed role in U.S. policy.

“Regrettably, in some cases, the court will perhaps overstep its bounds and get into some policymaking,” Sen. Lee admitted; but, “for the most part, this is a court that calls its balls and strikes as it sees them.”

A trend in American politics

The Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. Capitol Hill, Sept. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The contention over Kavanaugh’s hearing, Sen. Lee said, was just another sign of where the US has been trending for decades.

“If you go back over the last 30 years,” Sen. Lee said, “you’ve got a whole lot more Republican votes voting to confirm Democratic nominees to the Supreme Court than you’ve got Democratic votes voting to confirm Republican nominees to the Supreme Court. A lot more.”

Sen. Lee said that the trend of fighting against Republican Supreme Court nominees can be traced back to Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, the judge Sen. Ted Kennedy said would create an America in which “women would be forced into back-alley abortions [and] blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters.”

Since then, Sen. Lee says, efforts to stop Republican Supreme Court nominations have only become more intense.

“I sure hope it’s not the future,” Sen. Lee told Dave & Dujanovic. “I sure hope this is not a bellwether for what we’ll face every time a vacancy like this occurs again.”

More to the story

If you missed Dave & Dujanovic’s interview with Senator Lee live on KSL Newsradio, you can still catch everything on the Dave & Dujanvoic podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Play Music

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