*UPDATE: A little after 9:00pm EST, Monday, July 9, President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will have a vacancy after July 31 when Justice Anthony Kennedy officially retires. While many are asking how any potential Supreme Court nominee will vote on issues like women’s reproductive rights or Citizens United, President Trump may have a different litmus test in mind.
Will his nominee allow a sitting president to be indicted?
And after his team looked into their backgrounds, Trump already knows how at least one member of his short list, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, feels on the subject.
Trump SCOTUS team has looked at Kavanaugh’s past comments on indicting a sitting president, we’ve confirmed. In 2009, Kavanaugh wrote: “The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government…” https://t.co/rDHJs5RiUY
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 9, 2018
In a 33 page article for the Minnesota Law Review titled Separation of Powers, Brett M. Kavanaugh discussed separation of powers and executive privilege in regards to the executive branch of the federal government. He based his suggestions on living through the administrations of President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, for whom Kavanaugh worked as a staff secretary.
The three branches of the federal government —executive, legislative, judicial— are designed to act as a series of checks and balances, whereby no one branch can hold sway over the others or the citizenry of the United States. It is designed to block tyranny and authoritarianism from arising and keep a dictator from rising to power in the executive branch.
However Kavanaugh believes some of those safety measures placed by the U.S. Constitution on the powers of the presidency should be eliminated because being president is super hard. Like harder than anybody else’s job.
“First, my chief takeaway from working in the White House for five-and-a-half years—and particularly from my nearly three years of work as Staff Secretary, when I was fortunate to travel the country and the world with President Bush—is that the job of President is far more difficult than any other civilian
position in government. It frankly makes being a member of Congress or the judiciary look rather easy by comparison.”
Because it’s super hard to be president, Kavanaugh proposes the person currently in that position deserves a break from having to obey the law. Should they actually break laws while in office, they should not be bothered with the consequences all other citizens, or even members of the federal government, would face.