With the recent nomination of D.C. Circuit Court Appellate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Donald Trump, all eyes have turned to the impending Senate confirmation process. One crucial step in the US Senate process is a confirmation hearing in the Committee on the Judiciary. This hearing will give US Senators on the powerful committee the chance to ask Judge Kavanaugh serious questions about his judicial philosophy, prior rulings, and even prior public statements or writings. Anything that Judge Kavanaugh has written or said over the course of his legal career will come under intense scrutiny as the handful of Senators publicly vet the nominee.
Judge Kavanaugh faces intense opposition from Democratic Senators, including many who pledged to vote against him just minutes after his nomination was announced. Some Republicans expressed reservations on whether the Justice will adhere strictly to the original intent of the constitution. Additionally, pro-abortion Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine stated she will vote against Judge Kavanaugh if he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the unjust Supreme Court decision which imposed abortion on demand in the United States. With Supreme Court nominations becoming harshly partisan, most Democratic Senators are likely to vote against confirmation. Right now, a no vote from both pro-abortion Republican Senators Collins and Murkowski (R-AK) would tank Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Whether all the Republicans support Kavanaugh could depend on the hearings of the Judiciary Committee. With only 21 Senators on the Committee (11 Republicans, 10 Democrats), most states are not represented on the decisive committee. Texans, however, are in a rare position of having both our Senators, Cruz and Cornyn, seated on the committee. Senator Ted Cruz himself places the utmost importance on the actual words of the Constitution. Given the outsized role the Supreme Court has played recently in interpreting our central liberties as Americans, Senator Cruz is expected to pose tough questions to Judge Kavanaugh testing his allegiance to the original intent of the Constitution.
In addition to Cruz, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also represents Texas on the committee. Both Senators’ role in the hearings will prove crucial in understanding the judicial philosophy of Judge Kavanaugh, but Senator Cornyn will also play a prominent role in the rest of the confirmation process. As the Majority Whip, Cornyn will be involved in the scheduling of the hearing, the timing of the committee vote, and eventually the schedule for the debate and vote of the full Senate. Because many seats in the Senate are in competitive states, some predict that Republicans may lose the majority this fall. This necessitates swift action to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, and Senator Cornyn could play a key role in expediting the confirmation process.
Judge Kavanaugh has a long road ahead of him in the US Senate’s confirmation process in which Texas Senators Cruz and Cornyn will have an outsized role. Conservative and Pro-Life Texans have a responsibility to watch this process closely and be prepared to encourage our US Senators to fully use their authority and key positions to ensure a nominee of integrity and judicial restraint is confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States.