Leahy and Kavanaugh

July 25, 2018

by John McClaughry

In the Seven Days newspaper  of July 11  Sen. Patrick Leahy issued a full-throated blast at Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, claiming that Judge Kavanaugh, in a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, wrote that “the president should be above the law when they’re president.”

Reporter Taylor Dobbs then accurately quoted the law review article that proposed “that sitting presidents should not be subject to indictments, civil lawsuits, or criminal investigations.”

In it Judge Kavanaugh wrote: “The first [counterargument to that proposal would be] that no one is above the law in our system of government.  I strongly agree with that principle. But …the  point  is  not  to  put  the  President  above  the  law  or  to  eliminate  checks  on  the  President,  but  simply  to  defer  litigation  and  investigations until the President is out of office.”

Judge Kavanaugh based that conclusion on the tribulations of the Clinton presidency: “Looking back to the late 1990s… the nation certainly would have been better off if President Clinton could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal-investigation offshoots.”

That does not support Leahy’s inflammatory charge that the Judge believes that “the president should be above the law when they’re president.”

You will hear a lot of false and wild charges about Judge Kavanaugh over the next two months. Don’t take Patrick Leahy’s word for any of them.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert July 26, 2018 at 12:56 am

It would not occur to me to take Sen. Leahy’s word for anything useful. He is a far-left partisan hack. If Sen. Leahy is adamantly opposed to Judge Kavanaugh filling the vacant Supreme Court chair, you can be assured Kavanaugh is the exact person needed there. Sen. Leahy, please resign. We get that you can fool the fools and be reelected, but perhaps you could be noble enough to do what is right for the country, for a change. It might give you a feeling of doing something good at the end.

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