IMI Deep State project Fellow Jeff Morley got first-hand insight into the jurist philosophy of Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh just hours before Trump nominated him. Kavanaugh issued a majority opinion from the D.C. Supreme Court of Appeals that exhibits his penchant for “unbridled executive branch power,” as Morley argues. Writing for The Intercept, Morley explains:
ON A MONDAY AFTERNOON, on July 9, the D.C. Court of Appeals handed down a 2-1 decision against me and in favor of the CIA in a long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. At 4:20 p.m., Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Gregory Katsas, a Trump appointee, filed a 14-page opinion with the clerk of the court in Washington. They ruled that the CIA had acted “reasonably” in responding to my request for certain ancient files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Appended to their decision was a 17-page dissent from their colleague Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson who strongly objected to their decision.
That evening, President Donald Trump announced to the world that Kavanaugh was his choice to fill the Supreme Court seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. In his remarks at the White House event, Kavanaugh touted his “Female Relationship Resume” and declared, “My judicial philosophy is straightforward: A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law.” …
Kavanaugh’s ruling in Morley v. CIA was of a piece with his record as an advocate of unbridled executive branch power. His view that a sitting president cannot be indicted, or even subpoenaed, is well known. Less known is his permissive treatment of the CIA. In my case, as in another key FOIA case from 2014, Kavanaugh ruled that the agency could not be held publicly accountable for its actions — even ones that occurred more than 50 years ago.
Read the rest at The Intercept.