The race is on pin down the political views of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the open Supreme Court seat left by recently retired Judge Anthony Kennedy.
The former Bush campaign official and White House staffer has spent the last dozen years on the D.C. District Court and has a lengthy record for review. Kavanaugh’s conservative bona fides have been critiqued by some conservatives and staunchly defended by others.
However, Axios has used the ideological ranking system of a group of political professors at Washington University to measure where Kavanaugh would land on the political spectrum of the court were he confirmed. According to the Axios study:
Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, would have the second most conservative score (0.693) on the bench if confirmed, next to Justice Clarence Thomas (0.725), per a measure that scores judges on a liberal-conservative spectrum.
An analysis by political scientists Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, and Kevin Quinn places judges on an ideological spectrum called the “Judicial Common Space.” Conservative justices receive scores from zero to one, liberal justices from negative one to zero.
The findings show that given the model designed by the academics, Kavanaugh would be the second-most conservative justice on the court. Only rock-ribbed conservative Clarence Thomas would be more conservative.