For the last two weeks, all eyes have been on Brett Kavanaugh, his accusers, and the Senators who have decided the fate of the Supreme Court for years to come. The nation was and continues to be divided. Some believe the accusers and others believe Kavanaugh, with the rest just wanting our elected leaders to rise above this national spectacle.
As a former prosecutor in New York, I firmly believe that all serious allegations of illegal behavior must be thoroughly investigated to protect the integrity of the highest court and the future of this great nation. By no surprise to those of us who know Brett Kavanaugh, the federal investigation has cleared one of the most well-respected American jurists of our time, finding no evidence or proof of the accusations made against him.
Even still, with the nation so divided and the mid-term election weeks away, the decision to move forward on a vote before the Senate was a difficult one.
But in the face of the media, and many in the halls of Congress who sought to distort and sabotage the confirmation process over the past few months, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and 50 U.S. senators ultimately did the right thing. And it’s with that courage and bold leadership that the original intent of the Second Amendment is now secured for years to come.
Justice Kavanaugh’s judicial record in support of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms is untarnished. In the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia v. Heller, AKA “Heller II,” the court narrowly upheld the restrictive gun laws in D.C.
But Kavanaugh dissented, arguing that a ban on semiautomatic rifles and requirements for handgun registration are unconstitutional on the grounds of historical and traditional basis. His detailed dissent shadowed Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in the original Heller — further protecting gun rights against local and state lawmakers, as well as overactive, political judges.
Justice Kavanaugh’s clearly articulated dissent demonstrated not just his originalist bona fides, but his deeply held respect for the role of the Supreme Court. In the marrow of his bones, Justice Kavanaugh knows the primary duty of the court is to faithfully apply the law. His decisions on the bench have been upheld 11 times in just 12 years by the Supreme Court.
His thoughtful and clear opinions are to be envied by many in the legal system, but it’s his firm foundation for fairness and rule of law that has earned him such outstanding praise.
It was a sad day when some in the Senate chose politics over constitutional duty, and as a result, Justice Kavanaugh was not afforded the same objectivity and justice he has shown the American legal system his entire career. Those senators identified themselves early, defining their opposition even before Justice Kavanaugh’s name was announced.
To the Senators who stood for fairness and due process, thank you for your actions to confirm a great jurist and man. For that, you’ve written your names in history books. By allowing the truth to come forward in the face of so much noise, Justice Kavanaugh will rightly have a seat on the Supreme Court and the opportunity to shape the American legal system for a generation or more.
Lawrence Keane is senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.