United States Senator
April 27, 2004
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy
On the Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh
April 27, 2004
Today we are considering the nomination of yet another controversial nomination to a U.S. Court of Appeals, this time to the extremely important D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This is arguably the most important court in the nation, with the exception of the Supreme Court, and nominations to it deserve the most careful scrutiny we can give. They also deserve the utmost seriousness of purpose from the President who sends these nominations up to the Senate, as well as rigorous consideration and a respect for the stature of the judges who have served there over the years.
While I see that Mr. Kavanaugh is a well-educated young man who has had a series of prestigious jobs, some legal, some political, with prominent conservatives, I have serious doubts about whether this job is right for him and whether he is right for this job.
This is not his first involvement with judicial selection. During his time in the White House Counsel's Office he served as the President's point man on judicial nominations, bringing us such nominees as Charles Pickering, Priscilla Owen, Miguel Estrada, William Pryor, Carolyn Kuhl and Janice Rogers Brown. Nor is this Mr. Kavanaugh's first involvement with politics. He has built quite a political resume having served four years with the Office of Independent Ken Starr in his pursuit of the Clintons, even helping Mr. Starr write his notorious report to Congress. But whether those experiences add up to the quality and quantity of experience usually associated with the D.C. Circuit remains to be seen.
I look forward to hearing from Mr. Kavanaugh on those and other issues of concern to me about his nomination.
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