Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is making good on his promise to use "everything he's got" to stop the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The Democrat has been highlighting the nominee's past opinions to try and prove Kavanaugh would protect presidents at all cost, even if that means obstructing investigations. Schumer's latest case in point is United States vs. Nixon, the 1974 Supreme Court case that required President Nixon to turn over the subpoenaed Watergate recordings.
At a panel discussion in 1999, Kavanaugh openly wondered whether "the tensions of the time" had led to an "erroneous decision" in that case. Schumer pounced on that comment.
"If Kavanaugh would've let Nixon off the hook, what is he willing to do for President Trump?" Schumer asked.
“According to his own words, Brett Kavanaugh even believes the 8-0 decision that held Richard Nixon accountable was wrongly decided,” Schumer added in his statement. “It bodes very poorly for any decision that [Kavanaugh] might make to hold President Trump accountable.”
Carrie Severino, writing at National Review, put several holes in that allegation. She pointed out that a year before that panel discussion on Watergate, Kavanaugh wrote in the Georgetown Law Journal that the decision to demand the Watergate tapes of Nixon “reflects the proper balance of the President’s need for confidentiality and the government’s interest in obtaining all relevant evidence for criminal proceedings.” That opinion appears to have stuck with him in recent years. In a 2015 speech at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, Kavanaugh said that United States v. Nixon is an example of judicial "backbone" and is one of the “greatest moments in judicial history.”
Still, other Democrats have tried to claim that Kavanaugh believes presidents are above the law because of his comments on independent counsels. Guy explained in a recent piece why Democrats are again stretching for a reason to demonize his character. While the Supreme Court nominee has written that presidents deserve to be shielded from criminal and civil prosecutions while serving, he has added that once he or she is out of office, those wanting to pursue prosecution should by all means proceed. Kavanaugh has also noted that if the president's behavior is particularly troublesome, Congress always has the option to pursue impeachment.