The Corner

Law & the Courts

Uncommon Knowledge: Judging Brett Kavanaugh and SCOTUS with John Yoo

Is Brett Kavanaugh ready for the Supreme Court? John Yoo, Yale Law alumnus and Hoover Institution visiting fellow, breaks down Kavanaugh’s law career in the U.S. Court of Appeals. Yoo argues that the United States has concentrated too much power in the Supreme Court since the New Deal–era legislation and that the Supreme Court is now more powerful than Congress and the president. Based off of Kavanaugh’s past career, Yoo predicts that Kavanaugh will help rein in the power of the Supreme Court and give it back to the states.

Yoo argues that, based off of the Constitution, power to decide social issues should reside with states rather than the Court. According to Yoo, prior to the New Deal era, the Supreme Court focused on regulatory issues rather than social issues. He argues that momentous social decisions such as Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges are meant to be left to the individual states to decide.

Yoo analyzes the records of the current conservative justices and predicts that Kavanaugh will side more often with Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch, interpreting the Constitution as it was written by the Founders, rather than by the changing will of the people.

About The Guest:

John Yoo is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a professor of law at the University of California Berkeley school of Law.

Recorded on August 28, 2018.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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