Magazine August 27, 2018, Issue

What Kind of Originalist?

(Roman Genn)
The conservative legal debates that a Justice Kavanaugh might influence

If the Senate confirms him to the Supreme Court this fall, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is universally expected to join the four justices in the Court’s conservative bloc. Because his replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy would almost certainly make the Court significantly more conservative, the debate over Kavanaugh’s nomination has been and will continue to be conducted at a decibel level that drowns out nuance.

His supporters describe him as a well-qualified mainstream conservative, his opponents as a hard-right ideologue. The dispute, for the most part, turns not on the content of his views but on their characterization. We can infer

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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