Written by Don Byrd
Reviews of President Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, are streaming in, including some reactions from church-state and religious liberty advocates. In Baptist News Global, Jeff Brumley reports on some unusual alliances among religious organizations as groups investigate the tea leaves from the judge’s record on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to try and understand his positions on important legal issues related to religious freedom.
The Baptist Joint Committee does not endorse or oppose nominees for the Supreme Court. But BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman is quoted in Brumley’s piece commenting on some aspects of Kavanaugh’s record. Here is an excerpt:
[S]ome clues have emerged, Hollman said. One is that he is known to admire Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh has been nominated to replace.
Kavanaugh “often writes in a way that reflects Kennedy’s” reasoning, she said.
While Kennedy’s religious liberty opinions have often been disappointing from the BJC’s perspective, the justice has shown an appreciation for placing the individual and religion ahead of government, she said.
Even Kavanaugh’s active participation in church may not be a predictor of how he’ll lean in religious liberty and church-state separation cases, she said.
“That might mean he is sympathetic to religious claims,” Hollman said. “But that is not the same as upholding a vision of religious liberty for all.”
Howard Friedman at Religion Clause has compiled a list of “all the D.C. Circuit cases involving these issues in which Kavanaugh was one of the judges deciding the case.”