As a prosecutor, I understand firsthand the practical importance of filling our courtrooms with fair, impartial, hardworking and intelligent judges. As a military officer sworn to defend the Constitution, I expect our judges’ wisdom and discipline to prevail over partisan interests in defending the Constitution in the courtroom, just as our soldiers’ sense of duty prevails over fear in defending the Constitution on the battlefield.

It is with these priorities in mind that I proudly support President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most brilliant and respected jurists in the nation. He puts the law before his personal views, his work is already relied upon by the Supreme Court, and he has stellar academic and professional credentials.

In the coming weeks, the Senate will vote on this important nomination to fill the vacancy left by Justice Anthony Kennedy. It is therefore a fitting display of judicial continuity that Judge Kavanaugh actually began his career clerking for Justice Kennedy after graduating from Yale. Kavanaugh spent a year immersed in the Kennedy ways of sometimes bringing two sides together and other times reaching decisions that were unafraid of offending either side.

Kavanaugh then served as a senior White House aide, giving him a bird’s-eye view of how the executive and legislative branches of our government operate — an important perspective for a federal justice to have. He has been on both sides of the bench — his work in private law practice gave him an appreciation for the issues that citizens and their attorneys bring to the judiciary.

But the highlight of one of the most well-rounded resumes ever to reach the Supreme Court nomination process is his 12 years of service as a federal appeals court judge. Since 2006, Kavanaugh has served on the most high-stakes appellate court — the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — and has absolutely shined in that training ground for Supreme Court justices. He has established a reputation for taking dissenting positions that later become Supreme Court precedent. More of his clerks have been hired by Supreme Court justices than those of any of his appeals court colleagues. The Supreme Court has already leaned on Judge Kavanaugh’s remarkable work, so it is fitting that he be at the top of the list of candidates to join their ranks.

Judge Kavanaugh has an extensive track record as a fair jurist on issues ranging from religious liberty to the Second Amendment to the regulatory state. In all matters before him, he takes the approach of an originalist. He doesn’t decide the outcome of a case and then work backwards, only then examining the law to figure out a way to justify his decision. He begins with the law and finds the correct, fair, legal result, even if the result does not comport with his personal views. He doesn’t interpret the Constitution or laws as he would like them to read. He interprets them as they were written by the people and their elected representatives. Judge Kavanaugh has the humility and the wisdom to understand that in our constitutional republic, unelected judges with lifetime appointments do not write the laws. His job is to make sure that cases before the court are decided according to the laws that the people put in place.

Kavanaugh explains this view by comparing judges to umpires, writing “I believe very deeply in those visions of the rule of law as a law of rules, and of the judge as umpire. By that, I mean a neutral, impartial judiciary that decides cases based on settled principles without regard to policy preferences or political allegiances or which party is on which side in a particular case.”

In just 18 months, President Trump has successfully appointed more than 40 judges to the federal bench, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. His choice of Judge Kavanaugh further demonstrates the quality of his appointees and is in keeping with his focus on credentials, experience, and respect for the Constitution.

Given Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s legal expertise, extraordinary professional career, and commitment to the rule of law, the United States Senate should schedule his hearing and confirm him with a broad, bipartisan majority as a member of the United States Supreme Court.

Alexander Willette served as Assistant Republican Leader in the Maine House of Representatives. He is currently a state prosecutor, a Judge Advocate Officer in the Maine Army National Guard, and Maine’s committeeman to the Republican National Committee. He lives in Lewiston.

Alexander Willette

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