Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Swing and a Miss: “Experts” Analyze Brett Kavanaugh’s Sports Writing for Clues to Judicial Philosophy

Friday, August 24, 2018

Swing and a Miss: “Experts” Analyze Brett Kavanaugh’s Sports Writing for Clues to Judicial Philosophy

We’ve said it before: The media’s output has become so ludicrous and detached from common experience – particularly as it concerns law and politics – that it’s difficult at times to determine what it’s even trying to do. This week’s example comes to us courtesy of The New Yorker, a publication that indulges in a variety of genres, including what purport to be analyses of current news, cultural essays, and humor pieces. Their pitch line for would-be subscribers is, “Read something that means something,” with a reference to the outlet’s “award-winning journalism.” But the August 27 issue has an article about President Trump’s latest nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court that is so devoid of value or intellectual rigor that, if it has any meaning at all, it can only be that the publication has erased any distinction between “thought piece” and satire.

Entitled “Brett Kavanaugh, Sportswriter,” it attempts to answer the question, “Could there be clues to the Supreme Court nominee’s views in his college sports reporting? The article was published under “The Bench” heading, which based on other stories in that category seems to suggest content seeking to provide insight into the judicial or legal realms. In that regard, however, the article succeeds only to the extent that the movie “Free Willy” could be said to have been a serious meditation on marine ecology.

There certainly can be no doubt that the prevailing view at The New Yorker is that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would be a bad thing. The publication has run a series of stories on him, all suggesting he is part of the Republican agenda to dismantle laws and judicial precedents favored by the Democrat Party. About the nicest thing that has been said about Kavanaugh in The New Yorker is that his nomination represents the dubious resolution “of an outrageous power grab by a radicalized political party, its wealthy backers, and a rogue President.” 

The irony is that Judge Kavanaugh has, by all accounts, one of the most extensive records as a federal appellate judge of any U.S. Supreme Court nominee. According to the Congressional Research Service, he has “adjudicated more than 1,500 cases” in over 12 years on the bench and has authored 306 judicial opinions. Certainly anybody who is searching for insight into his judicial philosophy, legal reasoning, and interpretive methods has a ready treasure trove of serious research material. And if that record shows anything, it is that he is a thoughtful, competent, and principled jurist who is eminently qualified to sit on the nation’s highest court.

Needless to say, that record is therefore being largely ignored by his media critics, who in most cases probably couldn’t understand it, even if they were willing to try. 

The author of The New Yorker story chose instead to focus on 24 articles that Kavanaugh had written from 1983 to 1986 in his role as a college sports reporter for the Yale Daily News, well before he had attended law school, much less donned the robes of a federal judge. “Could there be hints of potential Supreme Court rulings under headlines like ‘Elis Trounce Jaspers’ and ‘Hoopsters Head West’?,” the article asks. “The question was put to some experts.”

The “experts” that the author assembles for the article include a writer for Sports Illustrated, a professor of sports journalism, and two law professors. Of course, there is no recognized science to interpreting how undergraduate sports reporting translates into performance as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. In fact, there is no intuitive or convincing connection whatsoever, nor does the article build anything close to a case for one. Sports journalists are not expected to be scholars of jurisprudence, and lawyers have no necessary expertise in sports

Many people have not fully formed sophisticated opinions even about football and basketball in their late teens and early 20s, much less the larger issues of life and professional practice. And while Kavanaugh was an usually bright and ambitious undergrad, there is absolutely no reason to believe he already had such a comprehensive philosophical outlook as a college student that every word he wrote about those sports telegraphed how he would later go about judging.

But to no great surprise, the “expert” conclusions reported in the article merely coincide with well-worn opposition talking points to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, mainly that he has an expansive view of presidential powers and would therefore let the supposedly “rogue” Trump presidency run amok.

The only thing this exercise proves, however, is that there is no end to how once respected professions will prostitute themselves for political ends and that Kavanaugh’s critics have found no principled, legitimate basis to argue that he is incompetent to serve on the Supreme Court.

Or to put it in terms more appropriate for the article’s subject material, the clock is winding down, and the #Resistance has yet to put anything on the board against an opponent who continues to run circles around their game plan.

 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
New York Supreme Court
TRENDING NOW
California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Friday, October 11, 2019

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Earlier today, Governor Newsom signed the seven anti-gun bills listed below into law.  

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

News  

Friday, October 4, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

Last week, a retired Tulsa, Oklahoma law enforcement officer testified in a Congressional hearing that she “would not comply” if Congress passes a ban on firearms. Her bold assertion earned her national media attention and ...

Supreme Court Denies Attempt to Derail NRA-Supported Case Against NYC’s Travel Ban

News  

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Supreme Court Denies Attempt to Derail NRA-Supported Case Against NYC’s Travel Ban

NRA applauds the Supreme Court's decision to reject New York City’s attempt to derail an NRA-supported case challenging a New York City ordinance that violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding city residents by restricting lawful ...

California: Several Anti-Gun Bills Still Awaiting Governor’s Action

Monday, October 7, 2019

California: Several Anti-Gun Bills Still Awaiting Governor’s Action

Governor Newsom has until Sunday, October 13 to take action on anti-gun bills awaiting his consideration.  Contact Governor Newsom and respectfully urge him to VETO AB 12, AB 61, AB 879, AB 893, AB 1254, AB ...

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

News  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

On Sept. 25, the Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.” That framing of the issue underscored the erroneous notion that Americans need protection from ...

MSNBC’s Las Vegas Anti-Gun Rally

News  

Friday, October 4, 2019

MSNBC’s Las Vegas Anti-Gun Rally

On Wednesday, anti-gun news outlet MSNBC, along with their partner organizations Giffords and March for Our Lives, hosted nine Democrat candidates for President for what was billed as a “Gun Safety Forum.”  Most of the time was spent ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Federal Court Entertains Bizarre Legal Theories That Threaten Gun Owners, Rule of Law

News  

Friday, October 4, 2019

Federal Court Entertains Bizarre Legal Theories That Threaten Gun Owners, Rule of Law

Frustrated by the lack of political progress on the gun control agenda, the legal wing of the anti-gun movement continues to pursue ever-more radical and confused legal strategies. In the 1990s, trial lawyers and their ...

Anti-gun AGs Push So-called “Universal” Background Checks for Ammunition

News  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Anti-gun AGs Push So-called “Universal” Background Checks for Ammunition

Gun control laws aren’t about stopping violent criminals, they are about burdening law-abiding gun owners. Few pieces of anti-gun legislation illustrate this fact better than H.R.1705/S.1924, which would extend anti-gun lawmakers’ cumbersome so-called “universal” background ...

San Francisco Backs Down:  Facing a Lawsuit by the NRA, Mayor Breed Declares – We Won’t Blacklist NRA Contractors

News  

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

San Francisco Backs Down: Facing a Lawsuit by the NRA, Mayor Breed Declares – We Won’t Blacklist NRA Contractors

The National Rifle Association of America declared victory in San Francisco today, after Mayor London Breed formally disavowed key provisions of a municipal resolution that signaled  the blacklisting of contractors linked to the Second Amendment ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.