Free speech, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Supreme Court

Yesterday was a two-podcast day for me. The first was a discussion at FIRE on prospects for free speech at the Supreme Court after Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Other panelists were First Amendment experts Robert Corn-Revere and Paul Sherman and the moderator was FIRE’s Nico Perrino.

At the Cato Daily Podcast, Caleb Brown interviewed me about what we know from nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s career as a judge, which has been spent on the influential but atypical D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. That means we know a lot about his views on some subjects (regulatory and administrative law, separation of powers, national security law) but much less about his approach toward issues that loom larger as a share of the docket in other circuits, such as disputes involving schools, land use, police abuse and prisoner cases, torts, and so forth.

Related to both podcasts, Ken at Popehat assesses Kavanaugh’s record on the First Amendment and finds it quite speech-protective, while Jonathan Adler has more.

Not very closely related: you’ve probably heard the theory that Trump made the choice he did because Kavanaugh doesn’t think Presidents should be investigated or charged with criminal offenses. Here’s Ben Wittes, who’s anything but a Trump fan, on the problems with that theory. [Lawfare]

More: And now a video of the FIRE panel:

One Comment

  • Kavanaugh does seem protective of free speech in general. And with places like TechCrunch educating him in the difference between a pipe and a pen*, he can bring those protections into the 21st century.

    * See “United States Telecom Ass’n v. Fed. Commc’ns Comm’n,” a challenge to FCC authority regarding net-neutrality.

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