No surprise that Donald Trump (the police statist, drug warrior, militarist and central-planner-in-chief) has chosen D.C. Circuit appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next U.S. Supreme Bureaucrat to replace the terrible Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh is a True Believer in the legitimacy of the centralized powers in Washington, a rubber-stamper of the national security state and the “war on terror,” and an obedient defender of the men in blue.
What we need more than ever is the opposite of all that, the opposite of authoritarianism. We need a true radical defender of liberty and of the lives, persons and property of individuals to be free of the aggression of others, especially free of the aggression and intrusions of the State. The early Americans, after all, were abused, their lives, homes and property criminally invaded and searched by the British soldiers. The ones who insisted on a Bill of Rights with rules that government bureaucrats and enforcers must follow, knew from their own experiences that those with the powers of the State could not be trusted!
This Kavanaugh person has spent much of his whole life surrounded by Washington, D.C. power. Kavanaugh was born in Washington, D.C.! His mother was a prosecutor and judge in Maryland. During the 1990s and 2000s Kavanaugh’s wife was the personal secretary to then-Governor and then-President George W. Bush.
So, Kavanaugh is a very ensconced and enmeshed inside-the-beltway apparatchik, in my view. Stuck in the centralized State apparatus.
Regarding his judicial decisions, in at least 3 cases Kavanaugh rubber-stamped the holding of terrorism suspects without charge or even actual suspicion at the Guantanamo prison. (al-Bihani v. Obama, Uthman v. Obama, and Omar v. McHugh.)
One thing that authoritarian government apparatchiks don’t seem to understand is that, in a civilized society, those who are accused of something morally have a right to require the accuser to present evidence, and to have a process by which the accused can refute such evidence against him. And to not be held in a prison without charges or after one was randomly apprehended without suspicion and handed over to an invading military.
No one should have the authority or power to just sweep someone away and lock him up, without charges or a reason to suspect him of criminal acts. Most of the suspects detained at Gitmo were innocent of terrorism and uninvolved and released. Many of the detainees were apprehended by Afghan villagers who were being paid bounties by mostly the CIA and the U.S. military.
This is why “war” can never be used as an excuse to suspend anyone’s right to due process! Not in a moral and civilized society, no.
Authoritarians believe that we should just blindly trust government rulers’ judgment. But, as I wrote in this article, we shouldn’t just blindly believe the government when it claims that someone is a “terrorist,” because the ruling bureaucrats could say that about any one of us, and have us detained, tortured, indefinitely imprisoned or killed, and for any reason.
And why should we trust the government in Washington? A bunch of liars, crooks, extortionists, parasites, and worse, lawyers. After all, we know how the U.S. government bureaucracies have gone after conservatives and Tea Partiers, such as through the IRS. And we know how the Obama DOJ and FBI went after the Trump campaign and then his associates following Trump’s election. They went after Trump because they didn’t like his openly criticizing and questioning the legitimacy of the wars that the national security state and the Bushes started.
So due process is important, and everyone has a right to due process. Not just U.S. citizens, but everyone. The Declaration of Independence refers to unalienable rights. Obviously, all human beings have unalienable rights, not just “citizens.” The unalienable right to liberty isn’t a right that is given to people by the government.
With this so-called “war on terror,” we have good reason to get judges who will strike down each and every criminally invasive and liberty-violating policy and procedure whether its against Americans or against foreigners. And that includes AUMF, NDAA, and especially the Patriot Act. And I wouldn’t rely entirely on the Constitution, either. Past Supreme Court decisions have given weight to the Declaration of Independence.
We need someone who rejects the government’s “war on terror” as a legitimate “war.” It is not legitimate.
The apparatchiks of the centralized apparatus in Washington were anguished by the threat of reducing their powers when the Cold War ended, and they had to invent a new Enemy. Which they did especially when George H.W. Bush sent the military to invade Iraq in 1991 and stir up trouble with sanctions and bombings that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths leading up to 9/11.
Another reason to reject Kavanaugh is his deference to the State’s rulers and their enforcers. Most of the American Founders believed the exact opposite of that, which is why they insisted on a Bill of Rights. At least the Anti-Federalists did. They believed in the idea of self defense and the right to keep and bear arms, not dependence on, submission to and obedience toward armed police authorities. We need someone who rejects entirely the idea that government has any moral authority to monopolize community policing and security in the first place.
And on issues such as immigration, health care and abortion, I suspect that Kavanaugh will be a judicial “technocrat,” like Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts, finding this or that part of the Constitution that justifies this or that governmental intrusion or criminality.
But what we need is someone who actually can see the forest for the trees, and can see that the “land of liberty” is one in which one’s liberty isn’t dependent on a bureaucrat’s interpretation of some document. We need someone who recognizes the non-aggression principle and the concept of self-ownership, and understands private property rights and presumption of innocence, and who will thus overturn all anti-liberty decisions, and strike down all bad laws the enforcement of which violates the persons or property of innocent people.
Obviously, Judge Kavanaugh is not that guy.