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Recently, Rep. G.K. Butterfield responded to President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court by saying, “In nominating Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has selected someone with views well outside the mainstream.”
I find Mr. Butterfield’s comment presumptive, arrogant and just a little annoying. Here’s why:
First, the congressman did not give any examples of Judge Kavanaugh’s views he is objecting to. Maybe he’s bothered by the judge’s position on the existence or non-existence of the Abominable Snowman. Or, does the congressman chortle at Judge Kavanaugh’s viewpoint regarding the best flavor of ice cream? Ridiculous examples, I know, but you get the point.
Second, and this is more to the point, Mr. Butterfield has inferred that his own left-leaning social progressive views really reflect those of the majority of U.S. citizens. No doubt Judge Kavanaugh does not share the congressman’s position on a wide variety of social, economic and political topics. However, by what measurement has the congressman determined that his views represent the mainstream of America? They certainly don’t reflect mine, and based upon much of what I read and hear, they don’t represent the average American in Topeka, Grand Rapids, Boise, Houston or Atlanta.
I don’t think “the mainstream” includes folks like Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi or Joy Behar. Congressman Butterfield is supposed to be representing Wilson, North Carolina, not San Francisco or Hollywood.
I suspect Congressman Butterfield is unable — more likely unwilling — to specify those non-mainstream views he thinks Judge Kavanaugh holds. Is he able to produce survey data from a wide variety of people across the political, ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic spectrum who agree with him? I doubt it. It’s much easier to make an accusation than it is to actually prove it.
The congressman’s real agenda is to keep a jurist from being seated who views his primary responsibility as the interpretation of the Constitution as it was written. Rather, Mr. Butterfield, in my opinion, wants an activist judge who is more likely to circumvent the legislative branch and try to create new laws from the bench.