Confirmation hearings began Tuesday morning in the U.S. Senate for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to fill the seat vacated by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senator Rob Portman, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and attorney Lisa Blatt are expected to introduce Judge Kavanaugh at his hearings.
If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh would shift the balance of constitutional jurisprudence in a more firmly originalist direction, possibly until the second half of the 21st century.
Tuesday morning protesters interrupted Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, screaming their opposition to his confirmation with an appalling lack of civility.
Even before President Trump made his nomination, the war of opinions had already been waged. Reminiscent of Super Bowl memorabilia prepped for both teams before game night, liberal activists planned protests, signs, chants and headlines for the president’s top three potential nominees—all criticizing them as people of faith.
Many on the left instantly knocked Kavanaugh’s faith and have shouted apocalyptic warnings about the implications of his religious and conservative beliefs on the Supreme Court. Partisans in Congress and the mainstream media have weaponized his faith, warning his beliefs will turn the clock back on—among other things—minority rights and women’s rights.
Progressive groups like Indivisible are urging their followers to oppose Kavanaugh, saying, “Just by the fact that Donald Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh, we already know two things about him: he is willing to gut reproductive rights and is hostile to the Affordable Care Act.”
One thing that is clear: Issues of life and religious liberty are at stake in America. Some estimate that roughly 3,000 babies are aborted every day in the U.S., placing us in a group of seven countries (including North Korea and China) that have some of the most permissive abortion laws in the world. A more conservative Supreme Court has the potential to make good strides in stronger laws protecting the sanctity of life and possibly overturning Roe v. Wade.
Also important is preserving religious freedom, a fundamental right that a majority of Americans agree is on the decline, according to a 2015 LifeWay Research study. And for good reason—the whole nation has watched as local and state governments have actively tried to force people of faith to keep their beliefs under a bushel, such as with the baker Jack Phillips in Colorado.
These points alone should make all Christians pay attention to and support Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
But the political and cultural divide in America will not make Kavanaugh’s confirmation easy.
Vice President Pence tweeted recently, “Justice Antonin Scalia was confirmed 98-0 and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg received the support of 96 senators. If we lived in a more respectful time, Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be overwhelmingly confirmed by the United States Senate.”
As we begin to see ideological zealots interrogate a person of faith who just happens to be a nominee for the Supreme Court, remember this: authentic people of faith succeed by being faithful to the interpretation of Scripture. In the same way, the best jurists will achieve generational results by remaining steadfast to the interpretation of the Constitution.
Brett Kavanaugh’s record leads us to believe he will be this kind of Supreme Court justice.
Jason Yates is CEO of My Faith Votes, a nonpartisan movement focused on motivating Christians in America to participate in local and domestic elections. By partnering with local churches, pastors and national faith leaders, My Faith Votes mobilizes and resources Christians to lead the conversation on the place of faith in culture and politics. Gov. Mike Huckabee serves as the organization’s honorary national chairman.