CHARLESTON – During his campaign in 2016, President Trump ignited the people of this country with his simple, hopeful message: He promised that he would make America great again. He believed simple concepts like lower taxes, fewer job-killing regulations, and a consistent, principled Supreme Court would be cornerstones in writing America’s comeback story.
We are fortunate to have a President who understands what a critical role the judiciary has in shaping the direction of a country. During the Obama administration, EPA issued a number of regulations that strangled West Virginia’s coal industry, costing hundreds of men and women their jobs and creating an economic depression from which we’ve yet to fully recover.
As a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit – often referred to as the “Second Highest Court in the Land” – Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s rulings rejected the efforts of EPA to impose massive, burdensome emissions regulations without considering the costs, and he held that Obama’s cross-state air pollution rule was both unlawful and an excessive regulatory burden on states. Thankfully, because of actions like these at the Federal level, West Virginia’s coal industry is back on the road to recovery.
In this nominee, President Trump has found the type of Supreme Court Justice he promised. Judge Kavanaugh has spent more than 25 years of his life in public service to the American people. He is deeply respected by both his peers on appellate courts and the Supreme Court. He has shown respect for Americans who feel threatened by government overreach. But, most importantly, he has demonstrated a sincere commitment to upholding the Constitution, faithfully applying the law as written, and not attempting to legislate from the bench.
President Trump promised a transparent, principled, and consistent process for choosing his Supreme Court nominees. He pledged to choose a judge with top-notch credentials, unbiased judgment, and a great intellect. He delivered on this promise with Justice Gorsuch, and it is clear he intends to deliver on this promise once more with Judge Kavanaugh.
In a letter from more than half of our country’s Attorneys General, led by West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, they wrote regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, “As the Attorneys General of our respective States, we have a special interest in ensuring that the federal government respects the important role of the States in crafting and tailoring regulatory policy on matters of local concern. Federal judges, including the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, must respect principles of federalism and the balance of power reflected in our Constitution. We are confident Judge Kavanaugh appreciates that balance, and that he will protect the prerogative of the States to manage their own regulatory framework.”
Under West Virginia’s Republican leadership, we have worked tirelessly to remove regulatory impediments that have stifled job creation and stagnated growth for eight decades. Since 2015, we’ve reduced the State Register (Code of State Rules) by approximately 62.5 percent. We’re writing our own comeback story here in West Virginia, and with the help of President Trump, we’ll be a great part of America’s story, too.
A predictable, fair judiciary is an essential cornerstone to a thriving economy. Businesses want predictability. They want to be sure their foundations cannot be swept away by a tide of activist judges with a few bad decisions. It takes only a few who choose to legislate from the bench to leave damage that can take decades to unravel. Leave the legislating to the legislative branch, and we’ll place our trust in you to apply our laws with honesty and integrity.
Now is not the time to let partisan politics and soundbite posturing get in the way. With his unparalleled credentials and reputation, this should be an easy choice for the U.S. Senate. He is the kind of judge that both Democrats and Republicans can – and should – support enthusiastically. I strongly encourage Senator Manchin to join with Senator Capito and his other Senate colleagues to quickly confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Carmichael, R-Jackson, is president of the state Senate and represents the Fourth Senatorial District, which includes Jackson and Mason counties, and parts of Putnam and Roane counties. He was elected Senate President at the beginning of the 83rd Legislature in January 2017.