CHARLESTON – As West Virginia’s economy recovers from years of federal regulatory overreach, the Mountain State received welcome news from President Donald Trump in the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh’s nomination bodes well for our state’s economic future, as he can serve as a check to overreaching, job-killing regulations for years to come. We applaud Sen. Joe Manchin’s, D-W.Va., efforts to seek input from a diverse group of state citizens and stakeholders on the appointment of Kavanaugh, and we encourage him to continue his history of bipartisan representation by working with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and others to ensure the swift confirmation of Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
Manufacturing is a critical component of our state’s economy. Manufacturers account for nearly 10 percent of our state’s total output, producing exports of more than $4 billion in manufactured goods. Manufacturers also employ more than 6 percent of our state’s workforce, resulting in nearly 50,000 jobs with an average annual compensation of nearly $70,000.
Yet at times, manufacturers in West Virginia have struggled to survive, much less expand, due in part to over-regulation of federal government bureaucracies.
Kavanaugh is a longtime skeptic of harmful business regulations, and he applies the law fairly. He is not afraid to act when regulatory agencies exceed their authority. Legal scholars have noted that his nomination “shows that the Trump administration is serious about taming the administrative state.”
In fact, Kavanaugh has overruled federal agency action 75 times since his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. And he has helped eliminate many of the past administration’s most devastating Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
In addressing EPA overreach, Kavanaugh has written that “[h]owever much we might sympathize or agree with the EPA’s policy objectives, EPA may only act within the boundaries of its statutory authority.” Time and time again, he has rejected EPA efforts to impose regulations without considering the costs and impacts those regulations have on American businesses, jobs and working families.
We are confident that Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would keep an open mind in all cases before the court, having demonstrated a will to fairly and strictly interpret the United States Constitution and avoid creating law from the bench.
If confirmed, Kavanaugh would have a major say over the federal regulations for years to come. We should welcome such a return to checks and balances, as West Virginians know far too well the economic devastation that can come at the hands of unelected and overreaching bureaucrats.
West Virginia manufacturers hope that Sen. Manchin will take note of Kavanaugh’s impressive record, reputation for fairness, and skepticism for federal overreach, and cast his vote for Kavanaugh and for a stronger economic future for the Mountain State.
McPhail is president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association. This opinion piece originally appeared on the Daily Mail opinion page of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.