Title

Kavanaugh Evades Questions on Affirmative Action

September 14, 2018
 
 

Judge Brett Kavanaugh (at right) provided answers to numerous questions from senators about the Supreme Court nominee's views on many issues, including the policies of many colleges to consider race and ethnicity in admissions. In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court has said that colleges have that right, at least under certain conditions. Kavanaugh, however, did not not endorse those decisions.

He was asked about his work for President George W. Bush, who opposed the University of Michigan's policies to consider race in admissions, and whether he supported "only race-neutral" efforts. Kavanaugh's answer: "As a lawyer in the White House, any views I expressed would have been in keeping with trying to advance President Bush’s legal and policy agenda. As a judge and a nominee, your question implicates issues that remain in dispute and that may come before me as a judge. As I discussed at the hearing, and in keeping with nominee precedent, it would be improper for me as a sitting judge and a nominee to comment on cases or issues that might come before me."

Kavanaugh was also asked why, given his pride in hiring female and minority law clerks, he has not affirmed the right of colleges to consider race and gender in admissions. His answer: "I am proud of my record of hiring the best to serve as my law clerks -- including women and minorities -- and of my efforts to promote diversity. The extent to which public universities may consider certain factors as admissions criteria is the subject of precedent and ongoing litigation. As I discussed at the hearing, and in keeping with nominee precedent, it would be improper for me as a sitting judge and a nominee to comment on cases or issues that might come before me."

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