Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, has a long association with Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Corday.
Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett M. Kavanaugh, has given $1,250 in campaign contributions to Cordray, now running for Ohio governor.
The donations are not new, however, and apparently stemmed from the fact that both served as clerks to former Justice Anthony Kennedy, the man Kavanaugh was chosen to replace, the New York Times reported.
Before Kavanaugh became a judge, Cordray received a $250 contribution for his unsuccessful 1998 run for Ohio attorney general and $1,000 for a failed bid in 2000 for the Senate, the newspaper said. Cordray also worked with Kavanaugh at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
Cordray did not even mention their past association in his prepared statement condemning Trump’s selection:
“President Trump’s decision today underscores the critical need for Ohioans to have a key backstop in place for them — a governor who will stand on their side and fight back against attempts to undermine our rights,” Cordray said.
“In Ohio, we must put fairness to people and their families first, ahead of powerful special interests. We must respect women’s personal decisions about their health, not dictate to them. And we must defend the rights of working people to bargain collectively for fair wages and safe working conditions. Those are core values I have stood for throughout my life, and they are the values that will guide me as governor — regardless of who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The GOP candidate for governor, in contrast, effused enthusiasm for the president’s pick.
“We need justices like Judge Kavanaugh who will interpret the law through the meaning of the written U.S. Constitution and not legislate from the bench. I applaud President Trump for his nomination of Judge Kavanaugh and I urge the Senate to act quickly to confirm him before the fall term,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine in his prepared statement.
The reactions from Ohio’s two U.S. senators, predictably, also broke along party lines.
Sen. Rob Portman, who was at the White House when Trump announced his pick, said he looks forward to meeting Kavanaugh in the coming weeks.
“The job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law and to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench,” the Ohio Republican said. “Judge Kavanaugh has an impressive background. He is highly regarded as a fair-minded and independent judge and is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.”
But Democrat Sherrod Brown said he has “serious concerns” about some of Kavanaugh’s rulings, particularly ones that Brown felt hurt women’s rights and consumer rights.
“I plan to review Judge Kavanaugh’s record thoroughly and ask him tough questions face-to-face before I make my decision,” Brown said. “I will not support any justice who would take rights away from Ohioans.”
Brown’s opponent in the November election, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, said in a statement distributed by a spokeswoman: “Brett Kavanaugh is a thoughtful jurist with a proven respect for the Constitution and with extensive experience as a federal appeals judge. If Sherrod Brown ignores Kavanaugh’s highly regarded record and once again tries to block President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, it will be one more signal Brown cares more about representing the fringe left and his Hollywood donors than the people of Ohio.”
Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis, who was at the White House on Monday, was ecstatic.
“Kavanaugh has a proven judicial record that he will interpret the Constitution as written and will not be an activist justice. We thank President Trump for holding to his promise that he would nominate pro-life justices to the court. Ohio Right to Life looks forward to Roe v. Wade being overturned so that Ohio can set its own pro-life policies,” Gonidakis said in his prepared statement.
In contrast, the choice brought gloom to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland.
She said in her distributed statement, “President Trump promised to appoint justices that would overturn or gut Roe v. Wade. Because this seat on the U.S Supreme Court is the difference between upholding Roe and criminalizing abortion and punishing women, the burden of proof must be on the Trump’s nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to proactively prove he will preserve Roe v. Wade and not criminalize abortion. … If Kavanaugh votes to overturn or gut Roe, he would clear the way for Ohio’s gerrymandered legislature to criminalize abortion in our state.”
Citizens for Community Values President Aaron Baer expressed excitement about the nomination.
“Judge Brett Kavanagh has an impeccable record of protecting First Amendment freedoms and upholding the original intent of the U.S. Constitution,” Baer said in his prepared statement.
“The president has made Senator Sherrod Brown’s and Senator Rob Portman’s jobs easy tonight by nominating an overwhelmingly qualified judge to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ohioans care deeply about the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court, and will be watching closely to see if our senators support this superb nominee, or play politics with the court.”
The Ohio Democratic Party used Trump’s decision in an immediate e-mailed fund-raising appeal.
Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh gives Republicans the vote they need to overturn Roe v. Wade, gut workers’ rights and strip away the protections of the Affordable Care Act” said Kirstin Alvanitakis, the party’s communications director.
“Radical extremists in the Ohio Statehouse have been planning for this day by introducing legislation to criminalize abortion and make Ohio a so-called ‘right to work’ state. … We can — and must — elect Democratic candidates up and down the ballot who will stand up to the right-wing extremists in the Statehouse, Congress … and now on Trump’s Supreme Court.”
Ohio Republican Chair Jane Timken said in, yes, a prepared statement: “By nominating another highly qualified and distinguished judge to serve on the Supreme Court, President Trump is ensuring that the Constitutional rights of all Americans will be protected for generations to come. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record is proof positive that as our next justice, he will defend the Constitution and faithfully apply the laws as written.”
State Rep. Tavia Golonski, D-Akron, made this prediction on Twitter: “The Ohio legislators will immediately pass laws to limit women’s reproductive rights and hope to send those laws up to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade.”
In his emailed reaction, Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Niles said Trump’s motives are obvious: “He wants a court that will toss aside established precedent and take away a women’s right to her own health care and reproductive decisions. (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell should follow his own precedent and forgo any vote on a replacement until after the American people have had their voices heard in the midterms.”
Shortly after making the selection public, Trump, via his campaign organization, girded his supporters for what could be a nasty battle.
“Judge Kavanaugh will protect our religious liberties, uphold the rule of law, and interpret the Constitution as it was originally understood by our Founders,” Trump said via email. “Senate liberals know that we have the opportunity to reshape the Supreme Court for an entire GENERATION, and they are ready to obstruct and unleash a smear campaign against our nominee.”