With Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, Liberal Lawyers Shift Strategies


Liberal lawyers are reassessing their Supreme Court strategies now that they face not only a solidly conservative majority but the addition of a justice who has openly expressed animosity toward them.

When Brett Kavanaugh angrily testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to sexual assault and misconduct allegations, he accused “the Clintons” and “left-wing opposition groups” of orchestrating a smear campaign against him. And he warned in a very unjudicial statement, “What goes around comes around.” 

Liberal groups that spoke with HuffPost said it’s obviously still too early to tell how the new court will shake out. After all, Anthony Kennedy ― the swing justice Kavanaugh replaced ― was once considered more solidly in the court’s conservative majority. But over the years, he shifted. 

Several people pointed to Roberts’ comments in the days after the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh, in which he said the job of being a justice “requires independence from the political branches.” “Our role is very clear: We are to interpret the laws and Constitution of the United States and ensure that the political branches act within them,” he said. “Those were heartening comments, and we’ll see what actually happens when ideologically charged cases come before the new court, but it was good to know that the chief justice and hopefully the other justices are keeping an eye on their institutional legitimacy,” said Adav Noti, the Campaign Legal Center’s senior director of trial litigation.

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