Judge Kavanaugh’s Views on Campaign Finance and Presidential Power Are Troubling for Democracy


WASHINGTON – Today, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh has authored several notable opinions that raise concerns about his views on democracy issues, particularly related to campaign finance law and executive privilege.

“Judge Kavanaugh’s view on election law ignores the current reality of our campaign finance system, which is awash in secret, unaccountable money. Kavanaugh’s skepticism of reasonable limits on money in politics threatens the ability of federal, state and local governments to maintain laws that regulate campaign contributions and spending and require disclosure of where all the money is coming from. He seems to equate money with speech, which is troubling for our campaign finance system. It is important that Senators press Kavanaugh on his views.” – Tara Malloy, senior director, appellate litigation and strategy, Campaign Legal Center (CLC).

Additionally, Kavanaugh appears to take an expansive view of presidential power as it relates to legal oversight over misconduct by the President or his associates. He wrote in a Minnesota Law Review article that Presidents should be free from “time-consuming and distracting” lawsuits and investigations, which “ill serve the public interest.” He went on to say that Congress should consider a law exempting the President – while in office – from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel. 

“Judge Kavanaugh’s views raise concerns about how he would analyze congressional efforts to insulate President Trump from cooperating with the Mueller probe. The President is not above the law, and Senators must ensure that Kavanaugh would not allow Trump to escape from his duty to cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign.” Tara Malloy, senior director, appellate litigation and strategy, Campaign Legal Center (CLC).