Lifetime job has this way of shaping opinions

I tend to interpret the U.S. Constitution the way I interpret the Bible.

That is, I take a more liberal view of what both documents say. That’s just my view. I am not a “strict constructionist” as it regards the Constitution; nor am I a “fundamentalist” as it regards the Bible.

But let’s consider what the future might hold for the body that interprets the former document, the Constitution.

Donald J. Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to join the U.S. Supreme Court. He comes to this nomination after being recommended highly by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, two staunchly conservative think tanks.

Now, what does this mean for Kavanaugh’s tenure on the high court?

I’ll give you my hope for what happens. I hope Kavanaugh proves to be as unpredictable as previous “conservative” justices who were nominated by “conservative” presidents.

The record going back more than six decades is full of how this has occurred.

  • President Eisenhower appointed two “conservatives” to the high court: Earl Warren as chief justice and William Brennan as an associate justice. They both proved to be progressive in the extreme.
  • President Nixon tapped Harry Blackmun to the high court, only to watch as Blackmun wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.
  • President Ford’s pick to the court, John Paul Stevens, turned out to be a reliably liberal vote.
  • President George H.W. Bush nominated David Souter, who then turned out to be a liberal justice as well.

President Reagan nominated two justices — Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy — who became quite a bit less reliably conservative than the president would have wanted.

No one really saw these justices’ service turning out as they did in advance.

Thus, it well might be that Judge Brett Kavanaugh could join the list of conservatives who take a more, um, expansive view of the Constitution.

That is my hope. But, hey, I’m just one guy — a blogger out here in Flyover Country — who wants history to repeat itself.

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