Unlikely Kavanaugh “Break?”
When Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh sided with the liberal wing of the court in a very recent ruling that found “IPhone users can sue Apple over App Store prices,” was it a significant and surprising decision? Did the latter serve as an indicator that although he is a Trump nominee, Justice Kavanaugh is not hesitant to give his own say vis-à-vis the same court’s conservative majority?
In the brief period since his appointment to the same court, Kavanaugh’s record has been one where he “has consistently aligned himself with the court’s more
conservative justices, but reportedly, was described as: “from time to time broken rank to join the Supreme Court’s liberals.”
Moving forward in regard to his ruling in the Apple case, Kavanaugh authored his opinion: “IPhone users can move forward with a class-action lawsuit against the tech giant over allegedly inflated app prices.”
It was highly noted that the same Kavanaugh decision is an eloquent sign that the most recent conservative member of the same tribunal “can’t be trusted to always rule in their favor.”
Recalling what he evidently underscored during one of the hearings prior to his appointment to the nation’s highest court, he stated: “I am not a monolithic anything. I listen to the facts and I apply the law.”
News reports made emphatic how Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts “joined the liberals in December (2018) as they rejected requests to hear cases seeking to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding.”
Another report, an indicator that Kavanaugh joined the liberal wing in March this year: “to order a stay of execution for a Buddhist inmate in Texas, as the state’s policy at the time prevented his spiritual adviser from being in the room during the moment of death.”
Justice Samuel Alito wrote an opinion against the aforementioned Kavanaugh ruling which he called “seriously wrong” and argued that by reviewing last-minute appeals in
death penalty cases, the court is “inviting abuse.”
The Kavanaugh response to Alito’s opinion; while he has “great respect ” for the justice’s dissent, he believes “the court made the right call.”
It is highly notable that law professors’ views are sought particularly in reference to new justice-appointees to the highest court of the nation.
A law professor from the University of Chicago, Geoffrey Stone, was quoted in saying: “It’s not surprising for a new justice like Kavanaugh to largely side with the justices
he’s ideologically aligned with. The normal justice who is new to the court is likely to be reasonably cautious in making sure he gets the lay of the land.”
The same professor indicated how, “because Kavanaugh is consistently ruling with the conservative wing of the court now doesn’t mean that he will necessarily do so going forward. The justices have to be seen, not only by the citizens but especially by lawyers and judges below them, as deciding cases on the basis of honest judgment about the law, or the court could risk losing its legitimacy.”
George Hay, another law professor at Cornell University stated how he wasn’t “shocked” by the same Kavanaugh decision. He referred to Kavanaugh’s ruling when he served
as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: “That he would favor solutions to anti-trust cases that would benefit consumers.”
During that same case, Kavanaugh stated he would “favor the merger because customers could see lower costs.”
Kavanaugh was reportedly heard to say: “Wait a minute. Aren’t the anti-trust laws all about consumers?”
Professor Hay said that “the conservative justices are typically more pro-business, likely leading to their dissenting opinion in Apple’s favor. But Kavanaugh has indicated that he is “willing to read the anti-trust precedent differently than his conservative counterparts in order to benefit consumers.”
In view of the references to the Kavanaugh rulings, there is a tendency that “court watchers” may be certain to keep a “close eye” on the newest justice.
Based on anticipated highest-profile opinions from the Supreme Court, it is not just a wild supposition that repeat performances from each member will be upheld. There will be more about the “application of the law of the land.”