Jul 25

The Kavanaugh Hearing: A Battle of Two Constitutions

On July 25, the Claremont Institute cohosted a panel on “The Kavanaugh Hearing: A Battle of Two Constitutions” with The Heritage Foundation and James Wilson Institute in Washington, DC.


On July 9, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to succeed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Confirmation will not come without a fight. Progressives and other advocates of the “living Constitution” are already engaged in that battle. Judge Kavanaugh will be confronted with ideological challenges regarding his views on legal issues ranging from the powers of the administrative state to abortion rights. More broadly, critics of Judge Kavanaugh will no doubt take aim at his evident commitment to textualism and upholding the original meaning of the Constitution. How can supporters of Judge Kavanaugh best defend his nomination, answer these attacks, and use the confirmation process to advance the public’s understanding of American constitutionalism? Our distinguished panel of legal scholars and Supreme Court experts discussed the best strategies as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for its hearing.


John Eastman
Founding Director, Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence; Henry Salvatori Professor and former Dean, Chapman University‚Äôs Fowler School of Law

Hadley Arkes
Founder and Director, James Wilson Institute

Tom Jipping 
Deputy Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Michael McGinley 
Partner, Dechert LLP, and former Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President, The White House