Skip Navigation

Heartland Institute Experts React to Kavanaugh Confirmation Vote

October 6, 2018

"Welcome to the court, Justice Kavanaugh." - Heartland Institute President Tim Huelskamp

Brett Kavanaugh

The United States Senate today voted 50-48 to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, filling the seat of the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy after one of the most contentious confirmation fights in American history.

The following statements from law and constitution experts at The Heartland Institute —a free-market think tank— may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program —including a live TV remote from Heartland’s studio, which can connect to any station or network in the world— please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“The majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law, limited government, and our Constitution can rest peacefully tonight because the smear campaign of Brett Kavanaugh and his family did not succeed.

“Welcome to the court, Justice Kavanaugh.”

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute

Dr. Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

“As President Trump has been saying, Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees ever, given his legal background, experience, and education, and the American Bar Association agrees. That is what the Senate’s Advice and Consent is supposed to be about, and why that is in the Constitution – ensure well-qualified nominees so the President is not free to just appoint his friends. There is no good reason not to confirm him, unless you want Supreme Court Justices who are not going to follow the Constitution, which is what the Democrats want, and the real reason they have been opposing him since he was named.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow
The Heartland Institute

“The case opponents made against Judge Kavanaugh was threefold: (1) that he was a teen-aged sexual predator; (2) that he lacks judicial temperament; and (3) that he’s a conservative legal scholar. The FBI discredits the first claim; 12 years of distinguished service on the D.C. Circuit refutes the second; and the third is grounds for celebration. The process has been appalling, but senators of both parties should vote for his confirmation to restore their own credibility, which is now more in question than his.”

David L. Applegate
Policy Advisor, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute


“In 12 years on the bench, Judge Kavanaugh has established himself as a firm supporter of a robust First Amendment. This is a good day for Americans who care about free speech.”

Bradley A. Smith
Chairman, Institute for Free Speech
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute


“This is a great day for those of us who care about the rule of law in this country. Brett Kavanaugh is clearly one of if not the most-qualified person ever to be appointed to the Court, and he will help return it to the framers’ conception of the judicial role. President Trump is to be commended for keeping his promise to appoint justices faithful to our traditions and to the Constitution itself.”

Stephen B. Presser
Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History (emeritus)
Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute

Mr. Presser is the author of Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law (West Academic Publishing, 2017), which calls on the American people to undertake Constitutional Amendment.


“Elections have consequences, your civic duty to vote and hold those elected accountable is not only a right but a duty. Nothing could make these fundamental American principles clearer than the weeks of consternation over the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice.

“The process is clearly outlined in our written Constitution, this is not a popularity contest. The procedures have been agreed to in advance. The hearings have been held, the minority opinion has been heard. The Senate has acted and we commend the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to The United States Supreme Court.

“The freedoms we hold dear and the rights we will maintain have been confirmed along with the newest justice.  The power of the written a constitution has ruled the day.”

Neal Schuerer
Executive Director, Campaign Constitution
Senior Fellow, The Heartland Institute

“A California federal judge has demonstrated what the Kavanaugh battle has really been about and why we need judges who will apply the law, not make it up in direct disregard of Congress. District Court Judge Edward Chen is among the lawless judges that need to be controlled by the Supreme Court, and Judge Kavanaugh has made compelling legal and liberty arguments for that control.

“Chen ignored simple legal commands like ‘temporary’ and ‘no judicial review’ when he decided to make up his own law in halting another effort of the Trump Administration to enforce the law as written.

“The conduct of judges like Chen explains much of the depth of the battle over Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court appointment. Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions express an attitude of restraint and adherence to both constitutional and statutory law as written. This deprives those wishing to circumvent the political process of an avenue which lawless judges like Chen provide to achieve goals they cannot achieve through legislation.”

David Shestokas
Policy Advisor, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute

Mr. Shestokas is the author of Constitutional Sound Bites (2015).

Tim Huelskamp served as president of The Heartland Institute from 2017 to 2019.
Peter Ferrara, J.D., is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute and an advisor for entitlement reform and budget policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation.
David Applegate is a Chicago-based trial lawyer and partner at the law firm of Williams Montgomery & John Ltd.
Bradley A. Smith holds the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law position at Capital University Law School.
Stephen Presser is a leading American legal historian and expert on shareholder liability for corporate debts. He is frequently an invited witness before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on issues of constitutional law. @StephenPresser
Neal Schuerer is the Executive Director of The Act 2 Reforms
David Shestokas earned his B.A. in Political Science from Bradley University in 1975 and his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School, cum laude, in June of 1987. In 1986-87 he served on The John Marshall Law Review. @@shestokas

Related News & Opinion View All News

Related Podcast