Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh backed US militarism in his appeals court rulings
14 July 2018
Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has served for 12 years as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, generally considered the second highest federal court. Because its jurisdiction includes the seat of US government, the DC Circuit is dominated by litigation concerning federal authority, including the power to wage war and otherwise inflict violence and deprivation of liberty overseas.
Virtually without exception, Kavanaugh has ruled in favor of the US government in cases he has heard which gave him the opportunity to expand its war powers.
Take the case filed by Jennifer Harbury, a Harvard-educated lawyer who has relentlessly campaigned to expose those responsible for the March 1992 “disappearance” of her husband Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, a Guatemalan opposition leader. As a result of her efforts, a State Department whistleblower, Richard Nuncio, revealed that Bámaca was kidnaped and tortured for more than a year by CIA mercenaries trained at the notorious School of the Americas.
In 2008 Kavanaugh upheld the dismissal of Harbury’s lawsuit against the CIA officials who funded her husband’s killers, holding that legal claims based on allegations that “U.S. officials were responsible for physically abusing and killing foreign nationals in their home country” are barred by “the political question doctrine,” which holds that most questions of foreign policy are political and not legal, and not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts.
Kavanaugh then gave the CIA defendants an extra layer of immunity, ruling that “their jobs involved hiring and managing informants,…