News Release

Kavanaugh “Scorns International Law and Loves Executive Power”


Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are set to begin on Tuesday. For upcoming events, see

MARJORIE COHN,  marjorielegal at, @marjoriecohn
Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and recently wrote the piece “Kavanaugh Scorns International Law and Loves Executive Power” for Truthout.

She said today: The Constitution gives Congress the power to make laws and the president the duty to execute them. Yet in 2014, Kavanaugh wrote that the president must follow the law ‘at least unless the President deems the law unconstitutional, in which event the President can decline to follow the statute until a final court order says otherwise.’

“Kavanaugh would thus create a dangerous presumption in favor of a president who refuses to follow the law. Kavanaugh reportedly played a key role in Bush’s signing statements, in which Bush reserved the right to ignore parts of Congressional statutes with which he didn’t agree.

“In nearly all ‘war on terror’ cases that came before him on the Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh voted to uphold Bush’s decisions. In an unprecedented move, the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee refuses to postpone Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing until all relevant documents are made available to committee members. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, we can expect Kavanaugh to defer to Trump on matters of war and peace, a perilous proposition.”

Cohn is former president of the National Lawyers Guild and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.