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Jose Oliva: Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

If, as Justice Antonin Scalia said, “Our appointment and confirmation process has … evolved into a mini-plebiscite on the meaning of the Constitution whenever a new justice is to be seated,” then our freedoms, our Republic, and our Constitution could not be in better hands than with Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

On paper, Judge Kavanaugh is eminently qualified. You would be hard-pressed to find a more qualified individual to serve on the nation’s highest court.

But the reasons to confirm him go far beyond a stellar resume.

George Washington declared the Constitution to be the guide he would never abandon. Judge Kavanaugh’s career, both in and out of the courtroom, clearly demonstrates his commitment to embodying Washington’s reverence for the four corners of that most transformational document.

That respect and recognition of restrictions on judicial power should cause none to fear. On the contrary, such deference to the text will keep speech free, faith personal, homes secure, families protected, federal power limited, and rights divinely bestowed and inalienable.

In other words, a Justice faithful to the text of the Constitution will ensure our liberties and respect the freedoms that we all cherish.

What more can we ask of a judge or any man?

As President Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Judge Kavanaugh, as an appellate judge on the federal bench, wielded considerable power and passed the test of self-limitation with flying colors.

And one need only listen to Judge Kavanaugh himself to understand why he would make Lincoln proud when he said, “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy. So read the words of the statute as written. Read the text of the Constitution as written, mindful of history and tradition. Don’t make up new constitutional rights that are not in the text of the Constitution. Don’t shy away from enforcing constitutional rights that are in the text of the Constitution.”

That philosophy will secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

In a time when the idea that the Constitution is a “living, breathing document” is taken seriously, a judge willing to so forthrightly declare that it is not the job of an unelected branch of government to set policy, no matter their personal feelings about the propriety of such policy, is both refreshing and consistent with the finest judicial traditions of this great country.

Justices who adhere to the plain meaning of the text of the Constitution do honor to the sacrifices of the men and women who fought to see it to fruition. President John Adams, who lamented that we would never know how much it cost his generation to preserve our freedom, would, I believe, see Judge Kavanaugh’s work as an affirmation of all they fought for. Their sacrifice for liberty was not in vain so long as we who are heirs to that toil do our part to preserve it.

And that is my hope in all I do as a Legislator and all I do in this writing. To be worthy of the sacrifices made by generations past.

I am convinced that the Constitution and the restrictions it places on all branches of government are the reasons we are still a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

And people like Judge Kavanaugh, willing to serve, willing to abide by the Constitution as written, and willing to endure the fire of confirmation, are the reason, God willing, we always will be.


State Rep. Jose Oliva is set to become the next Speaker of the Florida House.

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