Documents: Kavanaugh saw 'some constitutional problems' in campaign contribution limits

Newly released documents reveal that when he was serving in the White House under President George W. Bush, ...

Posted: Sep 2, 2018 8:42 AM
Updated: Sep 2, 2018 8:42 AM

Newly released documents reveal that when he was serving in the White House under President George W. Bush, Brett Kavanaugh suggested that he thought candidate contribution limits have "some constitutional problems."

Contribution limits -- currently set at $2,700 per individual per election -- were upheld in a 1976 Supreme Court case called Buckley v. Valeo, and they have remained intact even as the court has subsequently struck down an array of other state and federal campaign finance regulations.

Brett Kavanaugh

Campaign finance

Constitutional law

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Law and legal system

Political donations and fundraising

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US Senate

Kavanaugh's comments will raise questions during his confirmation hearings from Democrats who support campaign finance regulation. The release of the documents will also likely trigger complaints from critics of Kavanaugh, who argue that they need more time and more access to the thousands of pages of his emails held at the Bush library.

"Judge Kavanaugh's views on campaign finance are already pretty well-known," said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. "But these emails suggest that he'd go farther in striking down these regulations than the court has to date. It's hard to imagine this not becoming a point of some contention at next week's confirmation hearing."

The documents, released Friday night before a three-day weekend, depict an email exchange between Kavanaugh and Helgard Walker, who also worked in the Bush White House.

"I have heard very few people say that the limits on contributions to candidates are unconstitutional, although I for one tend to think those limits have some constitutional problems," Kavanaugh wrote in a March 6, 2002, email.

"If he were to take that position as a Supreme Court justice he would be voting to overturn long-established precedent," said Fred Wertheimer, who supports campaign finance limits and is president of a nonprofit group called Democracy 21.

"The rationale for candidate contribution limits is that they prevent corruption -- if Kavanaugh were to oppose contribution limits, he would be willing to open the door to massive corruption of our elected officials," he said.

The documents had already been released to the Senate Judiciary Committee on a "Committee Confidential" basis. But committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, sent a letter to his colleagues last week telling them he would consider requests from members identifying confidential documents they wish to use during the hearings as long as the requests were "reasonable."

The documents in question were requested by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, according to a release from the Judiciary Committee.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 84°
Florence
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 86°
Fayetteville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 81°
Decatur
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 83°
Scottsboro
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 59546

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13113219
Davidson12935142
Rutherford342839
Hamilton319637
Sumner187456
Williamson167016
Knox15069
Trousdale15065
Out of TN139710
Wilson113017
Putnam10027
Unassigned9362
Bradley9254
Robertson90113
Sevier8843
Montgomery7127
Lake6960
Tipton6926
Bledsoe6271
Bedford5989
Macon5686
Hamblen4474
Maury4313
Hardeman4004
Fayette3573
Madison3472
Loudon3201
Blount3063
Rhea3030
Dyer2803
McMinn27018
Cheatham2643
Dickson2510
Washington2350
Lawrence2276
Cumberland2004
Anderson1892
Sullivan1892
Lauderdale1754
Gibson1661
Jefferson1641
Monroe1526
Smith1482
Greene1382
Coffee1370
Cocke1300
Hardin1257
Warren1200
Obion1182
Haywood1132
Franklin1103
Wayne1100
Marshall1082
Hickman1010
McNairy1001
Marion914
Giles891
Carter871
Lincoln840
Hawkins832
DeKalb820
White813
Roane800
Overton701
Weakley691
Claiborne680
Campbell671
Grundy652
Henderson650
Chester590
Unicoi560
Grainger550
Polk550
Carroll521
Henry500
Crockett493
Cannon460
Jackson460
Johnson450
Sequatchie450
Humphreys392
Meigs370
Perry370
Morgan301
Decatur280
Fentress270
Stewart270
Scott260
Union220
Houston200
Clay180
Moore170
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis100
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events