After a historically bruising confirmation battle, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in and has taken his seat as Justice Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court. This week he took part in his first oral arguments, asking questions of both sides.
Justice Kavanaugh’s years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has been extensively analyzed by commentators, and his history of opinions on various areas of the law dissected. Writing for the influential SCOTUSblog, Charlotte Garden summarized his record on work law cases this way: “Overall, these opinions reflect that Kavanaugh tends to interpret narrowly the limits that work law places on employers, resulting in judicial and agency deference to employers’ decisions.” Her analysis of his opinions in specific cases nevertheless points out some cases in which he has ruled for employees.
Past rulings are rarely a perfect indicator of how a justice will vote on the U.S. Supreme Court, as many presidents have learned to their sorrow, but it would be real surprise if Justice Kavanaugh’s votes do not tend to be pro-business. Taking the bench at age 53, he will likely have a long time on the Court to make his views known and to alter those views if he so chooses.