August 22, 2018

We Are Approaching a Constitutional Crisis: Senate Shouldn’t Be Considering a Supreme Court Nominee While the President Is Implicated in Criminal Activity


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 22, 2018

CONTACT: Liz Rose, lrose@acslaw.org

On Tuesday, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, was convicted of financial fraud in the first trial resulting from the special counsel’s investigation. The President of the United States is now, formally, implicated in a criminal activity. His nominee for the Supreme Court has a well-established record suggesting that he would shield the president from accountability.

Following is the statement from Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society:

“Yesterday’s guilty verdict in the Paul Manafort case and guilty plea by Michael Cohen are game changers in the debate over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court. We shouldn’t be considering a nominee to the nation’s highest court while the President is implicated in criminal activity.

“Given that the Manafort and Cohen cases raise legal arguments that could go quickly to the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh’s legal views on presidential power could have alarming implications.

“We call on the Senate to postpone the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in order to fulfill its ‘advise and consent’ role with respect to choosing the next Supreme Court justice and fully review Judge Kavanaugh’s records. Kavanaugh has said some alarming things that indicate that he thinks the president is above the law.

“Between the President’s liability as a conspirator in a federal crime and the scant number of Judge Kavanaugh’s records that have been produced for Senate review, the Senate should hit the pause button.

“Instead of proceeding with hearings on the next Supreme Court Justice, the Senate should be investigating the President."

The American Constitution Society (ACS), founded in 2001 and one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals dedicated to making the law a force to improve lives of all people. For more information about the organization or to locate one of the more than 200 lawyer and law student chapters in 48 states, please visit www.acslaw.org.