Last year, when
President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme
Court, he made good on his campaign promise to nominate justices who would
hold the U.S. Constitution above all else. With his recent nomination of
Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy, President Trump is
continuing his effort to make good by the American public. Now, it is time
for Senator Joe Manchin to keep his promise and put West Virginians first by
voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Kavanaugh is
an experienced, intellectual, diligent judge with a fierce loyalty to our
constitution as it is written. He has served the public for 25 years, and
spent 12 years as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Judge Kavanaugh is
also a family man, a great contributor to local charities and a faithful
congregant at his church. Clearly, Judge Kavanaugh possesses the experience,
moral fortitude and reliability required to fulfill a lifetime appointment to
our nation’s highest court.
As West Virginia’s
Commissioner of Agriculture, I’ve witnessed firsthand how barriers can
prevent growth in our agricultural industries. The most notorious have been a
result of bureaucratic overreach at the federal level. A prime example of
this was when the Environmental Protection Agency unsuccessfully attempted to
impose massive fines on West Virginia farmer Lois Alt, and many farmers like
her. This was attempted through unlawful implementation of a wide-scale
agricultural stormwater permitting requirement under the Clean Water Act. In
2015, the EPA again issued a gross overreach with its “Waters of the United
States” rule which would have effectively placed agricultural ponds, fields
and puddles under the control of the federal agency.
Through a completely
voluntary program, West Virginia is leading all other states committed to
cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay region. It is evident the states are the best
entity to manage conservation as seen through West Virginia’s efforts. We
have shown our farmers and producers will only thrive in an environment that
works with, not against them. It is time Washington D.C. puts their needs
first. By voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, Senator Manchin can send a
strong message that overly, burdensome tactics of the Obama-era regulatory
state will no longer be tolerated.
Over the years,
Judge Kavanaugh has been a strong vote protecting American businesses from
illegal job-killing regulations. In fact, Judge Kavanaugh has led the effort
to rein in unaccountable agencies, and his decisions have helped kill some of
President Obama’s most destructive new environmental rules. In all, Judge
Kavanaugh has voted to overrule federal agency action 75 times, and has
rejected the EPA’s efforts to impose massive regulations without considering
the economic costs of those regulations.
Trump has led the charge in rolling back the massive amounts of Obama-era
regulation, Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court
will ensure that unelected bureaucrats will not be able to wreak havoc on our
state’s economy in the future.
For these reasons, I
hope Senator Manchin will join me and many other West Virginians in
supporting Judge Kavanaugh for the United States Supreme Court.
*Note – Senator
Shelley Moore Capito has already expressed support for Judge Kavanaugh
Kent A. Leonhardt
Commissioner of Agriculture