The Atlantic

Brett Kavanaugh: ‘The Earth Is Warming’

Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court affirms climate change—but that’s not necessarily good news for the EPA.
Source: Leah Millis / Reuters

It probably isn’t surprising that Judge Brett Kavanaugh—a longtime member of the conservative movement whom President Trump nominated to the Supreme Court on Monday—has written about climate change.

What might be surprising is that he says it’s real.

“The earth is warming. Humans are contributing,” he told a federal courtroom two years ago, during a hearing about a major Barack Obama climate policy. “There is a moral imperative. There is a huge policy imperative. The pope’s involved.”

He’s even inscribed this view in his judicial opinions. “The task of dealing with global warming is urgent and important at the national and international level,” he wrote in 2013.

Yet this is not necessarily good news for liberals. Kavanaugh has sometimes sympathized with the need for environmental protection. But because he considers global warming to be charged with a “huge policy imperative,” he’s skeptical that the Environment Protection Agency (or the executive branch) should be fighting it alone. And as a future justice, he’s likely to block the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
How Black Suffragettes Subverted the Domestic Sphere
Anna Julia Cooper was among the educators who emphasized the power of communal care as a method of addressing larger structural ills.
The Atlantic5 min read
The Cheap Thrills of The Kitchen and Why Women Kill
A new TV show and film tell similarly shallow stories about mistreated wives finding empowerment by getting revenge on their husbands.
The Atlantic2 min readPolitics
The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Ben on Board
Representative Ben Ray Luján said he supports an impeachment investigation into President Trump. Plus: Meet America’s electability voters.