Supreme Court Finalist Raymond Kethledge Praised for Judicial Restraint, Devotion to Constitution

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 6, 2018   |   4:01PM   |   Washington, DC

Judge Raymond Kethledge, a possible nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, has not escaped the scrutiny of pro-abortion liberals.

While many are floating the names of Judges Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh as top candidates, Kethledge also is rumored to be one of the top four or five judges being considered by President Donald Trump.

A justice on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Kethledge has received praise from conservative and pro-life groups for his judicial restraint and textualist approach to the law.

He previously worked for U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham while the former pro-life senator advocated for a law to ban abortions – a point Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used to attack the possible nominee Thursday.

“Anti-choice activists have praised his work as Judiciary Committee counsel for Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) when Sen. Abraham was pushing for a federal abortion ban,” Schumer wrote on Twitter.

Kethledge is a former clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. He has served on the Sixth Circuit court since his nomination by President George W. Bush in 2008.

Former Sen. Abraham praised Kethledge in a piece for National Review last week. He said the Michigan justice is not a “soft-handed Ivy League establishment type,” but a courageous, principled and blunt judge who believes strongly in the Constitution.

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Abraham continued:

… he has tracked game through the Michigan wilderness, pulled salmon out of the St. Mary’s River, and battled swells in his aluminum fishing boat on Lake Huron. Although not formally part of his job description as a federal judge (his own “circuit riding” takes him south to Cincinnati rather than north to upper Michigan), these rugged pursuits nonetheless illustrate the way Kethledge approaches his job. He is well-renowned for not mincing words. His decisions (which he writes himself, from outline to published opinion) are refreshingly concise, especially compared to the doorstops routinely churned out by other chambers. He holds fast to the text of statutes and the Constitution (i.e., the law) and rebukes those litigants (often federal agencies) who do not. His rigorous thinking mirrors his rigorous living.

Other friends also described him as a “down-to-earth Michigander,” an avid outdoorsman and a strong, intelligent judge, Politico reports.

Pro-life advocates and other conservatives have praised Trump for the possible Supreme Court nominees on his list. He chose conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch from the list in 2017.

Trump is expected to announce his choice on July 9.