Progressive impeachment witness Pamela Karlan cites Brett Kavanaugh

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  • Progressive constitutional law expert Pamela Karlan surprisingly cited conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while making a point about foreign interference in US elections. 
  • During Wednesday’s impeachment inquiry before the House Judiciary Committee, Karlan argued the US has a national security interest in preventing foreign intervention or influence in US elections.
  • She cited an opinion written by Kavanaugh in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals making the same case. 
  • “The United States has a compelling interest … in limiting the participation of foreign citizens in activities of American democratic self-government,” Kavanaugh wrote in his 2012 opinion. 
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Progressive constitutional law expert Pamela Karlan, a professor at Stanford Law School, cited an opinion by conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while making a point about foreign interference in US elections. 

During her Wednesday testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Karlan argued the US has a national security interest in preventing foreign intervention or influence in US elections. She further argued that Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 US election by investigating his political opponent constitute an impeachable offense. 

In making that argument, Karlan cited an opinion written by Kavanaugh during his time on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in which the conservative judge held that the US has a “compelling interest” in “preventing foreign influence over the U.S. political process.” 

“Kavanaugh was so correct in seeing this,” Karlan said, noting that the Supreme Court upheld Kavanaugh’s decision. 

Kavanaugh’s opinion was in a case considering the constitutionality of allowing foreign individuals to participate in US elections through electioneering and political donations. 

“It is fundamental to the definition of our national political community that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government,” Kavanaugh wrote in his 2012 opinion. “It follows, therefore, that the United States has a compelling interest … in limiting the participation of foreign citizens in activities of American democratic self-government, and in thereby preventing foreign influence over the U.S. political process.”

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