Judge Kavanaugh would threaten hard-won rights and protections for privacy and the Fourth Amendment.
Judge Kavanaugh’s views on government data collection raise troubling concerns in an age of increasing surveillance.
- In Klayman v. Obama, a federal district judge issued preliminary injunctions in 2013 and 2015 against the government’s warrantless collection of telephone metadata, including numbers dialed and how long phone calls lasted
- When the D.C. Circuit stayed the 2015 injunction, Judge Kavanaugh went out of his way to justify the illegal program as important to “preventing terrorist attacks”—a claim contradicted the previous year by the government’s own Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
Judge Kavanaugh also approved government GPS tracking without the use of a warrant.
- Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in United States v. Jones argues for the full court to reconsider a ruling that police had to obtain a warrant for GPS tracking of a suspect’s car for an extended period of time
- A D.C. Circuit majority let the earlier ruling stand and was later affirmed by the Supreme Court
Judge Kavanaugh approved of a troubling warrantless invasion of a man’s privacy after a stop-and-frisk search did not yield results.
- A D.C. Circuit majority in United States v. Askew determined that police violated a man’s Fourth Amendment rights by unzipping his jacket to search him without a warrant after a stop-and-frisk search did not yield results
- Judge Kavanaugh’s claim in dissent that the search was a reasonable continuation of the stop-and-frisk was, according to his fellow judges, “unsupportable on any plausible reading of the record”
- Judge Kavanaugh also claims that the police were free to unzip the jacket because it would help a robbery victim identify him by his clothing, which his fellow judges explained was based on “no reasonable grounds for belie[f]”
Judge Kavanaugh said that the U.S. Forest Service should be able to conduct random drug testing of employees at Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers.
- A D.C. Circuit majority in National Fed. of Fed. Employees v. Vilsack invalidated the Forest Service’s random drug testing program, noting that there was “no evidence of any difficulty” maintaining zero drug tolerance prior to the program
- Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent, according to his fellow judges, “paints with a broad brush without regard to precedent from the Supreme Court, and this court”