Bloomberg News has an article (behind a paywall) that surveys Judge (and presumptive Justice) Kavanaugh’s criminal law jurisprudence. The short story is that Judge Kavanaugh has been very bad for criminal defendants; one former SDNY prosecutor predicts that “he will be a reliable vote for the government in criminal cases, along the lines of Justice Alito.”
There are, however, a few glimmers of hope:
- Concurring in an opinion reversing a murder conviction for faulty jury instructions, Judge Kavanaugh explained that, notwithstanding the defendant’s “heinous crime,” he was “unwilling to sweep under the rug” that the instructions left the jury with an incorrect understanding of the mens rea requirements governing second-degree murder and manslaughter. United States v. Williams, 836 F.3d 1, 20 (D.C. Cir. 2016).
- In a concurring opinion affirming false statements conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, Judge Kavanaugh cautioned that “§ 1001 prosecutions can pose a risk of