Data privacy, digital rights — what are Kavanaugh's views on tech issues?

Ian Bush
July 10, 2018 - 8:09 pm
Brett Kavanaugh

Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — If he's confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, how might Brett Kavanaugh rule when it comes to critical technology issues? 

Kavanaugh sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where he previously weighed in on net neutrality before its repeal.

"He filed a dissent in a case calling the rules 'unlawful,' arguing they had to be vacated and that they violated the First Amendment," said Politico technology reporter Christiano Lima.

Lima said Kavanaugh contends the Supreme Court requires "clear congressional authorization" of major rules issued by a government agency as a "vital check on expansive and aggressive assertions of executive authority." (Kavanaugh also wrote: "The economic and political significance of the rule is vast.")

And because he has criticized Chevron deference — the doctrine that says courts defer to a federal agency's reasonable interpretation of law — "he would likely present the biggest challenge to efforts to reinstate the safeguards at the state level and also at the congressional level," Lima said.

Kavanaugh has ruled the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records is "entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment." He also has argued in favor of warrantless GPS tracking of a suspect's car by police because, he wrote, there is no "reasonable expectation of privacy as to a person's movements" on public roads.