The departure of longtime Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has cast uncertainty over American politics as commentators aren't sure what to expect from his proposed replacement, Brett Kavanaugh. While the fate of Roe v. Wade and gun control are uncertain, it seems likely that President Trump's nominee will uphold the status quo as far as the legal status of cannabis is concerned.
"Kavanaugh has not directly commented on this issue, so his personal views are unknown," Hunter J. White—Communications Director for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP)—told Civilized. "However, from the deference he has shown to regulatory agencies and findings, it is clear he would not second guess the wisdom or accuracy of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug."
That means Kavanaugh probably won't support any challenges to the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act, which says marijuana has no medical benefits and is as dangerous as heroin.
"[Kavanaugh's] view would be fatal [to cases like] the Alexis Bortell lawsuit of the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act," White explained. "Part of her argument is that the Schedule 1 status is a violation of due process because it is not scientifically accurate. This pick would not buy that argument because he wouldn’t second guess the FDA."
But that doesn't make his stance radically conservative. In fact, when it comes to cannabis, White says Kavanaugh is basically the same as the Democrat's last appointee to the Supreme Court.
"In this way, he is similar to [Merrick] Garland who shared similar views and judicial decisions," White explained. "He is basically the right-leaning version of Garland."
So cannabis consumers shouldn't expect a radical shift in either direction on the marijuana issue if Kavanaugh's appointment is approved by the Senate.