Coffin said that Kavanaugh “views the role of a judge in the constitutional system not as a political job, but as a job of interpreting statutes and interpreting the Constitution.”
On the topic of religious liberty, Coffin was quick to dismiss anyone who had doubts that Kavanaugh would be a staunch protector of religious freedoms.
“I think they’re fools,” he said bluntly. “I don't have any hesitations in thinking that this is a great appointment for those concerned about religious liberty.”
Kavanaugh is a “vigilant defender of religious liberty,” Coffin said, as evidenced by his line of questioning in the recent court case brought against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, (WMATA) by the Archdiocese of Washington. While that case has yet to be decided, Kavanaugh’s questions and reasoning made it clear that he thought WMATA had acted illegally by prohibiting religious-themed advertisements.
“What really should impress Catholics is that this is a guy who is committed to the fundamental text of the Constitution and protecting those liberties preserved in the Constitution.”
Msgr. John Enzler, CEO and president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is another longtime friend of Kavanaugh. Enzler told CNA they first met when Kavanaugh was just 10 years old. At the time, Kavanaugh was a member of Little Flower Parish in Bethesda, where Enzler was serving as a priest.
“He was always a wonderful young guy,” Enzler told CNA.
Kavanaugh attended an all-boys Catholic elementary school before moving on to Georgetown Prep. At Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh played sports, captaining the basketball team in his senior year.
“They weren’t that talented that particular year, but he was still the captain,” said Enzler.
Like Coffin, Enzler was quick to note that Kavanaugh is “really just a regular guy,” who loves sports, and loves being with friends.
Enzler said he did not know that Kavanaugh would be the president’s Supreme Court nominee until about three hours before the official announcement, but it was Enzler’s presence at the announcement that tipped off some people that Kavanaugh was Trump’s pick.
“When they saw me, they knew Brett was the guy, because they knew I was a friend of Brett's," said Enzler. "I kind of blew the cover, by being there for my friend."
(Story continues below)
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Enzler said that when they first discussed Kavanaugh’s possible nomination, the judge was concerned about breaking his volunteering commitments. Kavanaugh asked if he could still come to serve the homeless later that week, saying he said wanted to do so regardless of the nomination result.
Kavanaugh called Enzler on Sunday, and said there was a “50-50” chance he would be the nominee, and that he would like for him to attend the announcement were he picked.
“By the way, if I'm chosen or not, I'd still want to come on Wednesday night to serve food, is that okay with you?”
Kavanaugh has been a consistent volunteer at Catholic Charities, coming to serve the homeless about “15, 16 times” over the last few years, Enzler said.
“He’s been here a bunch of times and serving, and nobody knew who he was,” said Enzler. “Not just a one-time thing.”
After the announcement was made last Monday, Enzler said he received another call from Kavanaugh two days later, checking if it would still be okay for him to volunteer that evening. On this occasion the media came too, and Kavanaugh definitely wasn’t the unknown volunteer he had been before.