Trump’s SCOTUS Pick Weighed In On The Infamous SeaWorld Trainer Safety Case & It's Pretty Telling Of His Style As A Judge

It looks like President Trump’s nominee to fill the open spot in the Supreme Court was a major part in the SeaWorld legal battle with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, following the tragic death of a killer whale trainer at the park, according to WKMG

Trump announced just last night the US Supreme Court Justice nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh was a circuit judge of the US Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. 

In 2010, SeaWorld appealed citations that were issued by the OSHA to the US Court of Appeals in D.C., following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau. Kavanaugh was one of three judges, who considered the case. An administrative judge previously upheld the $70,000 fine  before the appeal for “willful” violation of safety regulations placed by the OSHA, WKMG reports. After one of the shows at the Orlando theme park, one of the park's orcas, Tilikum,  drowned and killed Brancheau. 

All three judges were to decide on whether or not the US Department of Labor was able to control how SeaWorld protects their trainers, according to WKMG.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judge Judith Rogers believed that SeaWorld should have made more of an effort to keep their employees safe from known dangers within the workplace. Apparently, Kavanaugh did not agree. Instead, according to OSHA's documents about the case, he found that killer whale trainers were similar to athletes or others who choose to work in risky careers. 

“(The Department of Labor) cannot reasonably distinguish close contact with whales at SeaWorld from tackling in the NFL or speeding in NASCAR. The Department’s sole justification for the distinction is that SeaWorld could modify...its shows to elimination close contact with whales without going out of business. But so too, the NFL could ban tackling or punt returns or blocks below the waist. And likewise, NASCAR could impose a speed limit during its races. But the Department has not claimed that it can regulate those activities. So that is not a reasonable way to distinguish sports from SeaWorld,” Kavanaugh wrote in his dissent. "No one has described SeaWorld's killer whale performance as a 'sport,' and a legal argument that the 'sports industry' should not be regulated by OSHA can be raised when and if OSHA attempts to do so. Until then, this court will not find that OSHA acted arbitrarily based on a few responses to hypotheticals in briefing or oral argument."

The judges inevitably upheld the OSHA fine in a 2-1 vote.