Justice Brett Kavanaugh

September 3, 2018

Justice Judge Brett Kavanaugh

justice brett kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday, September 4. Here’s the schedule, not that anything about the process will affect the outcome.

Judge Kavanaugh sits presently on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has served on that court for a dozen years. Prior to his appointment he did the private / public shuffle, working for Ken Starr on the Clinton Whitewater (Lewinski) case, the Bush II White House, and for Kirkland & Ellis.

Judge Kavanaugh meets the legal requirements for service on the Supreme Court. He’s a sentient being, and Article III, Section 1 requires nothing more. Neither, as it happens, does the United States Code.

Judge Kavanaugh does, as well, meet the traditional standards for service on the Court. He’s a man. (Since 1789, more than 96% of the justices have been men.) He graduated from Yale Law School, as have three of the other eight sitting justices. (Four graduated from Harvard and one from Columbia.) He sits on a federal appellate court, as have seven of the other eight justices. He’s smart, too, as are his fellow justices. Really smart!

Judge Kavanaugh has been associated with some very seamy stuff, like the Starr investigation and Bush Administration torture issues. He leans Way Right, too, far away from where the population sits. Still, elections have consequences.

The Democrats should ask hard questions, demand the 100,000 documents which the Trump Administration will not disclose, and vote No. This man will sit on the high court, absent something totally unforeseen, but nothing about electoral consequences suggests a need to roll over and snooze.

Merrick Garland

Of course, because elections have consequences, we should all be looking for opinions written by Justice Merrick Garland, Judge Kavanaugh’s colleague on the D.C. Circuit. The one President Barack Obama nominated on March 16, 2016, 310 days before his term ended. The one who never got a hearing before the Judiciary Committee, much less an up or down vote on his nomination.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our broken democracy lately. The nation gave Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) a hero’s sendoff last week and, in doing so, showed what we have today for just how sad it is.

I joined the chorus, singing Mr. McCain’s, praises with Tough Weekend. There, I observed:

For sure, on many occasions he hewed the party line, sometimes maddeningly. “Hello.” That’s what politicians do.

In Senate parlance, I want to revise and extend my remarks. Among plenty of bad acts over many years, Senator McCain deserves disapprobation most greatly for not demanding an up or down vote for Judge Garland. He’s not alone, though. Fifty-four Rs sat in the U.S. Senate during the 114th Congress. Five of them needed to stand up for regular order. Not one of them said a word. Not one! Profiles in courage … not!!!

We re-elected President Obama on November 6, 2012. In doing so we hired him to lead us for 1461 days. We expected him to do his job, and not to lay down after 1151 days because … well, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was “about a principle, not a person.” (What principle? Giving the American people a “voice,” as if the fact that we hired President Obama for four full years mattered not at all.)

In 2012 President Obama beat Governor Mitt Romney by more than 5,000,000 votes and won the Electoral College 332-206. And in 2016? Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by just about 3,000,000 and won the Electoral College 304-227. Seems like we speak pretty clearly, Mitch. Maybe you need to get your hearing checked.

Vote for Democracy; Vote for Democrats

Elections do have consequences. The Republican Senate, to “give us a voice,” ignored their obligation to consider a capable, decent man (Merrick Garland). Then, with a bare victory, we get Judge Brett Kavanaugh and, before him, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Vote for democracy on November 6, 2018. Vote for Democrats, wherever you are.

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