Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 8:17 AM

Kavanaugh’s Confirmation as Justice Will Be as Tainted as Trump’s Election as President

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Justices Republican presidents [nominate] invariably vote on the side of issues that affirms conservative ideology; whereas those Democratic presidents [nominate] invariably vote on the side that affirms liberal ideology.

(“Supreme Court Rules Voter ID Laws OK,” The iPINIONS Journal, October 18, 2014)

These days, every nominee to the Supreme Court testifies that judges should serve as umpires who only call balls and strikes. But the growing record of partisan, 5-4 rulings in cases on hot-button issues (e.g., abortion, gay rights, affirmative action) makes a mockery of their testimony. For such cases are now defined by judges pitching and batting consistent with plainly political agendas. Indeed, I had cause to lament this just months ago in “Court Ruling on Travel Ban Affirms Justices Are Just as Tribal as Politicians,” June 26, 2018.

This is why I’ve been arguing for years that the independence of the Supreme Court is a manifest fiction. Further, that conservative and liberal justices are little more than glorified hired guns for the Republican and Democratic Parties, respectively.

Yesterday’s partisan posturing and bickering masquerading as a hearing on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh only affirmed this. Little of it is worthy of comment. In fact, the title to this commentary speaks volumes.

But here, as a justice might say, is the holding from all that was said:

  • Republicans colluded with the Trump administration to conceal unprecedented amounts of documents (90 percent of his public record according to whining Democrats), which Republicans fear could derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. This is rather like the way Russians colluded with the Trump campaign over hacked emails and fake social media accounts to facilitate Trump’s election to the White House, hence the title.

Still, I thank God for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Because only he had the balls to call BS on the bipartisan hypocrisy afoot.

Echoing what I’ve been saying for years, he delivered an indignant diatribe in defense of this new norm, where Republican presidents appoint judges to legislate Republican policies from the bench and Democratic presidents appoint judges to legislate Democratic policies. Here (courtesy of C-SPAN) is how he summed up his “politicians-in-robesouting of all federal judges:

You can’t lose elections and pick judges. If you want to pick judges, you better win.

Perhaps you recall how Hillary pleaded to no avail that elections have consequences. She was referring to presidential elections of course. But Merrick Garland, President Obama’s “mcconnelled” Supreme Court nominee, would testify that congressional elections for control of the Senate have even greater consequences where the confirmation of federal judges is concerned. I commented on this polarizing phenomenon in such commentaries as “Obama Presents ‘Consensus’ Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland,” March 16, 2016, and “Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court Affirms Politicization of Judiciary,” February 2, 2017.

That’s why those protesting against Kavanaugh would be well-advised to channel their efforts on getting people to vote for Democrats in November’s midterm elections.

In the meantime, the show hearing resumes today and is slated to continue for the remainder of this week. There will be lots of political grandstanding; but none could be more shameless and self-serving than the way Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey pandered to poor farmers in the Midwest yesterday. He was clearly more interested in banking soundbites for his 2020 presidential campaign than in registering concerns about Kavanaugh’s record.

That said, nobody doubts the Senate will confirm him – along the partisan lines that define virtually everything in America today. Indeed, anyone who knows anything about the process afoot knows that only an act of God will alter this outcome. This is why Democrats calling on Kavanaugh to ask for a delay so they can review more of his documents is as much a feckless political stunt as activists continually interruption his hearing.

For the record, even though the subject of an inherently flawed process, Kavanaugh is no flawed nominee. He is eminently qualifiedto serve as a Republican hack on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh unwittingly betrayed his partisan inclinations in this regard when a father — who lost his daughter in the Parkland school shooting — attempted to shake his hand during a break in proceedings. Video of the encounter shows Kavanaugh looking that father dead in the eye, refusing to shake his hand, turning his back, and then walking away — presumably holding that still-grieving father in contempt for daring to approach him.

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

Related commentaries:
Voter ID etc
travel ban
Parkland shooting

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