I was and remain opposed to Donald Trump being able to nominate any person to serve on the Supreme Court until and unless the cloud over his presidency is lifted. That was my original opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination. Today it goes much, much deeper. It is no longer theoretical; it is personal. Let’s explore.
I realize that I am going to have ideological differences with almost any nominee of a Republican (real or playing the role of) president. Elections have consequences and I am willing to accept that. I definitely have those differences with Judge Kavanaugh. That alone is not a sufficient reason to keep him off the Supreme Court. The Court is designed to be an independent and co-equal branch of our federal government. The fact of the matter is that for decades Republican voters have considered the Court when they went to the ballot box more than Democratic voters have and now they appear poised to reap the fruits of their actions.
The first problem with Kavanaugh was that it very much appears he was added to the Heritage Foundation’s list because of his views on the presidency. Perhaps I missed a news event but when did we elect Jim DeMint as President of the United States? Trump’s views on loyalty are well known as is his habit of trying to extract loyalty pledges.
Despite the Republican talking point that a record amount of documentation was released in the Kavanaugh hearings the fact remains that over 90% of his record was suppressed. Why? What was being hidden?
There is reason to believe that Kavanaugh lied during all three of his Senate confirmation hearings including this one. I did not even consider the sexual charges in the prior sentence. Color me old fashioned, but I still believe honesty is a foundational quality in a judge.
During my working days I was a hiring manager in several industries, including beverage alcohol. Yet I never remember a job candidate professing their love of beer (or any other adult beverage for that matter). Had they I would have abruptly ended the interview effectively saying “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” knowing that my mind was made up and I didn’t have time to waste. It appears to me that Kavanaugh had and possibly still has a drinking problem that affects his behavior. If it still exists in my mind that alone is disqualifying. Think of the expression: sober as a judge.
Remember that at their root the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings are a job interview. Kavanaugh acted like a lunatic last Thursday. He was unable to control himself, tore at the pages of his prepared statement, refused to answer questions, made unsubstantiated accusations (of the interviewers), acted entitled and answered questions with rude questions. Ask yourself, did he act more like a Supreme Court Associate Justice or a high school wise guy?
Now we come to the most serious charges of all: sexual assault. Among the (in the minds of most) most credible charges are the attempted rape of a minor. There are also accusations of participation in gang rapes that many consider less credible. I will admit that I believe most of the accusations and disregard none. At this point, some will require more investigation before I am willing to commit to a definitive opinion. Even if you believe that they are all malarkey or that Kavanaugh is totally innocent of all accusations don’t they give you pause? If this is some left wing conspiracy as right wing mythology would have you believe why didn’t we see anything even remotely similar in Neil Gorsuch’s nomination? Gorsuch and Kavanaugh graduated from the same high school (which Kavanaugh can’t seem to stop touting) only one year apart.
Here is the bottom line: the Senate Judiciary Committee and soon the full Senate is effectively a hiring manager and Kavanaugh is applying for a lifetime job. When I was a hiring manager if I were confronted with an applicant with so many, at best, grey areas I would exercise my fiduciary responsibility to the organization and move on. The Senate Judiciary Committee failed; let’s hope the full Senate does a better job. America can do better than Brett Kavanaugh!
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