CHARLOTTE, N.C. Question: Is the term “Supreme Court Justice” an oxymoron? Based on the current Brett Kavanaugh confirmation controversy, what else could it be? Just where exactly is the justice in the Senate’s confirmation process?
Everyone and his grandmother knew going in that the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings would be arduous. Almost nobody, however, thought those hearings would dive headlong into scumbag tactics that seem lower than ever in the history of political conflict. Or American justice, for that matter.
Here’s hoping that Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, has a long memory when payback time arises.
A late hit by Senator Feinstein
The Senate’s Culprit-in-Chief in the current travesty is Diane Feinstein (D-CA). She is said to have had the details concerning alleged sexual assault charges lodged by Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Kavanaugh back in July. Feinstein had several opportunities to bring the subject to light, including face-to-face questioning with the candidate during the hearings. And according to general Senate ethics, she should have revealed what she had during formal committee hearings.
The fact that she did not raise the subject has two implications.
- Feinstein, either individually or in collusion with fellow Senate Democrats, wants to delay the confirmation process either until after the election or later, with hopes of derailing Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination altogether.
- She knows deep down that her evidence is flimsy at best. But she needs street cred to beat her radical-left Democrat opponent in her own re-election effort in November.
Salacious charges = more cable advertising revenue
It’s a sad commentary on American values when the topic of sex takes us to the lowest common denominator purely because it’s easy to understand. Either the alleged incident happened or it didn’t. He said, she said. It’s not complicated. We watch these hearsay battles every day and night on cable TV. From Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, the high drama continues right into prime time and beyond.
Perhaps more disgraceful, even if the charges against Judge Kavanaugh are provably true, what is the point? The alleged activities involved, at best, a one-time incident that occurred back in the youthful days of high school. Such material has no bearing today on the character of the accomplished adult who is bidding to become the next member of the Supreme Court.
There is no hard evidence that anything even happened in the first place. As a point of reference, think about Ted Kennedy and his “bridge too far” escapade. Or his randy brothers John and Bobby who rewrote the “Monroe Doctrine.” Nor is there anything close to the serial sexcapades of Bill Clinton, a man who should have operated the laundry facilities in the White House. There’s simply nothing like that kind of proof in the charges against Judge Kavanaugh.
All these incidents made news, of course. But none of them kept the Democratic party from their appointed rounds even though all of them actually occurred WHILE those men held public service.
The Senate GOP: Up against the wall as usual
As for the GOP. Whether or not Republicans like or dislike Donald Trump should have little to do with confirming a solid candidate for the job. In that sense, Republicans need to stick to their guns. They need to confirm Kavanaugh and then let the chips fall where they may. If they wait too long after the special hearing on this incident next Monday, it may be too late. If they go forward and confirm the nomination, they can always impeach the judge if the allegations bear any truth.
Consider for a moment the notion that if Democrats honestly believed the credibility of these last-minute charges, those charges most certainly would have been brought up during the formal hearings on this nomination. They didn’t. In and of itself, that’s a strong indication the charges have little or no credence.
In other words, this last-minute hit-job is simply a stalling tactic intended to carry the vote past this November’s mid-term elections. The Democrats believes they will regain a majority in both houses, thwarting any further efforts by Trump and the GOP to put a conservative stamp on the Supreme Court for the first time in decades.
Like the Clarence Thomas hearings nearly 3 decades ago, there’s no justice in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings
Regardless of what Republicans do now, the damage has been done. None of the efforts to validate Kavanaugh’s character either before or after the accusations can override the single, likely false black mark against him. Recall what happened during the confirmation hearings for current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. That alone should be impetus enough for Republicans to “stand by their man.”
Republicans also find themselves between a political rock and a hard place. That’s thanks in large part to the relentless smear tactics employed against this nomination by a biased media. They, and their sponsors, thrive on such controversies.
Democrats know they can ill afford to allow Kavanaugh to be confirmed. A Justice Kavanaugh will swing the court pendulum at long last to the center-right. For the first time in a long time, the Supreme Court will focus more closely upon the Constitution an inviolable document to be followed, not altered, violated or amended, save by a strong majority vote in Congress and ratification by 2/3 of all U.S. states. That’s really what is at stake here.
As with Clarence Thomas and the legendary “Borking” of Robert Bork, the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings are making a mockery of the system of government Americans have fought so long and hard to defend. We need to restore a real sense of justice to this now impossibly tawdry process.
A thicket of “What ifs”
The problem for Republicans is the endless “What ifs” that surround any actions they may take going forward. What if they opt for open hearings? Will they be accused of ignoring the #MeToo pseudo-crisis of sexual harassment in American society? Or what if the public perceives that the questions GOP committee members ask Ms. Ford are being handled by the “white good old boys club”? That’s certainly what the media will tell them.
Ford claims the notes from her psychiatric sessions prove her charges even though the therapist’s notes are not consistent. How do members explore a topic like this without opponents accusing them of “harassment”?
The list of possibilities goes on indefinitely. Most scenarios are speculative, of course. But, given today’s political climate, they almost certainly need to be considered as possibilities.
The three-ring circus still lives in today’s America
Supposedly the Ringling Brothers’ Barnum & Baily circus went the way of the dinosaur and became extinct some months ago. Yet the three-ring circus continues unabated in Washington. This is a city where the tent is never big enough to contain the shameful shenanigans of our elected officials.
Whatever unfolds next in the re-opened Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, it will not resemble due process. And justice will be an afterthought.
Here’s hoping Brett Kavanaugh has a mind like an elephant and never forgets the damage to his name and reputation his opponents put him through to #Resist a changing of the guard at the Supreme Court.
—Headline image: President Trump announces his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
(White House / U.S. government photo, public domain, via Wikipedia entry on Judge Kavanaugh.)
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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