10 September 2018 - US Supreme Court: Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Hearing
The Kavanaugh nomination: A defining moment for the Senate, the court, and the country
Ira Shapiro (The Hill, 10/09/2018)
With the contentious hearings completed, the Senate owes it to the country to remain focused on the central issue raised by Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination: his extreme and dangerous views and judicial philosophy. His champions deserve credit for candor; the nomination is explicitly intended to lock in the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court for the next 30 years. The Senate must now decide whether that is the right outcome for the court, and the country.
Judge Kavanaugh’s supporters contend that the Senate’s role in this process is limited and should focus only on his credentials and general good character. But as Robert C. Byrd argued in 1987, “‘qualified for office’ is not limited to technical competence but extends to general suitability. The candidate’s personal philosophy and ideology are, therefore, relevant considerations.”
Confirmed: Brett Kavanaugh Can’t Be Trusted
The Editorial Board (The New York Times, 09/09/2018)
In a more virtuous world, Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be deeply embarrassed by the manner in which he has arrived at the doorstep of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
He was nominated by a president who undermines daily the nation’s democratic order and mocks the constitutional values that Judge Kavanaugh purports to hold dear.
Now he’s being rammed through his confirmation process with an unprecedented degree of secrecy and partisan maneuvering by Republican senators who, despite their overflowing praise for his legal acumen and sterling credentials, appear terrified for the American people to find out much of anything about him beyond his penchant for coaching girls’ basketball.
The Deceptive Contrast Between Trump and Kavanaugh
Jeffrey Toobin (The New Yorker, 17 September 2018 Issue)
The past week in Washington offered what appeared to be a startling contrast: on the one hand, tales of a President unhinged, issuing garbled, contradictory commands to appalled aides who were conspiring against him; on the other, a thoughtful Supreme Court nominee, calmly parrying the futile assaults of a frustrated senatorial minority. Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh looked and sounded very different, but those appearances deceived. Both men were pulling the country in the same direction, toward more inequality, more pollution, and, to put the matter bluntly, women once more dying from botched abortions.
Regarding the President, the week featured twin elaborations of the obvious—that he is dangerously unfit for office. Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” which began circulating on Tuesday, portrays Trump as ill-informed, incurious, impetuous, and mendacious. In one already oft-quoted passage, Woodward asserts that John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, said of Trump, “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown.” (In one of many artfully crafted denials from Trump insiders that wafted through Washington last week, Kelly said he did not call the President an “idiot.”)
The Guardian view on the US supreme court: the wrongs required to move right
Editorial (The Guardian, 09/09/2018)
The only issue in Washington over the last week has been the suitability of an individual for high office – but then that has been the issue ever since Donald Trump’s election. Bob Woodward’s new book and the anonymous op-ed by a senior official have merely confirmed, albeit in hair-raising new detail, the long obvious: Mr Trump is so blatantly unfit to be president that those who work for him ignore or thwart his orders.
His ability to maintain his position could yet depend on the other individual in the spotlight: Brett Kavanaugh. The supreme court nominee’s confirmation hearings did not offer quite the same drama as the White House circus, despite red-robed “Handmaids” highlighting the risk to reproductive rights, vocal protesters inside the room and devastating questioning by the California Democrat Kamala Harris. That was by design. Mr Kavanaugh went out of his way – more than “three zip codes”, in his terms – to say as little as possible. The administration withheld masses of documents on his record as an aide in the George W Bush White House.