Musings on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings
I've been distracted lately, so I haven't been posting articles as much as I would like to. I've been following the story of the confirmation of the next Supreme Court justice and that is a distraction. But I feel that it is an important event to watch since we're talking about giving someone a job with incredible power attached to it, and that job will last for the rest of his life or until he decides to retire.
During the time since President Trump submitted his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, there has been some serious fighting over the proceedings and how they should be run. And three women have come forward making serious allegations against Mr. Kavanaugh.
I have been doing my own research, reading articles on the hearings and about the character of Kavanaugh himself. I read his Wikipedia page and see that his immediate family is steeped in law. His father was a well connected attorney, and I mention that fact in light of the accusations against Kavanaugh. His mother became a judge a bit later in life.
I see also that Kavanaugh has played a part in the investigations of misconduct of President Clinton and in halting the recount of votes in Florida that gave us George Bush for president. As a judge, Kavanaugh dissents a lot, and seems to have been reversed quite a bit on appeal.
But what really stands out is Kavanaugh's religious streak in his opinions. This is what concerns me the most. I see that he is a Catholic and that he has weighed in on Roe v. Wade, and has stated, somewhat ambiguously, that Roe v. Wade is settled law. I also see that he treads in favor of allowing public facilities to be used for religious practices, such as prayer.
Kavanaugh attended an Ivy League school for his secondary education, and that means his family had money or connections or both. Just graduating from Yale makes him privileged and I have a problem with that.
What I have seen over the last couple of decades is that money has taken over politics. And when money takes over politics, human rights are set aside for privilege. I mean, who needs a Constitution when you have money?
Kavanaugh will almost certainly be confirmed, despite any allegations against him, and from my reading, there are quite a few young people who aren't taking this lightly. Some have said that confirming Kavanaugh sends a terrible message to young girls everywhere. That message is that if you have been sexually assaulted by one of your peers in school, your assailant will still be granted the privilege of high office.
I am also a bit concerned that with his confirmation, there are people in our country who will take this as a sign to advance the idea that America is a Christian country, and that, unless you're a Christian, you won't have any rights under the law. If you could just please go to church and get your name in our database, you'll get all the support you'll ever need, but you'll get it from the church. So be there next Sunday, got it?
I was actually surprised to see Lindsey Graham accuse the Democrats of seeking to stall the confirmation in the hopes that they might win in 2020 so as to insert their own judge. Crocodile tears. I remember how Mitch McConnell ensured that Obama would not get another judge confirmed to the court. In fact, that was one of his proudest moments:
One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, "Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy."
But if we are to believe the Republicans in the hearing room, they are the victims, not Christine Blasey Ford, and certainly not the two other victims who have accused Mr. Kavanaugh of wrongdoing. What I see here is a deflection of gigantic proportions, something that privileged people get to do when it really suits them. You know, like how the banks were bailed out and bonuses were still paid. Yeah, that kind of privilege.
It is also interesting to know that the President received a shortlist of people to choose from as nominees. I think it's fair to say that shortlist has been vetted by some very important and powerful people. But I have to wonder if they chose Kavanaugh because they found enough dirt on him to keep him under control.
I'm fairly certain that people involved in the selection of candidates could have found someone of sounder mind and character than Mr. Kavanaugh. So why did Trump pick him? I've long thought that Trump is an agent provocateur, and that he purposely picked Kavanaugh precisely for the attention he'd get, and for the controversy he'd create.
On the other hand, Trump went to private Ivy League schools, so he knows the fratboy life. I suspect that Trump saw a little of himself in Kavanaugh. Heck, with a lawyer for a father, Kavanaugh would have the means and opportunity to keep his record clean, and I bet Trump liked that about Kavanaugh, too.
Whatever. This nomination, and the effort to get Kavanaugh (who is a weak candidate at best) confirmed, along with the shenanigans Republicans played with Merrick Garland, have exposed Republican desperation to stack the courts in their favor. Maybe its some sort of holy war, or scoring points with their base, or maybe they're just really bored and need something to do.
Since January, I've been watching my own problems solve themselves without much effort on my own. I can't explain why they do that, but they do, and I'm happy that kind of stuff happens. I suspect that whatever concerns I have about the latest nominee for the Supreme Court, those concerns will resolve themselves, too.