Here come da’ Judge

 

Brett Kavanaugh will be the next judge to have the title of Associate Supreme Court Justice.  But the theater and outright antics necessary to get us there are embarrassing to have to endure.  If you did not watch any of the cross examinations that the judge was subjected to last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’m here to tell you it was like watching a three-ring circus.  Our country is just as divided as it ever has been.  I don’t care that I was not around at the time of the Civil War, I really don’t see how partisan politics can be more vicious and vitriolic than what we’re experiencing here in 2018.

The only difference between here in the early 21st Century, and the middle 19th Century – the Civil War Era – is that there actually was a beating on the floor of the Senate during the height of our Nation’s Darkest Hour.   Just before the Civil War, Senator Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts antislavery Republican, impugned the name of Senator Andrew Butler, a Democrat from South Carolina, about Kansas being admitted to the union as a slave- or a free state.  Remember that Republicans opposed slavery, and Democrats favored slavery.  Well, U.S. Representative Preston Brooks, a close ally of Sen. Butler, took offense.  Rep. Brooks brought a metal-topped cane into the Senate chambers and beat Sen. Sumner unconscious.

Back to the hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, as Democrats throw bombs and irrational rhetoric at Judge Kavanaugh.  Two of the worst, most irrational Senators on the Committee are Kamala Harris, D-California and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.  Remember when Mike Pompeo was before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be confirmed as head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency?  Sen. Harris grilled Pompeo about “climate change,” in making her plea that climate change is the greatest threat to national security.  Utter nonsense, but the left-coast Senator gave it to Pompeo with both barrels.  Mr. Pompeo calmly replied that his job was to head up the CIA, and he had no influence on policy decisions as to what, if anything, the U.S. should do to address climate change.

Both Senators Harris and Booker are asking similarly nonsensical, partisan questions of Judge Kavanaugh.  Booker and Harris are both said to have a pronounced interest in running for president in 2020.  And both were grandstanding.  Booker did his best attorney imitation in trying to portray Kavanaugh as a racist.  Harris asked about Kavanaugh’s friendship with attorneys who are in a law firm which works for President Trump.  Harris is an attorney – and in fact, served as California’s Attorney General – but her wild speculation was on full display in her feeble attempt to connect Kavanaugh and Trump.  I think Sen. Harris suffers from “collusion delusion,” based on the artificially protracted proceedings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  And who knows about the last-minute accusation directed toward Kavanaugh will go.  A female claims he tried to sexually assault her when both he and she were 17-year old high school students.  And this is just coming out now?  Who of us did not make abysmally stupid mistakes when we were teens? Kavanaugh vehemently denies the accusation.

Finally, if Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas both long for the return of “the good old days” of nonpartisan confirmation of Supreme Court Justices, you know that partisan politics have gone haywire.   Justice Ginsburg recalled that in 1993, the Senate – with 43 Republicans in the minority – confirmed her 96-3 after she was nominated by Bill Clinton.  And she harkened back to 1986 when President Reagan nominated Judge Antonin Scalia.  He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, despite 45 Democrats in the minority.  “It’s not that way anymore,” Ginsburg said.

“That’s the way it should be, instead of what it’s become, which is a highly partisan show.  The Republicans move in lockstep, and so do the Democrats.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back,” Ginsburg said at a recent talk at George Washington University.  Amen, Justice Ginsburg.

-Mark Pope