Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court by a vote of 50-48 (49 Republicans and one Democrat for, and 48 Democrats against) in what is set to be the most divisive court appointment in modern history.
Partisan, Petulant, Perverse
Last week we discussed the Senate hearing where allegations of sexual assault were brought against Kavanaugh by Dr Christine Blasey Ford, but the greatest case against Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court stems from his own performance during the hearing.
Kavanaugh displayed an unprecedented level of partisanship for a Supreme Court nominee, claiming that the allegations were motivated by “pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election” and “revenge on behalf of the Clintons”. His reference to ex-US President Bill Clinton’s impeachment for lying under oath proved to be ironic, as Kavanaugh proceeded to constantly lie under oath, a federal crime. Disturbingly, Judge Kavanaugh seemed emotionally unstable, frequently cutting off the questioning Democratic senators, raising his voice, and in a bizarre moment, crying about calendars.
There were also concerning developments outside the hearing. Trump applied severe constraints to the FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations, limiting the people they could interview and capping the time limit to a mere one week. The FBI was not permitted to write a conclusion, nor publically release the report, allowing Republicans to claim the allegations were unsupported.
The Political Consequences
Public outcry against the confirmation was swift, with hundreds of protestors gathering in front of the Capitol and Supreme Court building last Saturday. Democrats have already begun calling for the FBI report to be released to the public and threatening to impeach Kavanaugh if they regain a majority in the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.
Regardless, Kavanaugh has been confirmed, and will soon prove his value to the Trump administration in the upcoming Supreme Court case Gamble v. United States. Essentially, he could be the deciding vote that grants Trump the right to pardon his conspirators and himself of all crimes. With Kavanaugh’s appointment, Republicans make clear that they care not for women, justice, or the good of the country. They care only for themselves.