The U.S. Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been a shameful moment in America’s history.
The hatred, bigotry, histrionics, lies and character assassination raised during the process are ugly graffiti on the portrait of the United States that we present as a shining example for the world to see and to which many nations aspire.
Unfortunately, the patina of the framework of the American Constitution has been damaged by persons intent or destruction rather than elevation. These misguided souls were mesmerized by Pied Pipers whose sole purpose was to thwart Donald Trump whom they consider an illegitimate president because he lost the popular vote in 2016 but prevailed in the Electoral College.
I repeat that I was upset with the Senate Republican leadership when they refused to hold judiciary hearings on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS). President Obama fulfilled his constitutional obligation to nominate a candidate for the vacant seat on the high bench. But the Senate Republicans violated their constitutional mandate to schedule hearings. GOP claims that a lame duck president should not name an associate justice was both wrong and unethical. The GOP deserves criticism for that unscrupulous ploy.
But the current opposition by Senate Democrats and liberal activists is equally shameful. Trump opponents decided and acted early to sabotage the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. Some pundits claim the orchestrated lies were fear that Kavanaugh would give SCOTUS an unstoppable conservative majority intent on reversing Roe vs. Wade.
More important to liberals, however, was a desperate attempt to obfuscate the truth and delay a Senate vote until after the November midterm election when Democrats hope to take control of the upper chamber.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were willing to sacrifice Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for the party’s selfish agenda. They were willing to assassinate the character of Judge Kavanaugh for the same purpose.
Even when the minority party leveraged an agreement from the majority to request an FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, the Democrats then claimed that very investigation was a white wash because the agency found no evidence of the accusations.
Delay, delay, delay.
This process has been an outrageous display of duplicitous assertions designed solely to thwart President Trump from appointing his second conservative jurist to the Supreme Court.
I have no doubt that Merrick Garland was eminently qualified and deserved a serious and timely hearing about his judicial record. The refusal to do so by the Senate Republican leadership is disgraceful moment in the history of our republic.
Equally, disgraceful was the Democrats campaign to mischaracterize Kavanaugh’s personal and professional history.
A careful, dispassionate review of his judicial rulings shows that he is a thoughtful, sincere jurist. His decisions clearly demonstrate a wide range of fair conclusions that would satisfy both conservatives and liberals alike.
Most important to many liberals, Judge Kavanaugh will not threaten women’s reproductive rights. He has affirmed that Roe vs. Wade is established law. His Catholic values will not color his examination of abortion cases that come before the Supreme Court or influence his decisions.
Brett Kavanaugh now is an associate justice of the Supreme Court—the high tribunal once again has its full complement of nine justices. And, yes, the majority of justices are considered conservatives.
But history shows that many SCOTUS rulings have given comfort to liberals. The affirmation by the court that the controversial Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—is the law stands as most recent evidence of the court’s strict, impartial allegiance to the Constitution.
Of more concern, however, is whether this nation can regain its historic commitment to respectful, civic debate on this nation’s critical challenges? Are we as citizens and as a republic capable of sincere willingness to weigh the intellectual merits of competing views to reach the best decisions for America? Or are we so ideologically divided, so entrenched in partisan bitterness, so emotionally polarized that we are neither willing nor able to recognize legitimate, sincere differences?
We are at a critical crossroad and I fear that our national leadership is incapable of reversing direction and returning to the correct path.
I should have hope that next month’s midterm elections give us an opportunity to reject the dysfunctional political leadership in Congress. But our national anger and hatred may run too deep for Americans to cleanse Capitol Hill of incompetent, unwilling politicians. I will vote for change but am not optimistic that my fellow Americans will do the same.