Friday, October 05, 2018

Kavanaugh's Nomination Saved By a Woman



Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been vilified in recent weeks by partisan Democrats and a breathless press as a sexual predator. So it's fitting that his nomination to the Supreme Court was saved by a woman. Senator Susan Collins (R, Me) cast a courageous vote, knowing that doing so guaranteed heavy opposition to her re-election in 2020. Her 45-minute speech, which addressed every objection to Kavanaugh's appointment, was delivered calmly and with reason, not with the rancor and mean-spiritedness I have seen elsewhere. I never embed a 45-minute video, but her remarks (you can read them here) are free of the tribal politics that have run rampant. Her biggest point? "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.”

Other Points:

Advice and Consent - " I have interpreted this to mean that the President has broad discretion to consider a nominee’s philosophy, whereas my duty as a Senator is to focus on the nominee’s qualifications as long as that nominee’s philosophy is within the mainstream of judicial thought."

Affordable Care Act - "In a dissent in Seven-Sky v. Holder, Judge Kavanaugh rejected a challenge to the ACA on narrow procedural grounds, preserving the law in full. Many experts have said his dissent informed Justice Roberts’ opinion upholding the ACA at the Supreme Court."

President Above the Law - "Judge Kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law. He has stated that Marbury v. Madison, Youngstown Steel v. Sawyer and United States v. Nixon are three of the four greatest Supreme Court cases in history. What do they have in common? Each of them is a case where the Court served as a check on presidential power. And I would note that the fourth case that Judge Kavanaugh has pointed to as the greatest in history was Brown v Board of Education.

Roe v.Wade - "Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition, but rooted in Article III of our Constitution itself. He believes that precedent 'is not just a judicial policy … it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent.' In other words, precedent isn’t a goal or an aspiration; it is a constitutional tenet that has to be followed except in the most extraordinary circumstances."

Lisa Blatt - "Lisa Blatt, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other woman in history, testified: 'By any objective measure, Judge Kavanaugh is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.' 'His opinions are invariably thoughtful and fair….' Ms. Blatt, who clerked for and is an ardent admirer of Justice Ginsburg, and who is, in her own words, 'an unapologetic defender of a woman’s right to choose,” said that Judge Kavanaugh “fit[s] in the mainstream of legal thought.' She also observed that 'Judge Kavanaugh is remarkably committed to promoting women in the legal profession.'"

Presumption of Innocence, Due Process - "This is not a criminal trial, and I do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of 'more likely than not' as our standard."

Leaking Ford's Letter to Feinstein - "To that leaker, who I hope is listening now, let me say that what you did was unconscionable. You have taken a survivor who was not only entitled to your respect, but who also trusted you to protect her – and you have sacrificed her well-being in a misguided attempt to win whatever political crusade you think you are fighting. My only hope is that your callous act has turned this process into such a dysfunctional circus that it will cause the Senate – and indeed all Americans – to reconsider how we evaluate Supreme Court nominees. If that happens, then the appalling lack of compassion you afforded Professor Ford will at least have some unintended positive consequences."

51 comments:

Doc Rock said...

Bernie,
Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Stick to local politics, Bernie. Your takes on national politics just keep getting dumber. Collins knows she is being disingenuous here. She is acting like he was up for a circuit court seat, where precedent is actually binding. It doesn't mean jack to Supreme Court Justices, which is why the SC overturned at least 2 precedents in 5-4 cases this past term.

And Lisa Blatt, in addition to doing some fairly liberal pro bono work, also represents big corporate clients. Praising potential justices is just good business if any of her corporate cases wind up in the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh, like many conservative lawyers, believes in the Unitary Executive Theory (although this philosophy seemed to vanish temporarily when Obama was President. Curious.), which means that he thinks every executive office and agency derives authority directly from the president, even when their authority is delegated by Congress. Which means he thinks the president can direct the people responsible for investigating himself, effectively placing him above the law. He cited 4 those cases to pander to senators like Collins who pretend they care about limits on executive power, but he has said things in speeches and articles about his broad interpretation of presidential power that contradict those rulings.

Anonymous said...

Voting for Kavanaugh- 51 Senators representing 143 million people

Voting against Kavanaugh- 49 Senators representing 182 million people

Hillary won by 3 million.

Kavanaugh lost by 40 million.

Real eyes, realize, real lies.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully whatever Collins got for her vote was worthwhile.by time she runs for re-election her action will fade in importance.
As to Kavanaugh congratulations!.
He can tap a keg in victory.
In a drunken stupor he can reflect on how a thuggish youth has no bearing on being a Supreme Court judge.

Anonymous said...

A sad day for women and a sad day for decency and America.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting Senator Collins remarks. From one woman to another, you do not right the misjustices by rule of the mob and abandonment of due process.

Anonymous said...

"Hillary won by 3 million.

Kavanaugh lost by 40 million."

Yeah yeah.

And the Yankees got more hits than the Red Sox last night, and their fans are just as happy as you are.

Anonymous said...

"Voting for Kavanaugh- 51 Senators representing 143 million people
Voting against Kavanaugh- 49 Senators representing 182 million people
Hillary won by 3 million.
Kavanaugh lost by 40 million."

As long as these types don't understand basic civics, they'll be resigned to throwing poop from their cages in frustration with a system they just don't get. Its both tragic and hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of anyone's view, what she did takes a level of personal and political courage that is rare. She'll be forever remembered for this decision. As R legislators have been shot and maimed on athletic fields, and with calls from elected Ds to confront and harass Rs in every setting, she and her loved ones will never again be safe in public. Her thoughtful condemnation of the emerging banana republic aside, she's put her life in jeopardy. This is where we are, and it's very troubling.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

I am not especially a fan of sen. Collins of Maine, but I did watch her speech and it was a well thought out, compiled and delivered treatise on our rule of law. It was based on law and logic not on emotions. I must admit I did acquire a new found respect for this Senator. I believe that the shenanigans of Democrats during this process has shocked many into reexamining some of the basic principles of our justice system. If this is the good that has come out of this outrageous display, at least something positive may be counted. It is also apparent that the democrats have helped to unite the Republican party in ways I have not seen for decades.

Anonymous said...

but the me too women speak for women don't they? who does this Susan think she is?

Anonymous said...

Senator Collins delivered a strong message. But, did the Democrat leadership learn anything?

We must NEVER yield to underhanded politics and threats. That's the way of Cuba and Venezuela, not an America I want to live in. The tactics we watched must be rejected and condemned as a low point in our nation's history.

The future of the Democrat Party is bleak under the guidance of people like Feinstein, Pelosi, Schumer, Blumenthal, Booker, Ellison, Harris, Schiff, Swallwell, and, of course, the Clintons.

Good grief, Democrats. Clean up your house!

Anonymous said...

Its a very good today for the USA! This is a winner take all political climate. Elections do have consequences and the far left had finally been setback decades. Thank you Lord!

Anonymous said...

On the bright side Justice Thomas gets to pass the title of sleaziest Justice to the new guy.

Anonymous said...

A woman saved our nation from Mob Rule

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Senator Collins delivered a strong message. But, did the Democrat leadership learn anything?
"


Davis Brooks of the NYT is my favorite columnist. He is one of those who, like myself, have tried to reduce the increasing political tribalism. He considers himself a failure,based on the Kavanaugh hearings.

"What we saw in these hearings was the unvarnished tribalization of national life. At the heart of the hearings were two dueling narratives, one from Christine Blasey Ford and one from Brett Kavanaugh. These narratives were about what did or did not happen at a party 36 years ago. There was nothing particularly ideological about the narratives, nothing that touched on capitalism, immigration or any of the other great disputes of national life.

"And yet reactions to the narratives have been determined almost entirely by partisan affiliation. Among the commentators I’ve seen and read, those who support Democrats embrace Blasey’s narrative and dismissed Kavanaugh’s. Those who support Republicans side with Kavanaugh’s narrative and see holes in Ford’s. I can think of few exceptions."


I am one of them. I know other Democrats who feel as I do, but polls indicate we are few.

"These hearings were also a devastating blow to intellectual humility. At the heart of this case is a mystery: What happened at that party 36 years ago? There is no corroborating evidence either way. So the crucial questions are: How do we sit with this uncertainty? How do we weigh the two contradictory testimonies? How do we measure these testimonies when all of cognitive science tells us that human beings are really bad at spotting falsehood? Should a person’s adult life be defined by something he did in high school?"

Despite this reality and the complete absence of proof, people took sides, depending on their political party.

"This leads to an epidemic of bigotry. Bigotry involves creating a stereotype about a disfavored group and then applying that stereotype to an individual you’ve never met. It was bigotry against Jews that got Alfred Dreyfus convicted in 1894. It was bigotry against young black males that got the Central Park Five convicted in 1990. It was bigotry against preppy lacrosse players that led to the bogus Duke lacrosse scandal.

"This past month we’ve seen thousands of people convinced that they know how Kavanaugh behaved because they know how “privileged” people behave. We’ve seen thousands of people lining up behind Kavanaugh because they know that there’s this vicious thing called “the Left,” which hates them.

"This is a complete pulverization of the actual individuals involved in this case — a retreat from complex particularity to simplistic group prejudice.


Both sides are guilty here. We have become an ugly people.

I am fortunate that readers from both sides of the political spectrum comment here. But it is still ugly. Many of my readers refuse to read the comments section for that reason. I believe in the Socratic method. I support anonymous speech. But we no longer talk to each other, but at each other. We parrot.

Here's a link to Brooks column: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/opinion/kavanaugh-hearing-partisan-national-disgrace.html




Anonymous said...

we have only one party the democrats are not a political party

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, a couple of Supreme Court justices appointed by Democrats are worried about losing a "swing vote".

I don't recall they were all that worried about Court balance when Obama nominated a liberal to replace a conservative.

I'm sure they're as non-partisan as this group though.

https://www.lwv.org/newsroom/press-releases/league-urges-senators-vote-no-kavanaugh

I hear one would have to be a whack job to think the lwv is anything but purely non-partisan.

Here's the new CEO of this non-partisan non-profit group.

https://www.mddems.org/party/virginia-kase

Anonymous said...

October 6, 2018 at 7:11 AM
"don't understand basic civics"

Math is what demonstrates your civics is rigged. But you already know that civic is rigged, Trump told us all it's rigged, you just didn't know the math.

People are pissed because Trump is proving his words, it's rigged, the masses, like toilet paper, are shit on trumps shoe.

MAGA



Anonymous said...

As a lifelong Democrat I was appalled at the behavior and actions of Democratic Senators in the confirmation process. Many are simply towing the party line because Judge Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump. PA Senator Bob Casey is a perfect example of this partisan politics. Before anyone was nominated, he stated he would not vote to confirm any nominee. This is truly sad, especially since on the judges being considered was from Pennsylvania.

The Democrats are also upset that former President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, never had a confirmation hearing. Timing of that selection was the issue. HE was a lame-duck President in the final months of his office. The opposing party was had the majority in the Senate and simply followed rules to wait until the upcoming elections were held. At the time this decision was made, all of the pols were declaring the Democrat victory.

If Clinton would have won the election, would Judge Garland receive a confirmation hearing? Probably he she would have stood by her predecessor's selection. Would he have been confirmed? Questionable. Would he have been subject to the ambush tactics Sen. Feinstein used on Judge Kavanaugh? No. It would have been a lengthy process maybe involving many nominations before one that passed the Senate.

Strategically, I feel the Democrats made a huge mistake. Their process to oppose the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh will probably negatively affect the upcoming mid-term elections.

President Trump had the rare opportunity to make two appointments to the Supreme Court. In both cases, I think he selected qualified judges. The judges he selected, both stated they believe in the strict interpretation of how the Constitution was written, Not how it can be used to affect policy.

Patriot2 said...

2:26 hit the nail on the head with his comments. What will inspire the republicans further will be the mob violence by the snowflakes unhappy with this outcome. Trump supporters don’t like poor losers & the turnout this week at the Lehigh Valley Tea Party was incredible & the energy at that meeting is back to its near peak level. I saw many former Dems who have switched horses in the past few years.

The liberal left Dems will be shocked again on November 6th when the Senate becomes more Republican & the House doesn’t change hands.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:26;

"as a life long Democrat..."

Now that is funny. You alt-right wing cuckoo birds have been using that line on Bernie's blog for a long time. It is the most silly, simple-minded way to attack an entire group of people while pretending to peak form the heart. You are as much a Democrat as Kavanagh is a Mormon.

You won this fight, congratulations. That is all any of this is about. From the beginning of the hateful Tea Party to todays cruel MAGA crowd, the right has used grotesque labels and mean spirited speech to demean all who oppose them. The same has been done by the left. Violence of lefties screaming at people eating and in lobbies is weighed against the McVeigh's of the land. Violence is in the eye of the fanatic.

Please don't lecture me on the evils of pornography when I can see the copy of Hustler on your desk.

A lifelong cynic and taxpaying white American!

Anonymous said...

democrats will never gain power again now lets get rid of as many democratic mayors and governors as possible the country will start winning more like president trump says..

Anonymous said...

anon 5:29, thank you for being honest about your goals. I as a dem respect that, as opposed to the BS coming form most of the other right wing comments. You have made the best comment on how politics in both parties works. God stands with no political party, in fact he hides.

Anonymous said...

5:46 democrats control most of your cities and most of them are in financial trouble and HAVE NO LAW AND ORDER Chicago san Francisco etc the states that are in financial trouble are run by democrats the republicans under the guidance of president trump will correct this --that is fact the democrats tax and spend and do not do a good job in keeping down crime that is fact

Anonymous said...

by the way the person who wrote the lst comment is an independent who is just looking at the facts

Bernie O'Hare said...

It amazes me that so many of you just have no ability to drop the tribal politics.

Anonymous said...

Bernie no tribal politics just facts look at the facts just like the republican senator from maine did...

Robert Trotner said...

IMHO she made a very legalistic speech focusing strictly on the limited Repubican-FBI investigation and ignoring all the circumstantial evidence of lying and heavy drinking and all the rest not considered by the FBI. Missing were any human feeling for or consideration of the three other women's charges.

Robert Trotner said...

My feelings are not based on tribal politics. If a Democratic president had nominated a liberal with the same issues I would be demonstrating against him or her.

Anonymous said...

You can't seem to either, Bernie. You've actually been making it worse. Go back and read all your articles about national politics from the last month. It's almost like you are deliberately provoking partisan responses.

Anonymous said...

"Math is what demonstrates your civics is rigged argle bargle bargle argle ..."

Yes. That pesky Constitution is a real buzz kill.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Associate Justice Kavanaugh.

Anonymous said...

Dude you are sick!

The Huntress said...

Must be why California run by liberal Jerry Brown is doing so poorly....oh wait they're running a surplus! Or why the state of Kansas when just recently run by Repub. Brownback is in trouble.

Anonymous said...

No one cares that trump dodged the draft but thinks POWs are not heros. No one cares that trump mocked the handicapped while families struggle every day to provide for exceptional children they love. No one cares that trump evades taxes and refuses to release his tax returns. No on cares that trump has fun with a porn star while his wife is at him pregnant. No one cares that trump cabinet officials think he is unfit and discuss the 25th Amendment. No one cares that trump lied about meetings with russian operatives before and after the election. No one cares trump thinks those that white nationals who marched in Charolettsville are fie e people but women of sexual assult who are protesting are a mob. No one cares that trump revealed seceret intel methods to the russian ambassador while in the oval office. No one care that trump suggested Niger was a successful mission that he later said he had no knowledge of the mission and it was the fault of rouge soldiers. No one cares that trump sided with putin over our Justice system. No one cares. No one cares.

The Huntress said...

Lifelong Dem? I call BS. There is no RULE that a sitting Prez can't nominate a judge and that judge should not have hearing 10 months before the pres term is finished. That was a completely partisan power play 10 times worse than what was just done with Kavanaugh. We have now taken another step backward and can look forward to the regression of labor law, environmental law, and women's rights. Prez fullashit and his buddies will not be held accountable for violation against the rule of law. You love you some strict constitutional interpretation? You were not a Democrat. By the way, hate to burst your bubble, but conservatives on this supreme court only rule that way if it suits their argument, otherwise they have made many broadly interpretive rulings.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Kavanaugh and Trump are two different people.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"My feelings are not based on tribal politics. If a Democratic president had nominated a liberal with the same issues I would be demonstrating against him or her"

You are lying to yourself, Robert Trotner. You are a rank partisan who one of Pawlowski's biggest cheerleaders. Then you went through phase where you pretended to be nonpartisan, but you're back to your partisan ways again. Of Obama had appointed a liberal who was accused of sexual assault based on an incident that happened 36 years agoand remained secret until after the hearings were over, you'd explode with righteous indignation. It'e precisely bc Kavanaugh is a nconservatove that you choose to disbelieve him,

Anonymous said...

Republicans suggest a double standard yet they forget allegations against Al Franken. He was husttled out of there fairly quickly then trump mocked him for caving so quickly. Trump represents the values of the "modern" republican party. Filthy, sexist, and demeaning. Any candidate that invokes support for the trump agenda is an enabler of thsi disgusting behavior.

Anonymous said...

9:22,

Uh, there was photographic evidence of Franken's behavior. That's why he was express trained out. The same would have happened here with Kavanaugh were there such evidence. Big difference. As for the rest of it, now you're just throwing a hissy fit. Name calling rarely betters your argument, or wins a sympathetic ear to your side. You should work on that.

Patriot2 said...

Agenda & behavior can be divorced. Obama behaved nicely but his agenda was a disaster for America both at home & around the globe.

Trump’s behavior may be considered bombastic but his agenda is being executed flawlessly. The Supreme Court, the New NAFTA ageement, the deescalation of N. Korea nuclear threat, calling Chona down on unfair trade practices, tax cut that benefits the middle class working person, record economic growth, etc etc.

The guy is doing exactly what he said he would do if elected so what is the issue other than your person lost in 2016 & you won’t get the gains your hoping for in midterms?

Anonymous said...

There is no tally of national popular vote, the popular vote ends at the state level by design. You may as well tally the number of right or left handed voters. You did correctly identify that the Senators represent the people, again by design. A democracy is a bunch of people making noise and are driven by emotion. A constitutional republic has elected officials representing constituents.

Our republic dodged a bullet in this confirmation process. Crowd and mob rule is a dangerous goal.

Thank you Bernie for supporting the rule of law even though you didn’t like the nominee. You are demonstrating that you put our republic and the rule of law over even your own desires.

Huck Weaver said...

How does anyone know how Judge Kavanaugh will vote ?

Anonymous said...

anon 12:25, isn't the rule of law wonderful when it works towards your desires. I would speculate that when it does not we will not see protestors in the streets and on fox like with Obama in lion cloths with a bone through his nose. I forgot, that never happened.

You are all hypocrites

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia: "On September 27, the disambiguation page for "Devil's Triangle" was edited from a House of Representatives I.P. address to describe it as a drinking game, matching the testimony of Kavanaugh." I'd like to play to celebrate our new icon of justice, anybody know the rules?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've temporarily disabled comments soI can write tomorrow's posts without being annoyed by drunk Bob Ryan.

Anonymous said...

Both "devils triangle" and "Boffing" are related to sex acts. That is just a fact, since we are dealing in facts.

Anonymous said...

12:25, our system of government is both a democracy (although this designation is becoming more of a stretch as the impact of our votes becomes more and more disproportional) and a constitutional republic. These terms are not mutually exclusive. And actually, making a man who has claimed under oath that he is the victim of a conspiracy theory orchestrated by his political enemies and who has berated senators whose questions he does not like, significantly undermines the rule of law.

To clarify, because most of the people commenting here don't seem to have any idea of what the rule of law means, it means that everyone is equally subject to the law irrespective of their political beliefs or whether they hold positions of power, and that arbitrary exercises of power are limited by the law. Again, this is why clearly biased judges (and elected judges, by the way) undermine the rule of law.

Anonymous said...

7.41 for once you are right.

Anonymous said...

Good call anon 12:08. Some 'facts' are inconvenient to the preferred narrative.