Repubs Treated Merrick Garland Way Better Than Democrats Treated Brett Kavanaugh

6 comments, 311 views, posted 8:04 am 10/10/2018 in Politics by LordViscera
LordViscera has 19029 posts, 2764 threads, 0 points, location: 1123 6536 5321
Jarl of Glencoe

Even though Brett Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court, while Merrick Garland’s nomination expired alongside the Obama presidency, there’s no question that the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit was treated better than the newest justice has been.

Set aside the debate over whether it was proper for Senate Republicans to hold open the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing, whether norms were broken and institutions sacrificed on the altar of power politics. Nobody’s mind will change on that.

Democrats’ anger at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s tactics is understandable, even if they would’ve done the same thing in his place. But this was a black swan event. The last time the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee of a president of the opposite party to a vacancy arising in a presidential election year was 1888.

Focus instead on how the Senate treated each nominee personally. McConnell announced his “no hearings, no votes” stance within hours of Scalia’s death, without waiting for President Obama to pick a nominee (which didn’t happen for another month). He argued that, since the country was embroiled in a heated election campaign and the next justice could shift the balance of the Supreme Court, the American people should decide who gets to fill that seat—when they chose a new president less than nine months later.

Senators made clear, both before and after Garland was formally nominated, that this was about the direction of the Supreme Court, not about any person. There were no charges that Garland was a left-wing firebrand or otherwise unqualified. Indeed, such accusations would’ve been absurd. Nor were there fishing expeditions into Garland’s past, with media leaks to portray any juicy morsel in the most negative light possible.

Contrast that with the trial by ordeal that Kavanaugh endured. While there was gnashing of progressive teeth when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, the opposition machine didn’t shift into high gear until President Trump selected his successor.

At that point, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to oppose Kavanaugh “with everything I have.” Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said those who supported Kavanaugh are “complicit in evil.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who also sits on that committee, called Kavanaugh “your worst nightmare.” Former Virginia governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said Kavanaugh would “threaten the lives of millions for decades.”

I could go on, because these aren’t isolated examples. Senators accused Kavanaugh not just with the “usual” attacks on Republican judges as against women, minorities, workers, etc. He was also allegedly picked to enable Trump to avoid the Robert Mueller investigation and complicit in torture and other Bush-administration excesses. Then, of course, Kavanaugh and his Trump/Bush-stooge buddies supposedly stonewalled senators’ demands for documents, even though more were produced than for the last half-dozen Supreme Court nominees combined.

That’s even before taking into account the last three weeks, most notably (1) Democrats sitting on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations until the last possible moment (instead of allowing the FBI to conduct a confidential investigation); (2) raising every aspect of juvenile behavior into an impeachable offense; and (3) complaining about “temperament” after humoring spurious allegations of gang rape and the like.

It’s no wonder that, when I ran a Twitter poll before the final confirmation vote, 60 percent of the roughly 900 respondents said they’d rather be Garland than Kavanaugh. That’s not in any way scientific, and my Twitter followers are by no means representative of the nation, but the fact that a significant number of people would rather be a failed nominee than one who at that point was more likely than not to be confirmed is telling.

Would it have been more humane or charitable to have given Garland a kabuki hearing followed by a no vote? Or, since hearings aren’t constitutionally required, maybe just rejection on the Senate floor without any debate, formally providing the “advice” to President Obama that there would be no “consent”?

I certainly feel sorry for Garland, but it’s not like he was banished onto an ice floe with his reputation in tatters. He just returned to his job as the chief judge of the second-highest court in the land, with even more respect from the legal profession and sympathy from all, including his political enemies.

Kavanaugh, meanwhile, takes his seat amid swirling debates about the Supreme Court’s “legitimacy,” with substantial portions of the population thinking he’s a rapist, or at least that he would’ve been if he weren’t too drunk to pull it off. Justice Clarence Thomas went through something similar 27 years ago, but Kavanaugh’s experience in our new-media age must have been even more searing.

The sad thing is that such a campaign of personal destruction would’ve been run on any Trump nominee. Those opposition press releases with “XX” in place of the nominee’s name attest to that. The details would’ve been different because each potential justice’s offenses against the latest hierarchy of intersectional pieties are different, but the result is the same: guerrilla war by any means possible.

If the Democrats had simply itemized their jurisprudential concerns with Kavanaugh—abortion, the Second Amendment, Chevron deference, and anything else—and declared uniform opposition on that basis, that would’ve been fine. (I thus disagree with Sens. Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins on whether senators should approve all nominees who have the requisite intellect and legal training, regardless of judicial methodology or constitutional theory.)

But that’s not what happened. The fiasco that we just lived through wasn’t about blocking a nominee, but about tearing him down. It’s definitely worse than what happened to Garland.


2:53 pm 10/10/2018


I agree it was a pretty awful and failed take down. Not unexpected. But for the GOP to try to claim some sort of "high ground" is complete hypocrisy. Most every one of them G or D would bring up, slander or make up the worst things about an opponent. Birth Certificates, Religion, Sex practices, Heroism you name it. Can you say Swiftboating? How about "I like people who weren't captured".

Now I would be remiss to say that I was a big fan of either Kerry or McCain but both endured a pretty big fuck for their service.

4:13 pm 10/10/2018


McCain would have been terrible choice imo. He is a war hero, but I don't think he was POTUS material.

5:23 am 11/10/2018


Quote by Vormid:
I agree it was a pretty awful and failed take down. Not unexpected. But for the GOP to try to claim some sort of "high ground" is complete hypocrisy. Most every one of them G or D would bring up, slander or make up the worst things about an opponent. Birth Certificates, Religion, Sex practices, Heroism you name it. Can you say Swiftboating? How about "I like people who weren't captured".

Now I would be remiss to say that I was a big fan of either Kerry or McCain but both endured a pretty big fuck for their service.

the point wasn't to say the repubs are innocent, but how can you compare bringing up a controversy in the guys' background ( the swiftboat issue) as opposed to what happened to Kavanaugh? One was a political fight during a campaign, the other was an attempt to destroy the man's life, in and out of public service. The false allegations were proven wrong, and then the country moved on in Kerry's case. Is that going to happen with JUSTICE Kavanaugh? Nope. If the dems win the house, they will try and impeach. If they don't they will still call for investigations, civil suits, perjury accusations and they will call for civil unrest due to "the unjust nature of the supreme court" They are doing it already, especially with the latest call for incivility and physical violence from Clinton and Holder and the rest of the mouthpieces of the left. They should be careful, eventually, people will hit back and usually, the ones with the guns are the ones who win. Just sayin

11:44 pm 11/10/2018


it really cracks me up,

More than 2,400 law professors have determined that Kavanaugh has “displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court.”

is the main part of this. Too f*ing bad that when you accuse someone of a heinous series of crimes ranging to drunkenness to gang raping 10 separate incidents and the main issue is he got pissed? Pease. These are probably the same douchebags that would be so accusatory if he stayed stoic claiming "If I were accused of such things, I would show emotion, An innocent man doesn't act like that!"

I would go out on a limb to say Justice Roberts HAD to refer them, so that the appearance of covering up and tainting the court isn't there. But just like any good Dem, even if the charges come back unsubstantiated, they will cry corruption and say that it is a cover up

11:48 pm 11/10/2018


Unlike the allegations of Justice Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct and excessive drinking as a teenager, there is no question here about the facts as to what happened, since they occurred on national television. At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Judge Kavanaugh’s behavior was startingly non-judicial in nature. From the outset in his prepared statement, he was angry and confrontational in manner. He was aggrieved and complaining about the situation in which he found himself. He was impolite and challenged the integrity of the Senate questioners and portrayed the hearing in the starkest partisan terms.

Kavanaugh made no apparent effort to bring a lifetime of professional expertise and perspective to bear on the difficult issues under consideration. Instead, he was dismissive of the inquiry and was careless on matters of fact that had been asserted by other potential witnesses on the subject under discussion. He made obfuscating responses to questions about the meaning of words. He made no apparent effort to hold emotions in check and shouted at U.S. Senators and accused them of wrongdoing. He repeatedly sought to shift the attention and blame to others for what was taking place. He resisted further legal inquiry into the issues under discussion. He approached the inquiry with an attitude of entitlement and self-pity. His conduct was remarkably unprofessional.

Although Kavanaugh’s behavior was the very opposite of what one hopes for and expects in a judge, it succeeded in its immediate intent of winning the applause of President Trump and his Republican supporters. Yet his performance, which has been accurately satirized on Saturday Night Live, appalled the rest of the country and raised strictly legal questions about his temperament to sit as a judge on any federal court, let alone the Supreme Court.

seems like the "author" has made a decision on their own here. Oh, btw, I don't know anyone who falls into the "appalled" category and I know it's going to blow people's minds, I don't know many actual "Trump" supporters

oh btw, look at the end of the article and what other columns the "author" has penned:

The author is registered as a political independent.

And read also:

Kavanaugh: Why The Supreme Court Faces A Generation Of Ethics Questions

Why Judge Kavanaugh’s Regrets Cannot Be Accepted Without More

How Judge Kavanaugh Bombed His Job Interview With The Senate Judiciary Committee

Kavanaugh: How The Republican Leadership Broke The Four Rules Of Crisis Management

Kavanaugh: Why Fresh Allegations Raise Further Crisis-Management Challenges

Add Comment

via teoti, or register to add a comment!