[Scroll down for an important UPDATE, just above the video. – J.E.]
In a sense, this is a mere formality, because the Democrats in the U.S. Senate were determined before the nominee was announced to oppose any nominee from Trump’s short list.
He [Chuck Schumer, D-NY] said that “Americans should make it clear” they will not tolerate any nominee from Trump’s list of possible Supreme Court candidates.
Kavanaugh is considered constitutionalist on such issues as Second Amendment rights and abortion and immigration law. If conservatives have a problem with him, it may be over Obamacare, for which some conservatives argue Kavanaugh “wrote a roadmap” for making the legislative package Constitution-compliant in a 2011 dissent from the D.C. appeals court. Kavanaugh’s approach was to frame the Obamacare health insurance mandate as a tax.
There will be time and then some to debate issues and judicial positions as the confirmation process moves along. Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to get Kavanaugh confirmed before the midterm election.
In the meantime, the reaction has generally been more muted than it probably would have been if either Amy Coney Barrett or Raymond Kethledge had been named. Kethledge’s history on immigration issues has been of concern to some on the right. The left has been losing its mind over Barrett, a Catholic conservative, even going so far as to depict her as a sort of cultist adherent of an extreme “sect” of Catholicism — and orthodox Catholicism in general as a cesspit of “fundamentalism” and “dark money.”
Kavanaugh himself is a Catholic, in fact. This should not matter, of course. But the left has already revealed its hand and shown that it is willing to vilify Catholics and their faith to justify defeating a judicial nominee. The epic ugliness of that is something we have not seen for some time. It emerged from Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in her questioning of Amy Coney Barrett for her appeals court nomination in September 2017, and has been gathering steam in the media during the wait for Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.
It is a very troubling trend. I may be wrong about this, but I do predict Kavanaugh will come in for less religious targeting than Barrett would have. That won’t stop left-wing groups from strenuously opposing the Kavanaugh confirmation, of course. I’ve just been seeing live coverage of a Planned Parenthood rally in Washington, D.C. against the Nominee to Be Named Later, for which the crowd apparently had preprinted signs decrying all of the four finalists. Within moments of Trump’s nomination, the crowd was waving professionally printed “STOP KAVANAUGH” signs, and had a professionally lettered “HELL NO, KAVANAUGH” banner aloft.
We knew all that was coming. Kavanaugh, a Marylander born in 1965, went to Georgetown Prep and Yale, followed by Yale Law. His mother was on the Maryland state court in the 1990s. Among other professional positions, he clerked for Anthony Kennedy, and held a fellowship with Solicitor General of the U.S. Ken Starr (who served in that position under George H.W. Bush).
Kavanaugh worked with Starr again during the independent counsel investigation of Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh worked in the White House for George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003, when Bush nominated him to the D.C. Circuit court of appeals. Democrats stalled his nomination for nearly three years, but Kavanaugh was confirmed to the court and began serving in 2006.
Kavanaugh and his wife Ashley have two daughters. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas had something worthwhile to say about the nominee on Monday evening, as soon as Kavanaugh was named.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 10, 2018
Let the wild rumpus begin.
*UPDATE*: It’s…the inevitable trumpet fanfare for Armageddonn-nnn!!!!!! from the Democrats:
The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come and will morph our Supreme Court into a political arm of the right-wing Republican Party.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) July 10, 2018
But really — after the tax bill and pulling out of the Paris agreement and the Iran deal, and gutting Obamacare with changes and confirming Gorsuch and instituting tariff hikes and staying the execution of coal, is there anyone left to kill?