As I write, one of the most shameful public episodes of my lifetime is slowly grinding to a conclusion, except that whatever the final outcome, when the U. S. Senate finally votes on the Kavanaugh Supreme Court appointment during the next few days, it will not represent anything resembling closure for the American body politic because the damage that has been done will reverberate for at least a generation.
This has been a disaster ruthlessly initiated and carried out by the worst instincts of the far reaches of the left wing of the Democratic Party and their fellow travelers in the media and the cultural institutions in the interests of power. And it has been orchestrated without the least regard for the devastating impact on a good man and his family, the time-honored principle of the presumption of innocence, the institutional integrity of the U. S. Senate, and common fairness and decency.
And to what end? It’s all about the fact that the progressive left has no prayer of advancing their agenda without a Supreme Court amenable to a “living Constitution” and they know it cannot abide a Court comprised of a constitutional “originalist” majority from “central casting” at the Federalist Society. So for them this is war, no holds barred, and for the left the holy grail to be protected starts with Roe v. Wade.
I have maintained for many years that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was our generation’s Dred Scot decision of the Court on slavery in 1857, which led directly to the Civil War, in that it removed the abortion issue from the democratic process and deprived the people through their local and state assemblies to have the final word on a moral issue of extreme intensity. And our politics and deliberative processes have not been the same since–Roe v. Wade is lurking just under the surface of almost every issue that involves direct or indirect control of the judicial branch and it has now provided the incentive to poison the advise and consent authority for decades.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia had some interesting thoughts on this in his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: “If the Supreme Court is simply to be a vehicle for choosing among competing values, in a democracy it should be the values of the voters that prevail……..confirmation hearings for new Justices should deteriorate into question and answer sessions in which the Senators go through a list of their constituents’ most favored and most disfavored alleged constitutional rights”. That’s not what the founders had in mind, as Hamilton expressed in Federalist 78 in describing the judiciary as the “least dangerous” branch, but it might be an improvement over the currently dysfunctional process we have now created.
Vernon E Wuensche says
Perfectly stated as usual Jim
david redford says
The controversy regarding Judge Kavenaugh started because of Dr Ford’s story and not because of a claim that was “ruthlessly initiated” by the Democratic Party as you say. She made a very good witness but I guess you would not want these type of complaints to be proper related to judges. Regarding Roe v Wade it would be a disaster to return the decisions on abortion to the states. Texas would rule out abortions and ladies would have to travel to New Mexico or some other place to have an abortion. They would just do it themselves and many would die.
Janet Thomas says
David, the “controversy” regarding Judge Kavanaugh started 23 minutes after President Trump announced Kavanaugh as the nominee. That’s how long it took Chuck Schumer to arrange a press conference and announce that they were going to do everything in their power to keep Kavanaugh from being confirmed. The Democrat party and the radical faction of the party did ruthlessly initiate all of the upheaval. It wasn’t conservatives or Republicans that we’ve seen screaming at Senators walking to their offices, in their offices or in elevators, to the point where the Senators needed security. As far as Roe v Wade, I concur with Jim, that decision needed to be left to the states. The reason it was taken all the way to the Supreme Court is because the Democrats know and have always known that it’s easier to convince 9 people than 332 million. They did the same thing with same sex marriage. When that issue failed in several states, they took it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Victoria Konar says
To the contrary, Kavanaugh’s nomination has been a disaster ruthlessly propelled forward by the worst elements of the far reaches of the right wing of the Republican Party in the interests of power. The nomination hearings revealed the true motives of both the Republican Senators and Judge Kavanaugh, namely power at any cost. Last week’s FBI inquiry was an investigation that investigated nothing and didn’t find what it wasn’t looking for. It was a slipshod sham notable only for what it did not include. The bottom line for me is Kavanaugh lied under oath and displayed a temperament and attitude unbecoming for a Supreme Court justice.
Janet Thomas says
Victoria, this was a legitimate nominee put forth by President Trump, as is his right. As far as the confirmation hearings, the purpose is to confirm the nominee a president has put forth, it has nothing to with power. I doubt you would have said it was about power during the Sotomayor or Kagan confirmation hearings. If you had watched the confirmation hearings, you would know that every Democrat on the Committee asked for a one week FBI investigation to interview Dr. Ford’s friend and the men who supposedly were at the party that Dr. Ford mentioned in her testimony. That was the extent that the Democrats asked for and that’s what they got. Tell me what Judge Kavanaugh lied about? As far as his temperament and attitude, how would you act if your reputation and family had been attacked as viciously as he had been – people on the left calling him a rapist, a fraudulent claim of gang rape and drugging girls, a cartoon showing his daughter asking God to forgive her father, etc. The left didn’t care if they destroyed his wife and kids in the process, that would have just been collateral damage to them.
Melissa Jernigan says
I have heard the temperament argument so many times since the hearing. The problem with it, in my opinion, is that those who sit in judgment of how Judge Kavanaugh “reacted” have never had their spouses lives threatened. They have never had a spotless reputation destroyed solely because the person who nominated them is despised. They have never had their reputation destroyed in front of their small children. They have never endured relentless attacks for weeks on end without the opportunity to defend themselves. They have never been accused of being a serial rapist with ZERO evidence to corroborate the claims. I doubt seriously that any one of us under said circumstances would endlessly be able to maintain their composure. The radical left came after this man literally minutes after his nomination. It was never a “job interview” it was character assassination at all costs to hurt the President. I am a die hard Republican, but if the Republican Party were the ones acting in the manner we have seen this week I would have serious reservations about voting for one single person in office ever again. It’s a stain on our great nation. Its an embarrassment to our great Country. It needs to stop!!!
I disagree. When President Reagan changed the process of having the ABA vet potential nominees for the US Supreme Crt. before they were nominated, what we have now was inevitable – the politicization of the US Supreme Court. So, it now becomes finding a jurist that supports “X” or “Y”, rather than finding a good, sound, fair minded jurist who will uphold the constitution and the law. Roe v. Wade is settled law. What is not settled is the fact alleged law abiding / rule of law folks won’t accept it and elected officials continue to fan those flames.
Steve Tredennick says
Jim, congrats! you kicked the fire ant mound and the Senate applied Andro to it.
Hang tough Brother!
James Windham says
Thanks to all for your response. Janet has provided responses to David and Victoria on which I cannot improve and will not attempt. To my friend Rudy, I’m sorry you might disagree, but Trump has appointed two Justices who will do what you have suggested—objectively uphold the Constitution and the law.
And as for Roe v. Wade, it is difficult to accept as “settled law” a right to abortion based on a “right to privacy” found in 1965 by Justice William Douglas in a “penumbra” formed by unspecified “emanations” from the Bill of Rights, which led to the decision in Roe. Pretty weak and by no means settled, as many jurists pro and con on abortion have agreed.
Ann McCulloch says
Thanks, Jim, for your continued sound thinking & well researched comments. Thanks David, Ms. Konar, & Rudy for your comments.
I vote with Ms. Thomas, Mr. Jernigan, & Mr. Tredenneck in support of Jim. Whether we like it or not, the current standard is the majority rules.