October 8, 2018

Kavanaugh Confirmed

Editor’s note: We'll be taking a brief hiatus for Columbus Day; be back in full swing Wednesday!

From the Left

The left is concerned that the narrow vote mostly along party lines after such a bitter and partisan confirmation process will undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court.

From the Right

The right continues to believe that opponents of Kavanaugh engaged in inappropriate tactics, and expresses hope that with Kavanaugh on the bench, the Supreme Court will be less willing to weigh in on contentious social issues.

“We are in an unusual political situation right now. Republicans have managed to secure control of all three branches of government with only the barest and most contingent of majorities. In theory, this makes a partisan consensus possible, but there is also the danger of public mistrust."

New Yorker

“Poll upon poll has shown that Americans respect the Supreme Court more than Congress or the presidency. It is seen—and its legitimacy depends on its being seen—as a trustworthy, more or less neutral, arbiter: not apolitical, necessarily, but not tied to the partisan fray, like the other two branches. That view may be on its way out."

The Economist

“First, Republicans purloined a seat for Neil Gorsuch by refusing to confirm Barack Obama’s pick for a vacant seat on the court in 2016. Then, during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Republicans have claimed to hear and see no evil as their nominee shed any pretence of impartiality and raved about a conspiracy to block his confirmation by ‘leftwing opposition groups’ and those angry ‘about President Trump and the 2016 election’...

Republicans might have won a majority in the country’s highest court but it has lost legitimacy at a critical moment.”

The Guardian

“Chief Justice John Roberts has long been concerned with the Court’s legitimacy and standing as a neutral arbiter. This appears to be part of the calculation behind his decision to uphold the [ACA]: Roberts was worried about the Court being perceived as simply a partisan Republican actor. Kavanaugh’s very presence on the Court... has led to what Roberts has long tried to avoid here. It will be hard for many liberals to accept Court rulings that go against them as legitimate and fair, rather than as the outcome of a partisan Republican majority."

Vox

Many point out that Kavanaugh “will be the first justice nominated by someone who lost the popular vote to earn his seat on the bench with support from senators representing less than half of the country while having his nomination opposed by a majority of the country."

Washington Post

Finally, some assert that the FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations "was inherently limited... One restriction imposed by the White House for the latest investigation into Kavanaugh: a one-week time limit... The FBI [also] didn’t talk to Ford or Kavanaugh... And there were more than a dozen other people whom Democrats wanted interviews for that the FBI never got to."

Vox

"The country will bear the costs of their victory for many years, and the toll could be grave."

Bloomberg

From the Right

The right continues to believe that opponents of Kavanaugh engaged in inappropriate tactics, and expresses hope that with Kavanaugh on the bench, the Supreme Court will be less willing to weigh in on contentious social issues.

“A number of Republican senators have suggested that we improve the ‘process’ by which we examine allegations against nominees. In a vacuum, this is a good idea, but let’s not fool ourselves about what happened here. The ‘process’ was what the Democratic party and the media made it...

“The old saw holds that if a journalist is told that his mother loves him, he should check it to make sure she does. The new practice in this controversy was that if a story hurt Judge Kavanaugh, it should be screamed from the rooftops. Over the last few weeks, no allegation has been deemed too preposterous for the press to take seriously. Not Quaalude-filled gang rapes; not hazy memories arrived at over six days spent with a lawyer; not cartoonish boat-attacks reported by trolls on Twitter.”

National Review

“One of my longstanding rules of life is that nothing is free in politics; there is some question [about] when you pay the price. The Democrats are now paying the price of Harry Reid’s... cynical and unprincipled changes in the rules for short-term gain [to abolish the filibuster for judicial nominees]. The question still remains, whether voters will also make the party pay."

Washington Examiner

“Now that Kavanaugh has been approved, I do not feel happiness. I'm still appalled by everything that just transpired. I'm fearful about the zero-sum, say-anything nature of our politics. I'm furious at an activist media that couldn't disguise its rooting interests, evidenced by repeated abandonments of core journalistic practices. That said, I'm gratified that... reason and evidence carried the day -- albeit frighteningly narrowly."

Townhall

“The Supreme Court is [now] unlikely to be the left’s alternative legislature for its policy agenda... The reason nominations have become so contentious isn’t merely because the country is politically divided. It is because progressives have used the courts as a political pile-driver on abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and the death penalty, among other controversial issues. Democrats will now have to achieve their goals the old-fashioned way—by winning elections."

Wall Street Journal

“My fervent hope for Justice Kavanaugh is that he can put the bitterness of his confirmation behind him and rule on the merits of each case and the law as it is written. I don’t want to see another judicial activist... the Supreme Court’s importance has become outsized. The Founders never intended for nine people to make sweeping rulings that fundamentally change the country without input from voters."

The Resurgent

“Putting Kavanaugh on the court under these circumstances will outrage the left half of the political spectrum, undermine the already shaky legitimacy of the court, and touch off a political firestorm if Kavanaugh becomes the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. But keeping him off the court, under these circumstances, would have outraged the right half of the political spectrum, undermined the already shaky legitimacy of the judicial confirmation process and laid out a playbook for derailing future confirmations, possibly escalating the Court Wars to disastrous new heights... there was no good outcome to be had. The partisan divides will deepen.”

Washington Post

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