Hours and hours of debate took place before Brett Kavanaugh was finally confirmed as a Supreme Court judge, but who are the winners and losers?
Obviously, Kavanaugh is a clear winner but the biggest loser is America and its citizens, especially women, who did not want to see that man take up the position in the Supreme Court for life.
The law is supposed to be blind when it comes to gender, skin colour, position and politics and judges are expected to be equally impartial but during his interview for the job – and yes, it was an interview he proved his unsuitability for the position by voicing his opinions.
The accused sex offender could barely disguise his contempt for Democrat members of the Senate who questioned him about his sobriety and suitability for the top job as well as about his previous conduct.
Kavanaugh immediately raised doubts about his political impartiality, in my opinion, when he lashed out at one point during his Senate grilling that the sexual misconduct accusations facing him emanated from an “orchestrated political hit” funded by what he saw as left-wing groups who wanted “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”
Surely those comments alone rendered him unsuitable for the job. After all, how could he remain impartial if anyone remotely connected with left-wing politics and/or the Clintons appeared in his court? And what is Kavanaugh’s definition of left-wing anyway? I’d like to bet it covers anyone who is not a Republican, in other words at least half of the US population.
So should any litigant seeking justice in the Supreme Court have to go before Kavanaugh could they rely on him to be impartial? Having seen him in the spotlight and under pressure I suspect the answer is “no!”.
Furthermore, I think following his grilling on the Senate floor this man will turn out to be the sort of judge who will seek revenge for his public humiliation, no doubt emboldened by the sexual predator and misogynist sitting in The White House, US President Donald Trump.
Sadly not enough politicians heeded the words of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The 98-year-old said he changed his views on the suitability of Kavanaugh after watching and analysing the way he conducted himself during the public grilling.
His conclusion had no bearing on the allegations of sexual misconduct which Kavanaugh hotly disputed, it was the would-be Supreme Court judge’s victimhood and his lashing out at those he suspected of being behind the accusations.
Despite the sage views of Stevens the wavering Senate backed Trump’s controversial nominee for the Supreme Court by 50 votes to 48.
Of course, Trump is portraying the battle as one involving a simple choice between the rule of law and anarchy. The battle lines are now drawn for the mid-term elections in November.
Kavanaugh could now be sitting on the bench in a few days time and is the first judge appointed by a US president who lost the popular vote and by 50 Senators representing less than half of America.
The Supreme Court will now operate with five Republican-appointed Justices sitting alongside four appointed by Democratic presidents. In short, this means the politically right-wing bench will rule on controversial cases that could shape the American landscape over the next few decades.
While Kavanaugh refused to elaborate exactly where he stood on the status of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case which legalised abortion in all US states, he could now vote to limit access to safe abortions.
When it comes to protecting the environment Kavanaugh has previous for siding with big business over environment agencies and she certainly does not believe that the courts should defer to an agency’s expert advice.
The agency Earthjustice said his appointment to the Supreme Court, “would make the Court even more likely to gut laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and to dilute the authority of federal agencies to implement and enforce those laws.”
Equally depressing, he has previously voted on gun control legislation which clearly favours the hugely influential gun lobby.
Finally, Kavanaugh could play a decisive role if the Supreme Court is asked to make a decision if Trump should be indicted or made to testify in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the US elections.
During the Senate grilling when asked if a sitting president should respond to a subpoena refused to answer what he saw as a “hypothetical question.”
Of course on Planet Trump should such a thing happen he would probably give himself a presidential pardon.
The full consequences of Kavanaugh’s appointment will undoubtedly unfold in the coming weeks and months where women’s rights, gun control and the environment could slip back five decades or more.
What is good news for Trump is undoubtedly bad for the rest of us.
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