Fireworks at Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, but isn't it all for show?
It only takes a scant few hours of watching the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to see why the nation’s governing bodies are so dysfunctional and why the American public’s view of them is polling so low.
The nomination is a done deal; almost everyone concedes that the Democrats, despite all their bluster, will not have the votes to keep Kavanaugh from becoming the next appointee to the country’s highest judicial bench. Remarkably, barely anyone has any doubts that he is extremely qualified to assume the position as well. And that’s what makes the hearing itself such a farce.
See, the hearing isn’t even about whether or not Kavanaugh is qualified, as its primary focus should be. Rather it about whether or not Kavanaugh’s appointment will give a conservative slant to the Court, which it most certainly will. But, that is what elections are about, as a former President once said, elections have consequences.
The 2016 election was certainly one in which consequences were considered important, as evidenced in the presidential debates. In fact, one of the top reasons many voted for Donald Trump was the vacancy on the Supreme Court at the time of the election, and which candidate would be making the nomination to fill that vacancy. So, in effect, the 2016 election was kind of like a confirmation of Kavanaugh, or someone like him, even if they had not actually been nominated at the time.
Even though the Democrats know they don’t have the votes to stop the nomination, they will pontificate and delay for as long as possible, just to cater to their base and rile up potential voters for the upcoming mid-term elections. In total honestly, had Hillary Clinton been elected, the Republicans would be doing exactly the same thing.
That is precisely what has turned off most of what we are calling every day or ordinary Americans, those who will only see the highlights of the hearing on the nightly news shows. They fail to see how this type of grandstanding and political opportunism is helping the country, and in turn, helping them negotiate through their daily lives and interests.
In recent decades, the Supreme Court has shifted from interpreting the Constitution, to a sort of judicial activism. If you disagree with that, consider this hearing as evidence. The only argument against Kavanaugh is the fear that his confirmation will tip the balance, thus proving the Senate recognizes that the Court is now more powerful than the other branches of government, the Legislative and the Executive.
The Founding Fathers failed to perceive a time when those other branches would abdicate their Constitution-designated powers to another branch of government, as Congress has done. Ideologists have turned away from trying to pass legislation in favor of using lawsuits and judicial activism to accomplish their goals. And the American public see this happening and wonder why we even need Senators and Representatives.
No one, even a Supreme Court Justice, is without opinion on certain issues, and it would be impossible for those opinions to not surface when they are asked to decide between arguments on those issues. That is why it is more and more important for Congress to re-assume their Constitutional responsibilities for making the laws of the land, and doing it with proper legislative actions that would withstand any Court opinion.
If Congress would do their job, we would not need to worry so much about the balance of the Supreme Court. And then we wouldn’t have to waste so much time and expense on dog and pony shows like this.