It absolutely boggles the mind the degree to which the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has dispensed with the norms that the President and Senate have followed in these matters for decades. Thousands of pages of documents have been withheld, or were simply not requested at all. Hundreds of thousands of pages were classified as “Committee Confidential” that the public has a right to see and review. Add to that the way the the rules of fair play were completely upended in the case of Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, and you can begin to understand the frustration of not just Democrats, but all the decent Americans who pay attention to the way our government is run.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, simply broke all the rules when he stonewalled the Garland nomination in 2016, and bragged that telling President Obama that he “would not fill that Supreme Court vacancy” was one of his proudest moments. That is the depths to which the Republican Party has sunk to push their conservative agenda on the American people.
There’s a lot of speculation that President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh (against the advice of advisers including Mitch McConnell), because Kavanaugh has expressed the opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted for criminal conduct, and as a member of the Supreme Court Kavanaugh would be one of the nine people who would be deciding that very matter, and all others concerning Donald Trump, if and when it comes down to it.
If you would like to gain an understanding of the normal procedures as well as the break with protocol that has occurred during this tumultuous process, please listen to this excellent podcast by Preet Bharara, former US Attorney from the Southern District of New York.
After you listen, you may wish to call or write your Senators (you have two) to voice your opinion about the way this process is being conducted. (Reminder: it’s the Senate that votes to confirm Supreme Court nominees, not the House of Representatives. So it’s your Senators you need to contact, not your Congressperson). If you don’t know who your Senators are, you can find them here. Just use the drop down menu at the upper left hand corner of the page.
This is really important.