Budowsky: Roberts Court faces its own state of emergency
Kavanaugh an excellent fit to continue the Supreme Court's honored tradition
Washington loves drama, and the town especially loves political drama. Nothing says conflict more than both political parties sparring over a national issue. When a nation of 330 million-plus Americans can possibly pay attention, then the Washington propaganda machine fires up in unique form.
This time it was the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, who went through a grueling confirmation process last week that was rocked by protest and Democrats seeking any and every political angle possible to fire up their base.
Several Democratic senators auditioning for the 2020 presidential nomination for their party were in rare form. Led by Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Cory Booker (N.J.), the party apparatus relied on them in big ways to try and sully Kavanaugh in the most sinister of moves.
Much of it looked more like a poor comedy than serious political theater. Last week, Booker's office leaked that it had "confidential" material guaranteed to challenge Kavanaugh's fitness to serve on the nation's highest court. Only hours later did everyone chuckle when it was revealed that the information was a big nothing-burger and Republicans had already cleared the files that Booker claimed were so scandalous. That sure looked presidential, Sen. Booker. However, he made a mockery of the process and his unprecedented act normalizes behavior that should not become the norm for any Senate committee.
History will be kind to Brett Kavanaugh. His tenure as a justice on the court will be kind to Brett Kavanaugh. Despite the swirls of allegations and howls of protest, all of this is expected shenanigans when an opposition party really has no standing to legitimately challenge a jurisprudent practitioner of Kavanaugh's merit. His behavior in the face of withering questions and grilling examinations reveal the type of justice he will be once he sits on the bench. A moderate, impartial reviewer of the law who first respects and cherishes the law is coming through in these Senate hearings. The opposition sees that as well, and it knows it's just a matter of time before this confirmation is sealed.
What is especially refreshing about Kavanaugh's answers are the honesty and seriousness of thought he has given these very complex legal questions. "Settled law" is a nice, tidy phrase. But just as no Congress can bind a future Congress, no court can bind future Supreme Court decisions. That's the beauty of our republic - a government and a Constitution that are both dynamic, adapting and changing to meet the present-day challenges of society. Kavanaugh's ideological opponents may not like his responses, but not because he is wrong; they just disagree with him on principle. That's all well and good, and certainly a view they are entitled to. But at the end of the day, those disagreements certainly do not disqualify Kavanaugh as a solid judge to ascend to this court.
Decades from now, few if any will look back and remember the 70 individuals who disrupted the first day of hearings and found themselves arrested and removed from the Senate Judiciary chamber. That's inconsequential. Kavanaugh and his team are doing all the right things - keeping the main thing the main thing. He is training, his focus on how a justice will conduct himself in real-world situations, and proving to the Senate and this nation he is the right person for the job. That's all we can ask.
Presidents are lucky if they're able to nominate someone to the Supreme Court. It's a lifetime appointment that allows presidents of both major political parties to, in many ways, leave their mark on the American populace. Not everyone will like who the president nominates and sometimes - such as in the case of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama - nominees don't always make through the process. But we should continue to expect that the best and most qualified people are nominated for the job, and that is exactly what President Trump has done by nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It's a tradition that must continue regardless of the president's political affiliation.