Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Ugly. Mean-spirited. Demeaning. Destructive. Shocking.
All these adjectives, and more, have been used to describe the end of the hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court. Given the hyper-partisan make-up of the Senate, the outcome was essentially pre-ordained. How they got to that conclusion was not.
Here are the winners and losers:
1. Losers – United States Senate; Republicans; Democrats; United States Supreme Court; Victims of Sexual Assault; Senate Judicial Committee; Respect for Civility; AMERICA.
2.. Winners – NONE
Born out of Mitch McConnell’s unprecedented denial to President Obama’s nominee to a vacant seat on the Supreme Court of even a hearing, much less a vote, the process on President’s Trump’s nominee quickly deteriorated from the serious, probing examination of Judge Kavanaugh’s suitability for a position on the highest court in America to a spitting, yowling, back-alley cat fight. When it appeared his nomination might be in jeopardy, Judge Kavanaugh, on the advice of the White House Chief Counsel, Don McGahan, came out snarling, shouting, combative, denigrating, offensively defensive. I dare say the venerable Senate Judicial Committee has never, in all its existence, seen a display of scorn such as that put on by the nominee. The members of the Committee fared no better; both sides seemed more intent on maligning the other side than actually performing their constitutional duty of advice and consent. There were no grown-ups in the room.
Where does that leave us? We now have a seriously divided and even broken Supreme Court. The authority of the Supreme Court has always depended not on its rulings but on the appearance that the decisions that impact America a so deeply – de-segregation, criminal defendant rights, privacy, equal rights – have been reached fairly and impartially, based only on the law and Constitution. No more. We have a process that is so partisan and broken as to no longer be deserving of respect and obedience by the citizens. The Court’s rulings will now be measured by which political party was responsible for the majority’s appointment and confirmation. Kavanaugh in particular will be scrutinized for being the Trump justice.
i despair. The hyper, vitriolic partisanship that infects certainly the legislative and executive branches of our three-legged government has now been introduced into the remaining branch, the judiciary. Where are we to turn?
If James Madison, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the other Founding Fathers were alive today, they would march down to the National Archives, tear-up the Constitution and start over. What they created, an amazing documents that has served us well all these years, is no longer respected or followed. Petty politicians such as Mitch McConnell, and Chuck Schumer have destroyed our republican form of constitutional government by their refusal to carry out their sworn constitutional duty to act on behalf of the Nation, not their re-election or political party.