We expect people of a particular political stripe to oppose placing Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court, a lifelong appointment that could affect the lives of Americans for decades. But they are not alone. The chorus of knowledgeable, thoughtful critics grows as the fateful vote by U.S. senators approaches.
Consider John Paul Stevens, lifelong Republican, 98 years old, retired Supreme Court Justice, who tells a gathering in Florida that Brett Kavanaugh’s tantrum-laced testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee disqualifies him from being able to serve effectively on the Court. Senators should take heed, he said.
More than 2,400 law professors have signed a letter saying that Judge Kavanaugh’s lack of judicial restraint would be disqualifying for any court nominee. Yes, 2,400.
Even the National Council of Churches, an organization that represents about 30 million American Protestants, comments in The Washington Post:
“We believe he has disqualified himself from this lifetime appointment and must step aside immediately. During his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Kavanaugh exhibited extreme partisan bias and disrespect toward certain members of the committee and thereby demonstrated that he possesses neither the temperament nor the character essential for a member of the highest court in our nation . . . In addition, his testimony before the Judiciary Committee included several misstatements and some outright falsehoods.”
The National Council of Churches rarely speaks out on such subjects.
Judge Kavanaugh’s college roommate, who should know, says that the judge lied under oath in his testimony about his drinking before the committee. Lying under oath — should the senators do anything about that?
The behavior and testimony of Judge Kavanaugh in his appearance before the Senate committee elicits such a strong outpouring of American anxiety because the consequences of his appointment to the Supreme Court are significant, dangerous and long-lasting. His appointment appears likely, thanks to our divisive political climate.
The Kavanaugh nomination and the response it has engendered in so many good and faithful Americans response serves as a microcosm of the larger issue that haunts our country and its democratic traditions. It is not hyperbole to argue that our nation is under attack by one particular political party and its amoral leader, who are willing to sacrifice truth, ethics, morals and the constitution in support of its goal of dominance and control over the way we live and the choices we make for as long as possible. This is serious.
We can shake our heads or wring our hands in frustration, or we can act to right the wrongs that have gotten us to this unacceptable place by showing up on Election Day and voting for a return to decency.