When even the notorious RBG is calling out your tactics, there’s probably something amiss.
According to National Review, during an appearance Wednesday at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — generally considered the judicial darling of the left — lambasted the roadblocks Democrats set up to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination during hearings last week.
During the appearance, Ginsburg noted the divergence between her hearings and the Kavanaugh hearings.
“The way it was, was right. The way it is, is wrong,” Ginsburg told the audience, drawing applause.
“The atmosphere in ’93 was truly bipartisan. The vote on my confirmation was 96 to 3, even though I had spent about 10 years of my life litigating cases under the auspices of the ACLU and I was on the ACLU board,” she continued.
She also noted that Antonin Scalia, a highly conservative judge, was confirmed by a 98-0 vote in the Senate.
“Think of Justice Scalia, who’s certainly a known character in, what was it? 1986,” Ginsburg said, according to The Washington Times. “The vote was unanimous, every Democrat and every Republican voted for him.
“That’s the way it should be, instead of what it’s become, which is a highly partisan show. The Republicans move in lockstep, so do the Democrats. I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it was.”
It’s possible to read those comments and even leave aside the fact that Ginsburg has herself been part of the problem by deciding to break the nonpartisan nature of the court by commenting negatively on Donald Trump’s presidential run, but that seems absolutely quaint compared to what we saw last week from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
It was kind of difficult to figure out which Democrat came out looking worse: Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey or Sen. Kamala Harris of California. Both were clearly positioning for 2020 presidential runs and both came out looking much worse in the process.
Cory Booker, of course, had his self-declared “Spartacus moment,” in which he brazenly decided to declassify documents involving Kavanaugh’s work with the George W. Bush administration that had already been declassified.
“We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to,” Bill Burck, Bush’s presidential records representative, said in response.
“We were surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly. In fact, we have said yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public.”
Harris, meanwhile, tried to connect Kavanaugh to a conversation with a Trump-connected law firm for which she couldn’t produce an actual source and then released a video using doctored footage of Kavanaugh to make it look as if he supported rolling back birth control protections.
Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake – this is about punishing women. pic.twitter.com/zkBjXzIvQI
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 7, 2018
He was, in fact, describing a plaintiff’s view in the case — something even Harris was forced to eventually admit in the must grudging of terms:
Here is Kavanaugh's full answer. There's no question that he uncritically used the term "abortion-inducing drugs," which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control. pic.twitter.com/PMbZzu8DqD
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 8, 2018
While that was hardly all, those were two of the worst examples. And while Ginsburg seems to talk about both Republican and Democrat grandstanding, let’s face facts — this time it was just the Democrats.
Kavanaugh is an eminently qualified jurist and his confirmation hearings — when they focused on judicial philosophy and temperament and not on what we now like to euphemistically refer to as “partisan bickering” — proved that. He’s also well within the mainstream of judicial philosophy.
And yet, his ascension to the Supreme Court will likely happen on a party-line vote, which is sad. Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who likely won’t agree with him on many controversial decisions — laments that it will happen that way.
The rest of America should be even more frightened.
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