Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rebutted California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris’ argument that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh cannot be trusted to equally apply the law due to his conservative political views.
Rice contended the opposite is true, saying his fidelity to the Constitution is the reason he can be entrusted to serve impartially on the nation’s highest court.
During her opening statement Tuesday at the Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Harris recounted her experience being bussed to a different elementary school due to the precedent set in the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling years before.
She argued that had the Supreme Court not made that decision in the mid-1950s, it is unlikely she would have been given the educational opportunities she had that ultimately enabled her to become a senator.
Harris went on to voice her concern that due to Kavanaugh’s conservative political views, he would not be an impartial jurist on the Supreme Court. The implication seemed to be the oft-repeated Democrat claim that conservative beliefs are grounded in racism or bigotry.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised the most troubling aspect of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. Kavanaugh is a Republican partisan who will put Trump ahead of the Constitution. https://t.co/WOQ83k4DSY pic.twitter.com/H68XZtt9BJ
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 4, 2018
“Justice wears a blindfold because we have said in the United States of America, under our judicial system, justice should be blind to a person’s status,” she said. “Justice should be blind to how much money someone has, to what you look like or who you love, to who your parents are and the language they speak.”
Harris then accused Kavanaugh of being a partisan.
“Should those cases come before you, Judge Kavanaugh, I am concerned whether you would treat every American equally, or instead show allegiance to the political party, and the conservative agenda that has shaped and built your career,” the Californian stated.
“I am concerned your loyalty would be to the president who appointed you and not to the Constitution of the United States,” Harris added. “I believe the American people have a right to have these concerns.”
Harris was the last of the Democratic senators to give their opening statement, and soon thereafter Rice was the first to speak on behalf of Kavanaugh, formally introducing him to the committee. She noted that the two served together in the George W. Bush administration and are also friends.
Rice vouched for Kavanaugh’s fundamental fairness, pointing out her assessment of what that means is based on her journey from a child in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, to the nation’s first female African American secretary of state.
She directly addressed the issue Harris raised regarding whether the nominee would treat all Americans equally.
“As a little girl born in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, who grew up to be secretary of state, I know personally our country’s long journey to guarantee equal rights,” Rice stated. “I know the power of the Constitution, and I know the gift of our democracy.”
“The Supreme Court is a crucial guardian both of our Constitution and of our democracy,” she continued. “That is why I am so honored to introduce Brett Kavanaugh for these hearings.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 4, 2018
“He will be an outstanding Supreme Court justice,” Rice proclaimed. “His intellect is unquestioned. His judgement is highly regarded, and I can personally attest to his character and integrity as a colleague. Brett Kavanaugh will thoroughly and faithfully uphold the trust that is our heritage, the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley — also a George W. Bush White House alum — appeared to be moved to tears by Rice’s words of support after a day marked by protesters interrupting the hearing and politically charged rhetoric by Democratic senators like Harris directed toward the nominee.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing will likely last the rest of the week, with a final vote of the full Senate expected by the end of the month.
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