Justice Brett Kavanaugh Just Made History — And Not in a Good Way

After a lot of arrests, protests, lies and grandstanding, the inevitable happened: The GOP managed to push their chosen judge, former George W. Bush operative Brett Kavanaugh, onto the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh now holds a lifetime appointment, and he will likely be making decisions about our country’s future for decades to come.

It was truly an historic moment — and not in a good way at all. Here are some of the ways that Kavanaugh has broken precedent, made history or otherwise changed the face of judicial nominations.

1. There’s never been a justice accused of so many improper sexual acts.

Sure, Justice Clarence Thomas had his Anita Hill moment, where the then-nominee had to answer to claims that he sexually harassed and otherwise acted inappropriately to his former assistant. But Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t just facing down one person’s accusations of harassment or assault. By the time he was sworn as the newest Supreme Court justice, there were three different public accusers – all from different times in his life — with a fourth claim never brought out of the judiciary committee.

2. No justice has ever had such a small win in the Senate.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Kavanaugh made it onto the bench by the skin of his teeth.

The final tally was a mere 50 votes in his favor, with 48 senators saying no. And it would have been 49 opposed if Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, a prior no vote, hadn’t agreed to vote present so Senator Steve Daniels didn’t have to skip his daughter’s wedding just to make a majority.

According to the Washington Post, it was the narrowest confirmation margin in history.

3. No justice has lied so blatantly under oath — or so frequently.

If Kavanaugh had a Pinocchio nose, well, it probably would have grown all the way from the Senate chambers to the Supreme Court itself by the time his actual hearings were finished.

Media Matters kept track, and by the time Kavanaugh was finally done with the judiciary committee, he had lied under oath a whopping 20 different times that could be proven. Even worse, his lies were even contradicted by the limited and entirely cursory FBI investigation conducted in the few days after Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, if Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is to be believed.

Those are some really blatant falsehoods.

4. No one was ever opposed by the biggest group of churches in the nation.

One reason the right was so gung-ho about putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court was because, of all of the potential nominees, he seemed the most likely to uphold “religious liberty” as the ultimate constitutional right. Yet when it came down to the vote, the biggest group of churches in the nation actually opposed Kavanaugh.

The National Council of Churches, which represents 100,000 churches in the U.S. and more than 45 million churchgoers, urged senators not to confirm Kavanaugh, maintaining that the judge showed “extreme partisan bias” in his testimony. But the GOP simply ignored the group’s pleas.

5. Or opposed by so many law professors.

By the time Kavanaugh was sworn in, almost 2,500 law professors had signed a letter stating that they opposed his nomination to the highest court in the land. The group cited his lack of judicial restraint at the Senate hearing, where Kavanaugh bullied and obfuscated through all of the Senate Democrats’ questions.

6. No justice had prompted the American Bar Association to reevaluate their ranking.

While the GOP touted the American Bar Association’s “well-qualified” rating of Brett Kavanaugh as an example of his fitness for the Supreme Court, the ABA soon had second thoughts.

The group sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee stating that they would re-open his evaluation in light of new information “about his temperament,” signaling that Kavanaigh’s “unanimous” rating likely wouldn’t be around for long.

7. A retired justice suggested that he isn’t fit for the court.

Retired Supreme Court justices usually stay out of any sort of political fray, but Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford, just couldn’t stay quiet.

The 98 year-old Stevens explained:

[Kavanaugh's remarks] suggest that he has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential litigants before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities. And I think there is merit in that criticism and that the senators should really pay attention to it.

For the good of the court, it’s not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job.

8. No justice was followed into court with a mass of complaints against him.

The Washington Post reports

A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — the court on which Kavanaugh serves — sent a string of complaints to Roberts starting three weeks ago, according to four people familiar with the matter.

That judge, Karen LeCraft Henderson, had dismissed other complaints against Kavanaugh as frivolous, but she concluded that some were substantive enough that they should not be handled by Kavanaugh’s fellow judges in the D.C. Circuit.

Of course, Chief Justice John Roberts ignored the complaints until Kavanaugh was sworn in, making him protected from accusations in the lower court. It just goes to show that the fear that the Supreme Court would become a partisan tool, rather than an independent branch of government, has become a reality.

Photo Credit: Becker1999/Flickr

40 comments

Susanne R
Susanne R4 days ago

Ann W. - Thank you for sharing! Yes, you did make my day! Let's just hope it isn't Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity or one of the many blondes whose brains were not part of the anatomy that was being studied by their interviewers when they were hired. Again, Ann, thanks for sharing.

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Ann W
Ann W5 days ago

Susanne R - this is a bit off topic but you might appreciate it. Your former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is currently in Australia. I saw him being interviewed the other night on our ABC. The interviewer asked him who he thought might replace Nikki Haley as US Ambassador to the United Nations. He replied: ** I have no idea but I think that probably I'd look at Fox News commentators and see if there is one there that might be available **. Sent me off to bed laughing!

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hELEN h
hELEN h8 days ago

tyfs

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Susanne R
Susanne R8 days ago

David F. - That's your response? "Fake news bamboozled again!" By the likes of "Tucker Carlson and Fox Infotainment? Save it for someone who doesn't know better. Ken Starr was forced to resign from his position of President of Baylor College because he turned his back on the gang rapes, sexual abuse, and physical abuse inflicted on female students by their football team members. But he needed to protect Monica Lewinsky, who was an adult and a willing participant in her encounters with President Clinton. What a hypocrite! Even the newsman-turned-"Dancing with the Stars" contestant couldn't defend that --especially when the self-righteous Starr accepted a severance package in excess of $4.5 million.

Is Tucker Carlson really the best you can do?

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Ann W
Ann W8 days ago

Was not precedent also broken by Kavanaugh having two swearing-in ceremonies? Why was this? Was it so that Trump could publicly apologise to *Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family*, with all of them present of course, and to once again vilify his victim by referring to her and all in similar circumstances as evil and liars. And by the way, President Trump, Kavanaugh was NOT found to be innocent! Anyone, especially if a woman, who votes for either of these despicable men should be ashamed of themselves.

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Debbi W
Debbi W8 days ago

Kavanaugh lied while under oath. That is an impeachable offense. By their behavior, one could guess that +/- 75% of the republican party is morally corrupt and doesn't give a rip about anything but money and tearing this government apart. They don't care about other people's health care or ability to survive and that includes the planet. Under trump's leadership, the morals of the GOP have degraded even farther than they were yrs ago.

VOTE next month. Vote the republicans OUT. If you check their voting records, you will find most are lying to get votes. Knute Buehler is doing that in the Oregon governor's race. "I want health for you" but he voted against it. Yep, he's a republican.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini8 days ago

David F
I don't suppose you are much of a reader, but you don't need to be put off by the book Susanne R recommends. It's only twenty VERY short little chapters each one dealing with a way to avoid succumbing to tyranny, based on the experiences of the 20th century. It makes a thought-provoking read for anyone, whichever side of the political divide they are on.

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Carole R
Carole R9 days ago

Sad.

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Susanne R
Susanne R9 days ago

One more thing, David F. The reason I brought up Ken Starr was in response to your statement: "after over two years of an army of angry ideological lawyers with unlimited pay from the tax laborers, not one tiny trace of collusion or illegal activity between the Trump campaign and Russian." It was a very obvious comparison to make, but I'm sure you didn't like it because it covered more than a few Republican hypocrisies. I'll let you get back to preparing your canned responses based on the GOPs simple-minded talking points: fake news, hoax, lock her up and witch-hunt. Try reading the book "On Freedom" by Timothy Snyder. It will give you a better understanding of yourself and your hero. Here's just one quote from the book you need to read:

"Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights."
- Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

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Susanne R
Susanne R9 days ago

David F. - Yes, I DARED you to post information that was actually verified and from reputable sources, and you didn't because you couldn't. You wimped out for the upteenth time.

Pulling my strings? That's a laugh. I've refuted everything you said because I wanted the truth to be told, point by point, with references. You either offered no response or did little more than mimick your intellectually-challenged hero by using his old standby - "fake news" -- which isn't exactly a difficult task - or a flattering one.

So when are you going to start using the "mob rule" mantra?

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