Did Kavanaugh and Trump Do a Deal for the Nomination?

Did Kavanaugh and Trump Do a Deal for the Nomination? September 4, 2018
Photo Source: Flickr creative commons by Gage Skidmore, https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

I watched a bit of the confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh this morning. 

Judge Kavanaugh is the current nominee for the Supreme Court. Those of us who would like to see Roe v Wade and Casey overturned are hoping that whoever becomes the next Supreme Court justice will vote to do just that. 

However, anyone who knows much at all about the nominating/confirmation process is fully aware that Judge Kavanaugh is not in any way the only or the last possible choice for us to have for this position. I’ve received more emails than I can count from various organizations asking me to write my senators demanding that Judge Kavanaugh be confirmed. These emails are uniformly couched in a do-or-die, all-is-at-stake format. This is misleading. 

We have, as a nation, watched as the Senate refused to confirm nominees to the United States Supreme Court down through the years. There’s nothing uncommon or bad about that, despite all the wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth from the “side” of the culture wars it is believed this nominee will represent once he or she is on the court. It is the senate’s job to confirm or deny nominations to the Supreme Court, not rubber stamp them. This is part of the division of powers that keeps us free. When they deny, the president just makes another nomination. That’s all that happens. 

The mindless partisanship which has come to characterize all of our government these past few years presents an inherent and vicious danger to this separation of powers. It also has come to present a massive danger to the survival of our Republic. It has reached the point where not only a good many of our elected officials, but also large swaths of the electorate are so mentally deranged by their partisan craziness that they are willing to allow this country to be attacked by a hostile foreign power rather than take positions that might temporarily violate the ironclad laws of blind party loyalty. 

Sadly, this confirmation process has become a case in point. The unprecedented business of suppressing documents pertaining to the nominee from members of the Senate who are charged with confirming him is one reason why I say that. There is no good reason for doing this. The fact that the White House has gone to the wall on this, going so far as to claim that 100,000 pages of documents concerning the rulings and history of a Supreme Court nominee are somehow or another a matter of “executive privilege” says a lot. 

The White House did engage in a document dump of around 45,000 documents a few hours before the confirmation hearings. But members of the Senate said in public testimony today that these were dumped too late and were heavily redacted. This begs the question of where the rest of the 100,000 documents are.

The cherry on top is a wild card that came out of a fundraising dinner for a Republican Congresswoman in Washington state. Congressmen Devin Nunes spoke at this fundraiser, and, as is the wont of so many political types at these things, he pulled his pants down a bit. 

Rachel Maddow got hold of this tape and played it on her show one evening. She spent a lot of time going through it verbally as she played it, bit by bit. In doing this, she, in my opinion at least, buried the lead. The important part of this tape is the allusion Congressman Nunes makes to the nomination proceedings and the urgency he gives to them. 

He didn’t focus on overturning Roe v Wade or how the nominee would help do away with labor unions, even though both have been held to be things that Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation will accomplish. Instead he focused on what he seems to think is the upcoming trial to impeach President Donald Trump. 

He begins this by saying (couched in cute changes of the name of the country involved) that the activities of Russia in our 2016 election were criminal and that helping them do this was criminal. But when he gets to talk of an actual impeachment process, he makes it clear that the reason Judge Kavanaugh needs to be confirmed is because he will use his power as a Supreme Court justice to hamper or end an impeachment process in the Congress. 

The reason I’m focused on that is simple. If Judge Kavanaugh and President Trump in any way discussed a possible impeachment, and Judge Kavanaugh in any way gave assurances that he would vote on the Supreme Court to stop impeachment proceedings in exchange for the nomination, (both of which are implied in Congressman Nunes’ statements) then both the President and the Judge have committed a serious crime. 

This would be criminal activity from top to bottom. It is such a serious thing to do that I would have no qualms about removing either or both of them from office and putting them in jail for a very long time. In fact, I would think that removing them from office and putting them in jail would be a patriotic act and a defense of our Republic. 

I am aware that a lot of Public Catholic’s readers are besotted with President Trump. I am also aware that many, if not most, of the Republican members of Congress appear to be willing to sell out this nation on behalf of party loyalty. 

I am flummoxed as to what would make people who’ve spent their lives claiming that they are the embodiment of patriotism do this. But then, I’ve also witnessed those same people, who also claimed for decades that they and their party were the embodiment of Christian morality, accept and defend rank immorality of every kind. 

What’s wrong with these people? I dunno. 

I only know that their actions make hypocrites of each and every one of them. 

I have real concerns about handing Judge Kavanaugh a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court. If there is any possibility that he made a deal with President Trump concerning future impeachment rulings in order to get the nomination — and Congressman Nunes made that a real possibility — then his nomination should not be confirmed.  

I also hope that someone in law enforcement will take a look at the claims Congressman Nunes made during that fund raiser. He may have been just blowing smoke to raise money. But the abuses of power coming out of the White House to get Judge Kavanaugh confirmed lend credibility to what he said, as do President Trump’s earlier attempts to subvert the FBI with his demands for personal loyalty from then Director Comey.

He’s done it before. Did he do it again, and this time, did he get what he wanted?

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