But Both Parties Look to November for Next Battle
Conservatives celebrated and liberals lamented the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on Saturday. The U.S. Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Justice Kavanaugh as the 114th justice, and President Donald Trump was quick to congratulate him on Twitter.
“I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court,” he tweeted after the vote. “Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!”
I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2018
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administered the Constitutional Oath and retired Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy will administer the Judicial Oath in a private ceremony later today in the Justices’ Conference Room at the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Both oaths will be administered so that he can begin to participate in the work of the Court immediately,” the Court said in a statement.
Justice Kavanaugh, 53, served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. President Donald Trump nominated the “Judge’s Judge” to replace Justice Kennedy, who announced a few weeks before that he would retire, effective July 31. He is the second U.S. Supreme Court justice nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the first being Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh both clerked for Justice Kennedy, the traditional swing vote. With his retirement, the gutter-bound battle over the ideological lean of the High Court hit a new low when Professor Christine Blasey Ford, a liberal activist and Palo Alto University psychology professor, alleged Justice Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high-school party in or about 1982, when he was 17 and she was 15.
Subsequently, multiple other women made their own allegations, all of which crumbled under scrutiny. Then, Professor Ford’s story began to fall apart and the bitter fight has now ended with defeat for liberal groups that spent millions to derail the confirmation. With the battle over the swing seat lost, Democrats and their allies turned their attention to the elections in November.
“We mourn. We do what it takes to get through. We rage. We wake up and fight another day. We persist,” Planned Parenthood for America (PPFA) tweeted.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) October 6, 2018
“This is a dark time in our nation,” the Women’s March tweeted. “It is up to us to bring the light.”
This is a dark time in our nation.
It is up to us to bring the light.
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) October 6, 2018
Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour has been criticized over her sympathies for Islamic extremism and support for convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was deported in August 2017 for lying on her visa application about her criminal past. Ms. Sarsour on Friday launched a racial attack against Senator Susan Collins, R-Me., telling her followers on Twitter they “are watching white supremacy live on the Senate Floor.”
A white woman Senator is talking about presumption of innocence that is never offered to Black men in America. You are watching white supremacy live on the Senate Floor. #SusanCollins #CancelKanavaugh
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 5, 2018
The Club for Growth released a statement praising the vote and condemning Senate Democrats for their tactics during the nomination process.
“Despite the shenanigans and the Left’s very best efforts, their baseless, hate-filled smear campaign was no match for the truth,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement. “In the end, the Democrats’ relentless, shameful attacks only served to tarnish themselves and exposed the lengths they would go to in order to ruin a man’s good character and use an innocent victim as a political pawn.”
The Ford allegation was made in a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She withheld it for 6 weeks and it was only until after the committee held the confirmation hearings that the letter was leaked against Professor Ford’s wishes to remain anonymous.
“The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh shifts the court far to the right, putting women’s reproductive rights, civil rights, environmental protections, worker’s rights, the ability to implement gun safety rules and the ability to hold presidents accountable at risk for a generation,” Senator Feinstein tweeted.
The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh shifts the court far to the right, putting women’s reproductive rights, civil rights, environmental protections, worker’s rights, the ability to implement gun safety rules and the ability to hold presidents accountable at risk for a generation.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) October 6, 2018
Politically, both parties claim the confirmation process has increased voter interest and enthusiasm among their bases. But Republicans have undoubtedly received a boost, while Democrats have lost gound. The backlash over the treatment of both Professor Ford and soon-to-be Justice Kavanaugh has driven Republican-leaning women back to the fold, and resulted in skyrocketing enthusiasm.
Incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., had plummeted in the polls even before the vote. Facing almost certain defeat, she toed the line and voted “No” against the will of her voters. Incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., was a hard “No” from the beginning, and refused to even hear out the nominee.
“Instead of joining Hoosiers in supporting Kavanaugh, Senator Donnelly joined the Democrat media circus to smear and obstruct President Trump’s nominee,” Mike Braun, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana. “I am thrilled the Senate has confirmed Judge Kavanaugh, and look forward to the great work he will do to protect our Constitution on the Supreme Court.“
President Trump arrived in Topeka, Kansas for a rally to support Kris Kobach for governor and down-ballot Congressional Republicans. He’ll no doubt tout the achievement of a second pick on the U.S. Supreme Court, an issue that weighed heavily on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
While it has garnered little attention, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kty., and President Trump have reshaped the U.S. District Court of Appeals at a pace never before seen for the second year in a row.
The nonpartisan Institute for Free Speech, previously known as the Center for Competitive Politics, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that “promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government.” The Institute previously conducted an extensive analysis of Justice Kavanaugh’s record on the First Amendment and released a statement after the confirmation.
“In twelve years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh established himself as a firm defender of a robust First Amendment and free speech,” said Institute for Free Speech Chairman Bradley A. Smith. “We believe that record will continue on the nation’s highest court.”