On Monday night, at just a few minutes past 8 PM Central Daylight Savings Time, the President announced his nomination for the vacating Justice Kennedy. Justice Kennedy was President Reagan’s choice and has served honorably on the Court since the 1980s. He has turned out to be a critical swing vote that neither the left nor the right expected when, as the choice to replace the failed nomination of Robert Bork, he was confirmed by the Senate. For those who might not remember — Senator Ted Kennedy made it his personal mission to deny Bork the seat and began what has now become the acrimonious approval process we see today.
We have now reached a point where political action groups draft their support or opposition to the candidate based not on the credentials of the nominee but on who is nominating him or her, waiting only to fill in the right name. Or, as we see with the Woman’s March, occasionally forgetting to fill it in before releasing their statements.
I imagine we will see over the next several weeks the true impacts of our declining civility. We’ve already seen Senators who oppose the selection publicly snub Judge Kavanaugh as they play to their fan base, and of course the talking points of the DNC reflect the typical “end of life as we know it” fear mongering that women will lose all control of their reproductive rights the instant he is sworn in. It will be interesting to see if the Republicans and Democrats remain in partisan lockstep or if a few Senators will actually vote based on their true (informed) opinion of his qualifications.
Once again, I have to tip my hat to the visionary (now former) Democratic leadership of the Senate who, to overcome the Republican’s minority opposition, removed the historical right to filibuster and require a 60-vote approval for confirmation of judges have set the stage for a simple majority vote. Thank you, Harry Reid.