President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh, from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to be the replacement justice on the Supreme Court after the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Staying true to his word from the campaign trail in 2016, Trump nominated an individual from his list of 25 people that he released 2 years ago (Justice Gorsuch was on that list as well, before he was nominated and subsequently confirmed to the bench). His pick was not without controversy… not so much over the actual person, but just that the Democrats don’t want Trump to nominate anyone at all.
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stood up on the floor of the Senate on Monday to denounce the nomination of Kavanaugh. The only problem with it was that Schumer was railing against the nomination before it even happened. At that point, the only thing we “knew” was that there was a list of 4 finalists for the nomination that the White House released… and to many that know the President, he still could have chosen a different candidate because he is known for shooting from the hip. So, Schumer had no idea who the nominee would be, but he stood up and railed against any nominee by floating allegations that haven’t even been brought before the potential nominee.
The beginning of the Democrat’s obstruction continued with the Women’s March press release where they named the nominee “XX” and “Cavenaugh” in the same document. The March obviously had no intention of learning about the individual that Trump nominated, instead choosing to release a generic statement of doom and gloom, no matter who was picked. Many other liberal organizations released generic statements, but at least they were smart enough to proofread and fill-in-the-blanks in the statement before hitting “reply-all”.
The loudest outcry over the SCOTUS nomination has been that the new potential justice would overturn Roe v. Wade, the notorious SCOTUS decision that legalized abortion in the United States. The problem with the hysteria is that Kavanaugh has actually already made a statement about this issue. When going through his D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmation hearing in 2006, Kavanaugh was asked by none other than Senator Chuck Schumer about his opinion on Roe v. Wade.
Schumer: “Do you consider Roe v. Wade to be an abomination?”
Kavanaugh: “If confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully. That would be binding precedent of the Court. It's been decided by the Supreme Court.”
Maybe, instead of getting caught up in the media and hyper-partisan hyperbole, we should wait until the confirmation hearings where Kavanaugh will be asked these questions and thousands more to see exactly where he stands on these issues and how he will rule on the bench. After all, a nomination does not automatically mean that Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the post. There are several times in U.S. history where a nominee was never confirmed by the Senate for one reason or another.
Republicans hold a 51-49 edge in the U.S. Senate and would be able to confirm the nomination if all members vote along party lines. This could become an issue under a couple circumstances. First, Senator McCain has been absent from the Senate floor for quite some time as he is fighting brain cancer back home in Arizona. He did come out and publicly support the nomination last night, so one could reason that he might, if his health allows, travel to D.C. to vote on Kavanaugh. 2 other moderate Republicans, Sen. Murkowski (AK) and Collins (ME) could go either way, depending upon Kavanaugh’s answers to some questions like Women’s Health and Abortion. There are some moderate Democrats who could cross over the aisle and vote in the affirmative for Kavanaugh, as they are facing tough races this year in states that had overwhelming support for Trump in 2016. Namely, Manchin (WV) and Donnelly (IN) could be seen as Democrats who could vote in favor of Kavanaugh, with Heitkamp (ND) on the fringe.
Only time will tell what the next Supreme Court will look like, but you can bet there will be a very thorough and at times, contentious confirmation hearing in the Senate. Hopefully, each Senator will take their job seriously and evaluate Judge Kavanaugh’s responses as well as his previous record and public comments before they make a decision on how they will vote.