Senate Republicans designed the “advise and consent” hearings for Brett Kavanaugh to be a sham from the start.
They violated many key procedures and precedents, blocked 94% of documents from his career from being provided.
They blocked the National Archives from providing documents as they always have in Senate judicial hearings and instead anointed a Bush cronie to be the one to determine what documents would be provided.
They unilaterally declared most documents that were provided to committee members to be “committee confidential”, preventing them from being disclosed to the American public which prevented questioning about them to Kavanaugh at his hearing. This was done despite this status only being applicable in all previous instances when the other party’s committee leader has been consulted and agreed.
They dumped over 10,000 documents on committee Democrats the night before the hearing with Kavanaugh, assuring that Democrats wouldn’t have time to fully review them and prepare questions.
They have rushed the proceedings faster than any in recent memory, ignoring the investigatory and deliberative nature such hearings are supposed to have.
And most recently, they have set up a sham hearing to weaken and steamroll over the very substantial and serious claims by Professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in high school. They refuse to even treat her as badly as Anita Hill was treated, at least an FBI investigation of Professor Hill was done, Republicans are refusing to ask Trump to have the FBI investigate any of this.
Right now, despite the massive outrage against these unprincipled, amoral and misogynist Republicans trying to similarly force Kavanaugh on an unwilling country (only 31% of Americans approve of him, a record low for a potential SCOTUS judge), Republicans may indeed accomplish this.
Voters should absolutely be reminded continuously as election day approaches in 47 days, that Republicans broke The Senate’s rules and practices to ram through this accused attempted rapist who is an extremist and likely to destroy Roe v. Wade, the ACA, consumer rights and protections, etc.. They should be urged to vote in November and help others vote to throw out this corrupt and destructive party from a position of power (not to mention their refusal to follow their Constitutional duty to provide oversight and be a check and balance on the president).
But this very possible sexual assaulter would still be on the Supreme Court where he can continue to use his now greater power to dominate and injure women. Can anything be done to stop him?
There are three scenarios that could possibly limit the damage that this fraudulent Senate hearing process, designed only to foist a radical, dishonest and possibly criminal man on the nation for decades, would do.
THREE WAYS TO STOP BRETT KAVANAUGH IF HE GETS ON THE SUPREME COURT
- Replace a conservative SCOTUS judge with a Progressive – Even with Kavanaugh in the SCOTUS, it is still a 5-4 balance on the court between right wingers and moderates/liberals. Mitch McConnell may have stolen this opportunity from President Obama by stonewalling the Merrick Garland nomination but Clarence Thomas is 70 years old and Antonin Scalia died at 79 so this opportunity may not be immediate but possibly sooner than later if Democrats can win back and retain The Senate and the presidency. With a 5-4 majority against him, Kavanaugh’s opinions would be relegated to dissents against decisions.
- Investigate and convict him for lying to Congress – Kavanaugh was very slippery and evasive when pressed by Democratic Senators about instances in a past hearing and the recent hearing when he appears to have lied to Congress. This would be a federal crime and most importantly, judges, including Supreme Court judges, are not immune to criminal prosecutions. If Democrats win back The House and/or Senate, they can launch an investigation into Kavanaugh for lying to Congress and if they conclude he has done so, they can refer a request for criminal prosecution to The Justice Department. If Trump’s FBI won’t prosecute, the statute of limitations on perjury is 5 years so the Democrat who beats Trump in 2020 can have his/her FBI prosecute Kavanaugh. A conviction would be an indefensible cause to impeach and remove him.
- Enlarge the Supreme Court to 11 members – This would be the more controversial option but it is doable. Congress has the Constitutional power to set the number of Supreme Court justices. With Democratic control of Congress and the presidency, they could increase the size of the court from 9 members to 11. Two Progressive justices could be added, changing the court balance to 6-5 in favor of Progressives. With a cloud of illegitimacy hanging over Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh for sexual harassment and assault, such a change could have a pro-women’s rights, moral basis (if a racist was on the SCOTUS, would it be wrong to shift power away from him?). Senate Democrats might need to apply at least a conditional waiving of the filibuster to pass this by simple majority which would not be without future risk when Republicans control The Senate and Presidency and want to do the same. However the long term damage to the country of uninterrupted conservative control of the SCOTUS for potentially many decades may be a worse scenario than the shifting of control in the SCOTUS as parties change power in The Senate and White House. And anyway, if the situation was reversed and a Progressive majority controlled the SCOTUS, it’s not unlikely that Republicans would pursue this option anyway without a second thought.
Of course, the ideal way to stop Kavanaugh is to prevent him from ever getting on the SCOTUS. If that isn’t accomplished though, as long as there is determination, there are ways to take away his power and influence over the future of American democracy and society.