- - Wednesday, September 5, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

This week’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh served their purpose for the panel’s Democrats.

Resigned to the knowledge that Judge Kavanaugh has the votes for confirmation and is eminently qualified, Senate Democrats have chosen to “pound the desk,” rather than “pound the facts” or “pound the law,” as Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz suggested.

Think of it this way: A Supreme Court confirmation hearing has been debased to the point that it has become performance art, not a serious consideration of a momentous choice.

Presidential aspirants were all preening for the cameras. Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat, tried nearly every quarter-hour to delay the hearing on the first day. Meanwhile he disgracefully sent out a fundraising appeal during the hearing — while seated on the dais. We all can see where his priorities are.

Fellow Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a former chairman of the committee, spent nearly the entire 30 minutes of his opening round talking about his own emails from 2001-2003, trying and failing to prove Judge Kavanaugh knew anything about an email breach at the time. Mr. Leahy showed how incredibly out of touch he is by making his emails the issue — rather than literally any other issue that Vermonters care about regarding a Supreme Court nominee.

Gun control extremist Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, tried to trip the judge up over the Second Amendment, and again manifestly failed. To her credit, she did apologize to Judge Kavanaugh for the lack of civility shown by liberal protesters who incessantly interrupted the hearing.

During a mid-afternoon break on day two, CNN anchor Jake Tapper admitted on air that Democrats “failed to lay a glove” on the nominee. Given the hours spent and the tens of thousands of words spoken, this was a startling assessment. Never had so many words been spoken and achieved so little.

The left wing base is deeply angry that President Trump is succeeding in remaking the judiciary — at a historic rate. The replacement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy by soon-to-be-Justice Kavanaugh will have profound implications, moving the court to a majority made up of originalists and textualists and away from liberal judicial activism.

Given the stakes, the Democratic base has made ridiculous demands: Delay the hearing. Ignore the hearing. Interrupt the hearing. Suggest that President Trump cannot appoint a justice while a special counsel is investigating him (that would be news to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, appointed while President Clinton was under investigation). Ask for documents that Judge Kavanaugh didn’t write and made no substantive contributions to in the past.

Democrats whined about the irrelevant documents they requested but did not receive, ignoring the fact that the total documents received about Judge Kavanaugh’s history are five times that of all five previous Supreme Court nominees combined.

These demands were not meant to block the Kavanaugh confirmation. They were instead meant to serve as evidence that Senate Democrats are fighting as the base is demanding.

Let us remember why Democrats and their liberal allies are spitting mad.

For decades, they have used the judiciary as an extra-legislative body, useful for making end-runs around state legislatures and Congress. When they lose at the ballot box or in the legislature, Democrats and their allies rush to the nearest friendly judge to sue their way to victories.

This strategy will have now face severe limits, particularly given the more than two dozen federal circuit court judges that Mr. Trump nominated and the Republican Senate has confirmed under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

Judge Kavanaugh will be voted out of committee on September 13 and he will be approved on the Senate floor before the end of the month with at least three Democratic votes in favor and perhaps as many as six. Just watch. The rest is theater.

A nominee with 12 years of service on the second highest court in the land, authoring 308 opinions, earning the highest rating from the American Bar Association, acquitting himself beautifully during long hours of senatorial grilling while displaying class, calm, intellect and good humor, Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation was never at any risk.

Democrats have failed again.

But at least they [pretend to] fight!

Matt Mackowiak is president of Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.-based Potomac Strategy Group. He’s a Republican consultant, a Bush administration and Bush-Cheney re-election campaign veteran and former press secretary to two U.S. senators. His “Mack on Politics” podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and on Washingtontimes.com.


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