When the U.S. Supreme Court, under a previous ideological majority, was handing down decisions favorable to the left, Democrats were fine with deferring to that third branch of government to achieve what they declined to produce in legislation. Some Democrats in conservative states took the position that it wasn’t their fault that cases voters regarded as constitutionally wrong and morally unprincipled were being decided. Blame the justices, not them.
The assault on the court has become worse now that Democrats see their primary avenue to legal and cultural change slipping away. The latest is the post-confirmation assault on Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Opponents failed to deny him a seat on the court with testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who couldn’t remember important details of a sexual assault she claimed Justice Kavanaugh perpetrated on her.
But frustrated Democrats at The New York Times keep trying. The Times published a story last Sunday that alleged Justice Kavanaugh, while at Yale, “exposed himself and friends pushed his penis into the hands of a female student.” The incident was supposedly witnessed by a classmate, Max Stier, who went on to become a lawyer for Bill Clinton (oh, the irony), who supposedly communicated the story to the FBI and senators at the time of Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination.
According to the AP, The Times story “was based on an upcoming book by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, ‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,’ about the junior justice’s brutal confirmation battle last year.”
Justice Kavanaugh denies the incident ever happened. The young woman the incident supposedly happened to has declined to be interviewed, and, according to friends, “doesn’t recall the incident.”
The Washington Post reportedly had the same secondhand information about Justice Kavanaugh a year ago, but “did not run the article because they could not confirm key details of the story.”
The Times, unconcerned with key details, went full-steam ahead. The rather weak editor’s note they were forced to publish on Sunday “correcting” the story pointed out quite glaringly its journalistic ineptitude. And in what can only be described as an assault to its reputation as a trusted media outlet, The Times, said Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine, has “abandoned liberalism for activism.”
There’s an old journalistic cliche that says don’t let facts get in the way of a good story and once again The Times is so eager to keep the Supreme Court and government in general under the control of Democrats that they will print anything, whether it is true or not, to further that goal.
You’d think The Times’ troubles would give other newspapers pause before they tried smearing a person’s reputation in pursuit of political goals, but no.
After The Times’ half-hearted correction, The Washington Post jumped into the mud pit with stories about previous attempts to impeach Supreme Court justices and promoting claims by those who say Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation wasn’t fair (it wasn’t for him, but that’s not what they mean).
As one would expect, several Democratic presidential candidates rushed to judgment and demanded Justice Kavanaugh be impeached. Questions have been raised, after all, but liberal Democrats are the ones who are raising them. It’s always the seriousness of the charge, not whether the charge has merit. When the charge is proved bogus, the left moves onto new charges against the same or other persons whose views they oppose.
As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted, “It’s important to understand that this assault on the justice is part of the left’s larger campaign against the legitimacy of the current Supreme Court and an independent judiciary.”
This is all the left has in their dwindling arsenal. They’re still after President Trump’s tax records. They hate his Supreme Court appointments. They are livid that his economic policies are working when they have always believed the economy was their issue — never mind their failure to achieve any level of success close to what Mr. Trump’s administration has accomplished.
If the current Democratic Party were a defendant in court, it could credibly plead insanity. Let’s see how far this insane behavior gets them with voters in the next election.
• Cal Thomas, a nationally syndicated columnist, is the author of “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires, Superpowers and the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan, January 2020).