On the Sunday morning news talk shows there was much made over the “system being broken”, the “Senate being broken” and the tragedy of the past two weeks in the drama surrounding Mr. Justice Kavanaugh. Nothing is broken. Senator Lindsay Graham from my home state of South Carolina is right: the constitution and its system prevailed over mob rule.
The Constitution provides that the President appoints a Supreme Court justice “with the advice and consent” of the Senate. In this case, the President nominated Judge Kavanaugh and the Senate gave its advice and by confirmation gave its consent for appointment. And that is what happened. Those who say the “system is broken” simply are complaining that they did not prevail.
Not that they did not try their damndest, through a shameful display of an attempt to subvert the Constitutional process. Senator Feinstein questioned Mr. Justice Kavanaugh during his hearing and never mentioned that she had secreted an explosive charge—saving it for the eleventh hour, hoping that the shock factor would carry the confirmation process past the elections. But the determination of Committee Chair Charles Grassley of Nebraska successfully blocked a despicable political tactic. It was a tactic engineered by a Senator who has always held herself out as being above the political fray in matters of the judiciary.
It did not matter to the plotting senators that two reputations would be marred forever. It did not matter that Kavanaugh would be broadsided when they hoped he would not be able to recover. The disgraceful nature of their act even included orchestrated outrage at his demeanor of anger—which one of them would not have reacted the same if their families had been subjected to ridicule without warning?
So desperate were these democrats that one of them leaked the name of the victim to the Press and so exposed her to character assassination from an even larger press coverage than that given to the nominee himself
The substance of the process was not pleasant, in fact, it was downright disgusting, but the Republic was served as the constitution provides. Our founders did not provide that the constitutional structure would be pleasant or free of politics, that it would be practiced in friendly terms, that it would be done ethically and with the best interests of the nation in the hearts of all members of the Senate. They provided for advice and consent and that is what happened.
Along the way we saw what we would have if it were not for a strong constitution that has survived over 250 years: mob rule as crowds of shouting, yelling protesters clogged the office halls of the Senate building and the Capital itself. The Vice President had to delay proceedings briefly while security police cleared a group of chanting protesters from the chamber.
Outside protesters demanded the scalp of a man supposedly presumed innocent of any charge, a man cleared by now 7 FBI inquiries. Inside, Democrats tried to exercise more power than their numbers represent. They did so through character assassination, or in the words of Senator Graham, through a search and destroy assault on a man directly and his family indirectly.
I rather imagine that in the coming two years members of the majority in the Senate will constantly remember the deceitful, underhanded tactic practiced by the minority party—and when the democrats then complain about the lack of civility who among them will remember they brought it on themselves.
In the meantime, Mr. Justice Kavanaugh begins today to fill the seat of Mr. Justice Kennedy. Let’s hope he keeps his eye on the bouncing ball of liberty as did his retiring mentor.