Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who last week accused Democrats of plotting a political hit job against him on behalf of Bill and Hillary Clinton to smear his good name as he faces sexual assault allegations, wants America to know he is an impartial judge.
Kavanaugh wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal published last night with the self-serving headline: “I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge.”
Because nothing says “impartial” like a judicial candidate who writes on op-ed in the Wall Street Journal after giving an interview on Fox a week earlier.
He allowed that “my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.” But he had his reasons. He thinks he might not ever have been that emotional before in his life.
“I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad,” he wrote. “I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”
This is what Kavanaugh said in his outraged opening statement at last week’s hearing:
This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election. Fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons. and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.
The thing is… his comments were in a PREPARED speech. He wrote it. Someone reviewed it. This was not off the cuff anger. And that makes it far far worse.
Kavanaugh knows that was a problem. Democrats, law professors, and retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens questioned his judicial temperament after the judge so fiercely and explicitly attacked the Democratic Party in response to the sexual assault allegations brought by Christine Blasey Ford and at least two other women.
“The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution,” he wrote, as an apology of sorts.
For any American who was worrying — or any Republican senator who might be wavering in their support of his confirmation — Kavanaugh had one message: Whatever you saw at that hearing, when I’m on the bench, I will be an impartial judge with blinders to partisanship.
“Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good,” the judge wrote to conclude his WSJ column. “As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect. I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed.”
Senate Republicans have set a critical this morning procedural vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination. Even hours before the vote, it was not yet known whether he has the support of the 51 senators he needs. At least four key senators — Republicans Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, plus Democrat Joe Manchin — are still undecided on their vote.
Civility is out the window. Watch how Senator Orrin Hatch responds to people who pay his salary:
The woman was visibly irritated by Hatch’s wave, yelling, “Don’t you wave your hand at me! I wave my hand at you.” Hatch replied, “When you grow up, I’ll be glad to.” Protesters sought to hold open the doors to Hatch’s elevator, but the senator’s aides managed to stop them from doing so as Hatched waved goodbye.
And then Trump piled on with insanity:
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018
My Soros check is lost in the mail
But 1700 law professors have signed a letter saying he should not be on the bench. Former SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens said he was not qualified. And…
ABA says it is reopening evaluation of Kavanaugh’s well-qualified rating, which the GOP hailed during confirmation process. It says it is evaluating “temperament” issues pic.twitter.com/ipbrhMgtDW— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 5, 2018
The procedural vote has happened. The final tally: 51-49.
Next up is the final vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, expected on Saturday. Murkowski (R-AK) was a NO; Collins (R-Conn), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Manchin (DE-WV) were all YES on the procedural vote.
As for the actual confirmation vote, Murkowski is a NO. Collins, Flake, and Manchin are all on the fence. Two of them need to say NO to reject Kavanaugh. The vote is tomorrow.
Collins to announce her final decision at 3pm today, reportedly. Frankly, if she is a YES, Manchin and Flake will go YES as well.
SEN FLAKE says he plans to vote yes tomorrow on Kavanaugh unless something big changes and he doesn’t see what would change. Says was a hard decision for everybody.— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) October 5, 2018
UPDATE #3 – Collins capitulates
Senator Collins is delivering a full-throated defense of Judge Kavanaugh. And it’s clear just how frustrated she was by the protestors who accosted her before Dr Ford came forward. She has never wanted to be seen as being bullied or intimidated by them.— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) October 5, 2018
Officials in the White House heard cheering as GOP Sen. Collins announced her support for Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation – @NBCPolitics— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 5, 2018
Smacking the podium, Susan Collins is trying to make the point that the real crime is the news about Christine Blasey Ford's assault getting out.— Karen DaltonBeninato (@kbeninato) October 5, 2018
Not, you know, the actual assault.
In the course of this speech, Collins has said that two different things can't be further from the truth.— Blake Hounshell (powered by blockchain) (@blakehounshell) October 5, 2018
Collins claiming Sen Dems victimized Blasey Ford, forced her to testimony, now suggesting she was outed by Dems. Once you're signing on to the conspiracy theories, that's all she wrote.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 5, 2018
Susan Collins thinks b/c Ford can't remember who drove her home has something to do with anything. Has she spoken to a single trauma expert? This is shameful.— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) October 5, 2018
Now @SenatorCollins wants you to think she is a compassionate champion of the victims of sexual assault. She is perhaps the greatest enabler of their perpetrators in history. Vote her out.— Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) October 5, 2018
Susan Collins could have just quietly sold her soul like a normal hack, but no, she made the whole country listen while she painstakingly undermined Ford's testimony in a way that will probably do lasting emotional damage, compounded by Kavanaugh's appointment for life. A monster— David Klion🌹🔥 (@DavidKlion) October 5, 2018
Now that the water is warm, Joe Manchin (D-WV) says he will vote YES too. He’s saying so on CNN, but you can barely hear him because of the chants of “Shame, Shame” behind him!
We are all rightly pissed at Susan Collins, but let's save at least some of the outrage for Joe Manchin, a Democrat, who also just sold women out and was way more cowardly about it.— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) October 5, 2018