At 9:30 am Eastern time, the Senate convened to discuss then have a cloture vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. As reported by Liberty Nation’s legal affairs editor, Scott D. Cosenza, the Senate voted 51-49 to advance to the final vote. The results are what most of the nation likely expected – but with a twist!
As might be expected after this contentious saga, the opening remarks consisted of mostly partisan shots fired back and forth across the aisle, with Democrats and Republicans attacking each other just about as much as they attacked or defended Kavanaugh.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) opened the proceedings by lambasting the Democrats for making a mockery out of the process, saying that it “should have been a respectable and dignified confirmation process,” and that once, “this highly qualified nominee would have received unanimous support in the Senate.”
“What left-wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous. I saw what they did to Robert Bork. I saw what they did to Clarence Thomas. That was nothing compared to what we’ve witnessed here the last three months. The conduct of left-wing dark money groups and their allies in this group have shamed us all …
… For the left-wing, advice and consent has become search and destroy – a demolition derby.”
Senator Grassley even called Kavanaugh the most qualified nomination in the nation’s history and said that not confirming him would be a travesty.
Once Grassley yielded, the top Democrat of the same committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), took a few shots at Kavanaugh and the GOP:
“Never before have we had a Supreme Court nominee where over 90% of his record has been hidden from the public and the Senate. Never before have we had a nominee display such flagrant partisanship and open hostility at a hearing. And never before have we had a nominee facing allegations of sexual assault.”
What a profound sounding statement to make – never mind the facts. While she claims that the Republicans hid most of Kavanaugh’s record, other Senators have claimed the Committee reviewed more information for this nominee than for any other in the nation’s history. She berates the judge for his partisanship and open hostility, but isn’t such hostility and “partisanship” understandable when an entire political party is accusing him of rape without even a shred of real evidence? But what earns this quote a spot in the “best of” is Senator Feinstein’s claim that Brett Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to ever face a sexual assault allegation. Harassment and assault are two different things, legally, but the senator from California seems to have forgotten about Clarence Thomas, who pushed through allegations by Democrats to win a seat on the highest court in the land – just as Brett Kavanaugh now seemingly will.
Next up was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). No one can accuse Sen. Schumer of being a bad actor. Who can forget his tears as he called Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican border mean – despite the fact that he had argued for such a barrier just two years prior?
Crying Chuck didn’t disappoint. He didn’t just attack Brett Kavanaugh, the Republicans, and Trump; he did so by ignoring every travesty ever committed by or upheld in an American court:
“From start to finish, President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court will go down as one of the saddest, most sordid chapters in the long history of the federal judiciary. The well was poisoned from the outset, when President Trump selected Kavanaugh from a list of names preapproved by hard right special interest groups, for whom the national interest is a trifling concern compared to repealing Roe v Wade, cutting people’s healthcare, and achieving a partisan majority on the Supreme Court. The rot worsened when the Republican majority on the Judiciary Committee shielded the bulk of Judge Kavanaugh’s records from the public, discarding decades of bipartisan precedent and thwarting norms of transparency and of fairness. And finally, the dam broke under the weight of credible allegations that Judge Kavanaugh committed a sexual assault in high school.”
There’s that “credible allegation” again. What was it that made the uncorroborated and often contradictory accusations by these women credible?
To wrap up the pre-vote discussion, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) craftily tied the integrity of the Senate itself into the vote:
“Today, the Senate has the opportunity to advance this nomination. Every one of us will go on record with one of the most consequential votes you ever cast in the Senate. Now the stakes are always high for a supreme court nomination, but, colleagues, the extraordinary events of recent weeks have raised them even higher this time. When we vote later this morning, we will not only be deciding whether to elevate a stunningly well qualified judge to our highest court – not any more, not after all this.
The United States Senate will also be making a statement. We’ll either state that partisan politics can override the presumption of innocence, or we’ll reaffirm that that in the United States of America, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We’ll either state that facts and evidence can be brushed aside when politically convenient and that media bullying and mob intimidation are valid tactics for shaping the Senate. The mob can attack, and the Senate caves. Or we’ll stand up and say that serious, thoughtful, fact-based deliberation will still define this body. We’ll either give notice that totally uncorroborated allegations are now officially – officially – enough to destroy an American’s life. Or we’ll declare that our society cannot not, must not, will not set the bar so low.”
When talking about the uncorroborated “evidence” and the walked back and recanted accusations, Senator McConnell cut to the heart of the matter and closed with a rebuke of those who would give way to mob rule:
“[Senate Democrats] read parts of this uncorroborated, unbelievable mudslide – mudslide – into the Senate record. They cited them in an official letter demanding that Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn. Were they true? Well, of course that was quite beside the point! Quite beside the point, so long as they were convenient. Every effort was made to ensure the fact-free verdict of the mob and the media would win out over the actual evidence – make sure the mob prevailed. But the uncorroborated mud and the partisan noise and the physical intimidation of members here in the Senate will not have the final say around here. The Senate will have the final say.”
Quite beside the point, indeed. It has long been evident that facts don’t matter to the left. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) told reporters that it doesn’t matter anymore whether Kavanaugh is guilty – the mere fact that he has been accused and that he showed indignation and anger at the allegation was reason enough to be rid of him.
But despite the Democrats’ best attempts, the Senate did, in fact, have the final say – in much the way Sen. McConnell intended. The final vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh could occur as early as Saturday night. Almost certainly, by Monday we will have a new Supreme Court Associate Justice – and Liberty Nation will keep you informed each step on the way.