Kavanaugh: Does it matter that he’s nice?
Come on, Senate Democrats, just get it over with and confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, said Bret Stephens in The New York Times. President Trump’s nominee is “manifestly qualified” as a highly respected judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Nevertheless, liberals are gearing up for a “tooth-and-nail battle” to keep him off the court. It won’t work. Polls show that a plurality of Americans want Kavanaugh to be confirmed, and those numbers will no doubt improve once they “get a closer look at this temperate, intelligent, decidedly non-scary nominee.” Democratic attempts to portray a fine family man as an ogre will only make them look like “mindless obstructionists.” Kavanaugh “would receive a unanimous verdict in his favor from those who know him,” said Julie O’Brien in The Washington Post. Our oldest daughters go to the same school together, and this busy federal judge somehow finds time to coach two girls’ basketball teams and shuttle students to games and practices. “I don’t know Kavanaugh the judge, but Kavanaugh the carpool dad is one great guy.”
Who cares if Kavanaugh is “a nice guy”? said Harry Cheadle in Vice.com. His “legacy as a justice will not be defined by his personal kindness.” A doctrinaire conservative, Kavanaugh is almost guaranteed to vote with the other four right-wing justices on some of the most controversial issues of our times. He’s “extremely pro-gun and anti-regulation” and is “hostile to abortion rights.” Conservative justices have already invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act and allowed unlimited corporate money in politics, and they consistently rule in favor of business over workers. With Kavanaugh, the court will lurch even further to the right. “No one will remember how sweet of a neighbor Kavanaugh was if abortion is illegal in 30 states and unions are on the cusp of disappearance.”
Once upon a time, Republicans might have credibly argued against “overly politicizing” the confirmation of Supreme Court nominees, said Jordan Weissmann in Slate.com. But those days are long gone. President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was also well-liked and widely respected, but Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for him because they knew he would tilt the court to the left. Supreme Court nominations aren’t about character and qualifications anymore; they’re about “pure power politics and little else.” To believe anything different is “simply naïve.”