Politically, Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh is a win-win-win-win for him.
Anyone on that list assembled for him by the Federalist Society would be a reliable vote to overturn women’s reproductive rights, environmental and economic protections, workers rights, voting rights, while making gun rights sacrosanct.
But with Kavanaugh, he gets the one person on the list who has written explicitly on the need to shield a president.
This is truly ironic (hypocritical) since he was on Ken Starr’s commission that turned an investigation into a failed real estate deal into a witch hunt over Bill Clinton’s adultery, and wrote the articles of impeachment over lying about it.
This was hardly colluding with a foreign adversary to hack an election to win the office that Kavanaugh now should be walled off from investigation or indictment – music to Trump’s ears.
What I never understand is why a nominee presents himself as standing for “equal justice,” “an independent judiciary” and to uphold the Rule of Law and faithfully follow the Constitution “as written informed by history, tradition and precedent,” rather than boast of what they have done: deny a pregnant minor migrant held in detention her request to be released to access an abortion, saying that otherwise, affirms the right of non-citizens to what citizens have a right to; and declaring the Consumer Financial Protection Board unconstitutional.
He served on Ken Starr’s He also was part of the cabal that had to work around the Constitution, which gives authority of elections to the states, in stopping Florida’s constitutionally mandated recount in order to select George W. Bush president over Al Gore.
And what role did he play in George Bush’s White House in the legal memos that authorized torture?
Kavanaugh, along with Samuel Alito and John Roberts (all out of the Federalist Society), believes in a Unitary Executive – as long as a Republican is the executive – which would seem to contradict the Framers’ hypersensitivity to replacing one monarchy with another.
This nonsense that “Congress makes the law, the court interprets it,” is just that: The radical activist judges overturned Congress’ reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, and clawed back Citizens United in order to overturn precedent and equate dollars with speech, giving corporations and the wealthy unlimited “speech” and, in Hobby Lobby, to establish a corporation as capable of having a religious conscience.
“Brett Kavanaugh, contrary to 200 years of Supreme Court precedent, believes a president ‘may decline to enforce a statute . . . when the president deems the statute unconstitutional,’” Sen. Bernie Sanders stated.
So Kavanaugh, like the other self-proclaimed “originalists” are really “ends justify the means” radical activists, conveniently mind-melding with The Framers like a spiritualist’s con, is Trump’s ideal.
Second, Trump gets to throw red meat to the Evangelicals who will forgive him anything (sexual assault, money laundering, tax evasion, colluding with a foreign power, even murder, I suspect), as long as they get to dictate a Radical Right agenda for the next 40 years, and he gets to fire up his base who would otherwise abstain in the midterms (having gotten Gorsuch and tax cuts and probably a little unnerved by botching North Korea and launching a trade war), so that he can retain control of a complicit Republican-dominated Congress and avoid impeachment.
Third: Trump gets to demonstrate the impotence of Democrats, now that a shameless Mitch McConnell has basically exerted one-party rule, disenfranchising more than half the country, that the Republicans hope will so discourage Democrats (or worse, cause the progressives to punish Democrats) that they see voting as a useless exercise and stay home
Fourth: Trump would likely also be the big winner If the Democrats somehow manage to delay confirmation until after the midterms, or even more unlikely, if Kavanaugh fails to get 51 votes.
Trump will rile up the base with hysteria (he is already hysterical that he could lose control of the House and make impeachment more likely), and blame the “unprecedented obstruction” on Democrats.
That political calculus could backfire against the backdrop of unprecedented protest and resistance of the millions (20 percent of Americans) –and a good share of the 93 million who did not bother to vote in 2016, are mobilized to vote in the midterms.
That would begin the process of taking back not just Congress, but state offices.
Because Democrats, who never made the same priority of Supreme Court appointments as the radical right, are realizing the judiciary is no longer the “backstop” against the erosion of democracy, the ascendancy of the plutocracy and the loss of all the rights we hold dear and naively take for granted.
Indeed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is drawing a line in the sand, demanding state legislators return for a special session to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into New York State law, which, though the state legalized abortion in 1970, three years before Roe, is in its current state much weaker than Roe.
For years, Republican state legislators argued it was not necessary to bolster the state law because of Roe, but Roe is all but certain to overturned.
As Cuomo said, many Republican moderates would make a pretense of supporting a woman’s right to choose in front of one audience, then, with wink-and-nod, assure other audiences that they would not allow a stronger law to be voted on in the state.
This could give Democrat Anna Kaplan an edge in her bid to defeat Republican Elaine Phillips for state senator.
“Elections have consequences. This is a wake-up call to all of us,” Gov. Cuomo told a packed audience at the Teamsters Hall in New Hyde Park, as he signed an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover emergency contraception.