September 4, 2018

I'm laughing at this WaPo editorial, "Kavanaugh should break the trend of stonewalling the Senate."

You mean the trend that began after Bork opened his heart and got crushed? Not bloody likely.

Here are the editors, editorializing as indeed they must:
High-court confirmation hearings have become increasingly less illuminating over the years, with nominees finding ever more creative ways to say little. They aim to avoid the fate of Robert H. Bork, whom the Senate rejected in 1987 following a loquacious performance at his hearings. Their model is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who explained in her 1993 sessions that she could not answer certain questions because she would not want to suggest she had prejudged cases that might come before her.
Yes, exactly. The model is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal's huge heroine. But don't be like her now, all of a sudden? Too funny. It's obvious that her approach works. Why would any nominee deviate from it?

The editors say because "the stonewalling is rendering irrelevant the most visible public opportunity to vet nominees for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court" and because "Mr. Kavanaugh has a record that compels him to speak substantively." How on earth is that different from Ruth Bader Ginsburg?!
As with other nominees, senators must probe Mr. Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy: Does “originalism” appeal to him, as it does to other prominent Republican-appointed judges? If so, what happens when the original meaning of a text is unclear, or controversial at the time? Does the doctrine of stare decisis constrain justices merely from overturning precedents, or also from radically narrowing previous court decisions with which justices now disagree?
Oh, come on. There are bland, generic answers to all those boringly predictable questions and we've heard those answers repeatedly.

The editors also think Kavanaugh owes us an answer to the question whether he'll recuse himself in cases coming out of the Mueller investigation, because "If Mr. Kavanaugh were to cast a decisive vote favoring Mr. Trump, it would appear as though the president put him on the court to do just that, and that Mr. Kavanaugh followed the script."

I'll update this post later today to give you Kavanaugh's Ginsburgesque answer to that inevitable question.

UPDATE: The question is inevitable but it was not today. Today was just hours and hours of introductory oration. Excruciating. See my later post for some analysis of what Kavanaugh said. The Senators were very boring.

89 comments:

Matt Sablan said...

You know, the same way McCain was expected to stick with his public financing promise, but Obama wasn't.

There are different sets of rules that the left would like to enforce, and so long as that is so, there are going to be those on the right that will force them to apply a single set of rules.

Tina Trent said...

He just needs to say: 'I'll answer that question the way Ginsberg answered it.'

mccullough said...

Ginsburg criticizes Trump in an interview before he was elected. Yet she didn’t revise herself in the travel ban case. The Washington Post didn’t say she should either, nor did anyone in the Progressive Media.

The calls for a Kavanaugh recusal are special pleading by Progressives. They loved when the Notorious RBG slammed Trump.

Kavanaugh is a careerist like Roberts. He’s not going to get hung up on this stuff.

Mark said...

You can't take Pravda seriously for anything.

Ralph L said...

At this point, (we've seen) what difference does it make?

Tommy Duncan said...

They are just feeding their need to be smarter and more virtuous than the unwashed deplorables.

rehajm said...

He just needs to say: 'I'll answer that question the way Ginsberg answered it.'

There's your stare decisis right there!

rhhardin said...

Build the stonewall.

David Begley said...

Brett should turn the tables on those hypocrite Dems. He should start grilling THEM on his written decisions. Do the old law school prof thing. I’d bet those Senators haven’t read the assigned texts.

MadisonMan said...

The less said the better. The legacy of Bork.

iowan2 said...

History begins anew with the sunrise.
Before FDR, SCOTUS was a place for OLD judges to go out to pasture. SCOTUS held little prestige. It was a very boring place. Boring because those things not enumerated in the constitution were the jurisdiction of the states. SCOTUS had little to do. Then the left discovered that Judges could legislate and all of a sudden we have a 3rd political branch of govt.

Jersey Fled said...

How about the Dems start the process by asking serious questions. No gotcha questions. No political theatre.

Tina Trent said...

Ginsburg. Schaudefrude. My spelling eye is still asleep.

Big Mike said...

@Jersey Fled, what a strange idea! Who knows, it might just work.

Francisco D said...

When a SCOTUS nominee is "forthright," it gives the unseemly appearance of trading votes.

IOW, if you vote for me, I will vote the way you want on certain issues.

WaPo would criticize that approach if Kavanaugh (or any center-right) nominee took it.

As a propaganda tool for the Left, intellectual honesty and consistency are faults not virtues.

Birkel said...

The Kavanaugh hearings have started as expected.
The Democrats look like crazy people.
Their base abides.

rhhardin said...

There's a need for snipers in the Kavanaugh hearings.

Otto said...

We have to kill Christianity.If we don't we will go back to the stone age.
Tiresome theme of liberalism.

Wince said...

Kavanaugh should learn to do this dance...

"You just got Ginsburned."

mockturtle said...

Sounds like a tumultuous start for the hearings. Paid protesters, etc.

Qwinn said...

McCullough makes a great point. I would love to hear WaPo's excuse for why Ginsburg shouldn't have recused herself in the travel ban case after her Trump bashing comments.

Seeing Red said...

Would RBG recuse herself?

Birkel said...

What Would RBG Do?
WWRBGD?

As a substitute religion, Leftism demands they treat some humans as gods and others as devils.

Molly said...

If Democrats were honest the hearings would be five minutes long:

Senator D: Judge Kavanaugh: Who nominated you for the Supreme Court?"
Kavanaugh: "President Trump"
Senator D: that's all I need to know. No more questions.

Mike Sylwester said...

Thank you, Joe Biden, for establishing the Biden Rule.

Thank you, Harry Reid, for abolishing filibusters for federal judges.

Thank you, Democratic Party, for nominating Hillary "Pay to Play" Clinton.

Thank you, Chuck Schumer, for filibustering Neil Gorsuch.

Tina Trent said...

Why do they allow the crazies into the hearing room?

Why don't they clear out the galleries, with protester after protester after protester disrupting our hearings, when our elected officials are there officially representing us?

With live broadcasting, there is no need for there to be a bystander audience when that audience is made up of radical protesters trying to disrupt the process.

It's an elitism of thugs.

Browndog said...

Liberals, in this case WAPO, have nasty habit of demanding others live by principles while demonstrating they have none.

Big Mike said...

@Jersey Fled, I guess we’ll never know, will we?

Browndog said...

I'm reading Democrats have interrupted the hearing 44 times so far-

That doesn't include the protesters; Orin Hatch is having to yell into his microphone to be heard over them. What a shit show.

iowan2 said...

Grassely is from my home state. I think he is playing this right. Letting the leftist showcase their crazy. He has explained that he will let a lot of the theater play out, he is going to run the hearings through Sunday in order to complete the hearings.

Is this an in kind contribution to President Trump's election campaign?

Matt Sablan said...

They spent time digging for things to attack him on. Failing to find anything substantive the obvious next step was asking him to act differently so they could attack him for being different.

James K said...

This is just for centrist Kennedy's replacement. Imagine the tumult when a leftist like RBG or Breyer is to be replaced by a conservative.

Tina Trent said...

If you look at the crowd, Kavanaugh's wife and children are there. When the people start screaming in the back of the room, the children are flinching.

First, they should take them out of there. Second, we should not have to do so under any circumstances.

Shameful.

hawkeyedjb said...

Why bother even to hold a hearing? There isn't a single senator who doesn't know how s/he will vote. Every Dem will vote against Kavanaugh, and they knew that before he was nominated. Stupid, degrading, unseemly, dishonest... both the hearings and the senators.

Bruce Hayden said...

Loved how Grassly called them on their BS on document production - they have already produced far more documentation than for any previous nomination, and the Dems haven’t bothered to read it. They just keep demanding more. As I noted in a previous post, the entire circus was designed, from the start, to try, by any way possible, to delay the confirmation vote until after the election, and hopefully after the next Congress is sworn in, when the Dems might have retaken the Senate and can block this nominee, and force Trump to accept a more progressive nominee - such as Garland who was apparently denied his rightful place on the Supreme Court by the evil Republicans.

Birkel said...

Dick Durbin just criticized Judge Kavanaugh for being a nominee of Donald J. Trump.

The theater of the absurd continues.

Qwinn said...

They are attempting to appeal to the portion of voters that think "If they're protesting this loudly, there must be something to it. They wouldn't do this without good reason."

For far leftists like Inga and Ritmo, the fact that Kavanaugh isn't a far leftist himself is all the "good reason" they need to justify the over the top attacks. But I think the rest of the population has now caught on that power for the sake of power is the only real reason for the attacks, and just screaming the loudest doesn't cut it anymore. The Girls Who Cried "Fascist!" has replaced the Boy Who Cried "Wolf".

Bruce Hayden said...

“Every Dem will vote against Kavanaugh, and they knew that before he was nominated.”

Actually, I don’t think so. I think that several of the Trump State Dems up for re-election this year will probably vote for him, if the vote is held before the election. After, during the Lame Duck session? Not so likely.

Qwinn said...

Bruce: if they really think they're going to gain Senate seats in November, either they're prepared to commit an insane amount of voter fraud, or they are complete idiots incapable of simple math.

I'll say it again. Minimum 59 GOP seats after November.

Leland said...

I see no reason at all for Kavanaugh to recuse himself from any Mueller brought issue. That said, I'm certain why and what the Democrats might suggest as a reason. I think other than refusing to do so; the only other play is to say he would if Ginsberg refuses herself first.

Qwinn said...

(barring insane voter fraud, of course. Unfortunately, I think that has become very likely. The question is will anyone on Trump's side get irrefutable proof of it.

Francisco D said...

"They are attempting to appeal to the portion of voters that think "If they're protesting this loudly, there must be something to it. They wouldn't do this without good reason."

Exactly.

They are putting on a show for the leftists, but also hoping that naive liberals will think that where there is smoke, there is fire.

Ritmo and Inga could trade places with any of the Dem senators on the Judiciary Committee and no one would notice the difference.

Unknown said...

Isn't it odd how it didn't bother the Democrats when Elena Kagan failed to recuse herself from the Obamacare case? It's almost like all their blather is just politics. Sucks to be them (and it will suck even more if the Republicans hold the Senate).

clint said...

"I'll update this post later today to give you Kavanaugh's Ginsburgesque answer to that inevitable question.
posted by Ann Althouse at 6:27 AM on Sep 4, 2018"

I'll take the other side of that bet -- At this point, I'll be shocked if Judge Kavanaugh gets to answer a single question today.

MD Greene said...

When Elena Kagan was nominated in 2010, the Republicans had 41 Senate seats and could have filibustered. They did not. Five Republicans broke ranks and voted for her because it was clear that she was well qualified.

Like Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh is well qualified.

Many Republicans in 2010 did not like Barack Obama. Most Democrats today do not like Donald Trump. That was not the issue in 2010, and it should not be the issue now.

Sebastian said...

""Mr. Kavanaugh has a record that compels him to speak substantively." How on earth is that different from Ruth Bader Ginsburg?!"

You are right, of course, but BK does have a record that enormously exceeds that of RBG--a record I'm sure he'd be happy to discuss with the Dem senators that have scrutinized his hundreds of opinions closely.

"Oh, come on."

At what point do you decide that you could say that about every single bad-faith point made by the NYT and the WaPo?

"I'll update this post later today to give you Kavanaugh's Ginsburgesque answer to that inevitable question"

Speeches today, questions (maybe) tomorrow.

The question for sorta-liberals like Althouse, now that SSM is locked in, is whether the slight risk that Roe might be overturned, returning abortion to being a matter of state law but potentially limiting women's cherished ability to think about the morality of it, justifies supporting the way the Dems treat the law, the SC, and the hearings. How many oh-come-on moments do their need to be to conclude that you are dealing with despicable scum?

Matt Sablan said...

Kavanaugh should point out when he gets questions he could have answered them in more detail if Democrats hadn't refused to meet with him.

iowan2 said...

Mike Lee is following Durbin in comments to the committee.

If you don't know if you're a Republican or a Democrat, these two back to back should be all the research you need. Durbin's statements came across as strident and very partisan. Now after Lee has spoken for 3 to 4 minutes, the dichotomy is glaring. Durbin now comes across as tin foil hat, street bum.

iowan2 said...

Christ, the next Senator is Whitehouse. He is going full conspiracy nut job. All 5-4 decisions are a conspiracy. He has yet to mention a single constitutional issue he thinks they got wrong. Classic leftist that views a judges role as outcome based, not constitutional based.

Francisco D said...

Sheldon "The Conspiracy Theorist" Whitehouse almost sounded rational compared to his colleagues.

If you were totally naive about politics and jurisprudence, he would almost seem convincing.

Pianoman said...

@AA: "How on earth is that different from Ruth Bader Ginsburg?!"

It's always different, Because Shut Up.

Yancey Ward said...

Well, it is human to try to play by different rules than your opponents.

Kevin said...

"I'm laughing at this WaPo editorial, "Kavanaugh should break the trend of stonewalling the Senate."

You should be laughing that some significant portion of the WaPo's readership took it for serious journalism.

Kevin said...

Many Republicans in 2010 did not like Barack Obama: Racist!

Most Democrats today do not like Donald Trump: Fighting Fascism!

That was not the issue in 2010, and it should not be the issue now: It's never the point of the Dems to live up to the principle of equality.

It's equality bullshit.

gg6 said...

The 'Ginsberg Rule' of no-comment to 'avoid appearance of 'prejudice' has long been abandoned by Ginsberg herself - she's a never-ending stream of anti-trump comments, etc. I wonder if she'll ever have to honestly face up to that......Naah, no way.

Browndog said...

Good plan by the democrats. lie, misinterpret, and misconstrue his rulings without giving him a chance to respond so they don't look like the legal illiterates they are.

Big Mike said...

I’m glad to be doing anything else than trying to sort through what’s going on in the Kavanaugh hearings. Back when the Democrats had Reid and Kennedy they knew how to put a thin veneer of apparent sanity stop their crap. Now they don’t bother.

Bruce Hayden said...

“I'll say it again. Minimum 59 GOP seats after November.”

Maybe in a perfect world, but at least up here in MT, the Dem Senator running for re-election has been massively outspending his Republican opponent probably from the first of the year. Back then, it was the usual shots of Tester driving the family combine (likely footage from previous runs for election, since he is now probably too fat to get up there w/o a hoist). Since then, the ads are now hitting the Republican for raising insurance premiums as the Ins Commissioner, ignoring, of course, that they were caused by Obamacare that Tester voted for, and then voted against repealing. No doubt, other states with vulnerable Dem Senators are seeing similar amounts of money dumped in, almost all of which is coming from out of state (likely from both coasts, and esp CA and NY).

Sebastian said...

Ted Cruz vs. committee Dems: compare and contrast.

elkh1 said...

As leader of the #Resistance, Ginsburg should recuse herself on issues involving the Mueller investigation.

Ann Althouse said...

We need all the documents.

Hillary’s email, I mean.

Big Mike said...

@Bruce, if Trump comes to the state a couple times and campaigns hard against Tester, do you think it’ll make a difference?

MayBee said...

Ben Sasse just made the best opening statement and I want to marry him/

readering said...

More click bait from Althouse.

Francisco D said...

"Ben Sasse just made the best opening statement and I want to marry him"

It was excellent - something that young civics students should have as required viewing in order to understand the constitutional separation of powers and responsibilities.

He seemed to capture the room, which is even more amazing. He may be the youngest person on the committee, but he is showing the immature Democrats who the adult in the room is.

John Pickering said...

Ha ha ha, so many funny things for Ann to read in the Washington Post today! Did she happen to come across the piece about Bob Woodward's having written a book about the Trump white house?

Chief of Staff John Kelly has called Trump an idiot and also crazy:

“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown,” Kelly is quoted as saying at a staff meeting in his office. “I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”

Trump’s lawyer John Dowd has likewise called his client an idiot. Somewhat more audaciously, he has argued that Trump should not have to testify to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, because the transcript would leak, and foreign leaders would see that Trump is an idiot:

Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’”

Another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, tried to argue to Robert Mueller that Trump could not be asked to give an interview because he is a compulsive liar. They literally explained to Mueller how they conducted a mock interview with Trump, and he was so unable to tell the truth that they considered him mentally disqualified from testifying:

Jay Sekulow went to Mueller’s office and re-enacted the mock interview. Their goal: to argue that Trump couldn’t possibly testify because he was incapable of telling the truth.

“He just made something up. That’s his nature,” Dowd said to Mueller.

Ann has got to be laughing her head off at that kind of thing. The president is a comic genius! And so lovable!

Oh, and just noticing Ann's hilarious joke about Hillary's e-mails, chick really has got her clever hat buzzing today.

Browndog said...

As leader of the #Resistance, Ginsburg should recuse herself on issues involving the Mueller investigation.

If Mueller does something that requires SC intervention nothing will repair the damage to the nation.

Howard said...

Kavanaugh shoein the rest is noise only base lapdogs hear

Francisco D said...

It looks like Pickering got the DNC talking points memo. Of course, all the information is from journalists who "heard" this stuff from sources that they cannot divulge.

You lefties sure have a rich fantasy life.

Browndog said...

Grassley:

Hey, I totally lost control of this hearing, so no more rules or time limits. Free for all. I just hope the democrats kinda cooperate.

Browndog said...

Grassley let Blumenthal talk as long as he wants, now he's bashing Trump.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Prager stated this noon that the reason we are where we are as a society is the Liberal SC. The dems have not had to convince America on the merits of their agenda, and have used the lib courts to force it through, rather than legislate. They can avoid all the work by stacking the courts while in power, which is what, sixty plus years now?
Citing as an example, the redefinition of marriage, he claimed that could never be successfully wrought by legislation. Enter lib judges, and for the first time on the planet, marriage is between whatever and whatever. Whomever is speciesist.

Francisco D said...

"Grassley: Hey, I totally lost control of this hearing, so no more rules or time limits. Free for all. I just hope the democrats kinda cooperate."

He was my senator when I lived in Iowa. He always came across as a fair, genuine, and folksy sort of gentleman.

Grassley's kindly demeanor stands in contrast to the childish theatrics of the Democrats. If he were more controlling, they would use that as a complaint.

I think he will do just fine.

readering said...

Prager should be glad marriage gets redefined. It didn't used to include so much remarriage.

Browndog said...

I'm not impugning Grassley's character; just characterizing what happened at the hearing.

Ralph L said...

I think Grassley is giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

Browndog said...

What's the hurry? What are you trying to hide?

-Every Democrat, repeating Durbin mandated talking point for nightly news sound bites.

clint said...

Corey Booker: When I said you were complicit in evil, I didn't mean to suggest I don't respect the wonderful job you're doing in conducting these hearings...

Um...

Birkel said...

I do not think anybody watching this hearing will be moved toward the Democrat position.
Partisans are locked in.
The wide swath of potentially swayed voters will not see Democrats positively based on this nonsense.

Browndog said...

Odd, there is no photographic evidence of Kavanaugh's children being escorted out of the hearing by security. At least none that I and others can find.

There is a pic of the moment before, with Kavanaugh holding his daughter's hand.

Browndog said...

Kamala Harris is must-watch tv.

Wait until the Q&A, on track to start next month.

She's very likeable, like Hillary.

Jersey Fled said...

Corey Booker is an embarrassment to New Jersey.

Which is really saying something.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Democrats are presenting a Trojan donkey, but Republicans know their history.

Pianoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pianoman said...

Readering: "More click bait from Althouse."

Looks like the comments thread is up to 84, so clearly the only reason AA posted this is to pump up her Amazon sales numbers.

It's not like this is an important story, or anything like that.

stan said...

But will RBG recuse herself?

Ken B said...

I thought you liked boring. You want a boring president. You read Tom and Lorenzo. So boring per se isn’t the problem, it was how they were boring. Childish, posturing, attention seeking, vapid. An example of Insty's point: Trump exposes how lacking our elites institutions are in civic virtue and self discipline.

Caligula said...

I suppose it's heresy, but, the Constitution mandates only "advice and consent." It does not mandate "confirmation hearings."

So, get rid of them. Randomly select 100 questions from senators and another 100 from the public, ask the candidate to answer them (in writing) and then make the questions and answers public

Then take the confirmation vote.