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Question time: Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing

EDITORIAL
September 03. 2018 9:40PM




The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin its confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh this morning.

Don’t expect much.

The first day will likely be taken up with introductions and opening statements. This “vapid and hollow charade,” as future-Justice Elena Kagan described the hearing in 1995, is more about senators putting on a show than with extracting any useful information from the nominee.

Indeed, the judges picked for the Supreme Court have been well-trained to avoid meaningful answers, as commenting on potential cases would be inappropriate.

So instead we’ll hear from Republicans lobbing softballs for Kavanaugh to crush, and Democrats trying to tie the nominee to every moral, ethical, and legal failing of the Trump administration. They’ve even dragged John Dean out of retirement so he can sing from the “Worse than Watergate” songbook.

Kavanaugh is an accomplished conservative judge, well within the legal mainstream. Democrats have every right to oppose him, out of spite over Merrick Garland, in general opposition to Trump, or just because they disagree with his judicial philosophy.

Some may claim another pretext, such as the White House suppressing Kavanaugh’s seventh-grade book report, as a reason to delay his confirmation. We disagree. The Senate should get through this charade, and bring the nomination to the floor.


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