President Trump loves sticking it to those who disagree with him: the media, Democrats, European allies, take your pick. It’s not enough to simply call the shots; Trump also rubs the noses of his opponents in his power, which has gone largely unchecked and unbalanced with Republicans in control of Congress.
With the nomination of federal judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice, Trump is now sticking it to the 65,844,610 Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton. He earned nearly three million fewer votes, but that doesn’t matter to the President. He thinks, wrongly, he has a clear mandate to take America to the extreme fringes of conservatism.
What’s troubling about Kavanaugh is that, if confirmed, five men will decide what’s best for women’s reproductive rights. A Catholic, Kavanaugh is on the record saying Roe v. Wade was a flawed decision. Abortion, he told the American Enterprise Institute last year, is not an “enumerated right” spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. That leaves little doubt how the jurist would rule in an abortion rights case that might come before him on the Supreme Court.
More troubling, however, are Kavanaugh’s views on the criminal investigation and indictment of a sitting president.
Writing in the Minnesota Law Review, he said, “a serious constitutional question exists regarding whether a President can be criminally indicted and tried while in office.”
That Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump will turn up criminality is almost a foregone conclusion. How else to explain Trump’s increasingly hysterical attacks on the probe? Having delivered 19 indictments and five guilty pleas in just over a year, Mueller recently expanded his team, such is the scope of what he is apparently discovering.
"Like civil suits, criminal investigations take the President's focus away from his or her responsibilities to the people,” continues Kavanaugh. “And a President who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as President.”
I can’t imagine Trump doing worse than he’s already done. He's effectively divided Americans by race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, added a trillion to the deficit, made irresponsible and inflammatory statements to our allies while embracing dictators like Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, and made D.C. far swampier, so I doubt Mueller’s investigation is having any negative impact on Trump’s administration.
Ah, but having a conservative a guy on SCOTUS who thinks that way might just do the trick if or when a criminal case against Trump finds its way before the nine justices.
“Congress might consider a law exempting a President — while in office — from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel... The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility,” Kavanaugh wrote.
Credibility? That ship sailed on January 20, 2017.
Kevin Foley owns KEF Media Associates, Inc., an Atlanta-based producer and distributor of electronic publicity. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.