The ceremonial swearing-in tonight of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh is icing on the PR cake for Donald Trump, who told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Oct 6 that he was personally responsible for the Senate’s confirmation vote. Take a bow, Donald. Oh wait, he already did.
During his phone call to the “Justice with Jeanine” program,” Trump said Kavanaugh's confirmation only begain to sail through the Judiciary Committee, after the tweeter-in-chief mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, at a campaign rally in Mississippi.
While Trump takes a victory lap, tonight's celebration of Kavanaugh is rubbing salt into the wound of the majority of Americans who opposed his nomination.
The Financial Times and The Economist ran hard-edged editorials about the political carnage left in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings.
The FT editorialized that Kavanaugh’s ascent marks a new low in American politics and the crisis of its public institutions.
Regardless of the truth of Ford’s charges, Kavanaugh showed nothing but contempt for the process, according to the FT.
“Instead of seeking vindication through a credible inquiry, he denounced the charges as an act of revenge by the Clintons…..The nominee’s testimony, which sounded like an audition for political martyrdom, was enough to quell Mr. Trump’s doubts of his ability to hit back,” said the editorial called “The US Republic’s Moment of Truth.”
The Economist worries that the repercussions of the Kavanaugh hearings will be felt for years to come.
It noted that Kavanaugh “dispensed with the mild neutrality offered by most nominees, and launched instead into an intemperate diatribe, treating Democratic senators with contempt.”
Kavanaugh’s “performance was sufficiently inflammatory," he had to use an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal to apologize and promise to be “independent” and “impartial.”
It was too little, too late.
The FT notes that critics expect Kavanaugh to emerge as a “be-robed hatchet man incapable of hearing cases in a fair or impartial manner.”
It fears the Supreme Court will sink “into the toxic partisanship that has engulfed the other two branches of government.”
Kavanaugh will judge cases involving climate change, gay marriage, money in politics, women’s right to abortions, limits on gun ownership, voter suppression and gerrymandering.
The media are spending a lot of time weighing the impact of the Kavanaugh hearings on the mid-term elections.
Will energized Democrats take control of the House? Will Republicans pick off a number of Red State Democrats to tighten their grip on the Senate?
Both questions may be moot.
Control of the Supreme Court is (and always was) the No. 1 priority of conservatives. Trump delivered the goods. He may get a chance at another Supreme Court confirmation battle.