Kavanaugh Confirmed: Now What?
Just last week, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the nation’s highest court. Unfortunately, it is impossible to quickly move on from the tumultuous hearings. The confirmation process for a Supreme Court Justice has always been stressful, extensive, and thorough, but this has changed the process forever. Partisan squabbling has reached new heights in Washington D.C., providing a distraction from the more pressing tasks at hand. The Democratic Party was out to exact political revenge for the Merrick Garland nomination and to resist President Trump. The allegation from Dr. Ford and others were just a convenient method to delay and stall Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Moving forward, the issue is that the party is divided. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are seemingly ready to move on and focus on winning in the midterms. Members of the House, led by Pelosi, are seeking a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents relating to the FBI investigation on Kavanaugh. Other are blaming the famous attorney, Michael Avenatti, for pushing allegations that were too extreme to believe. They argue that he helped push Kavanaugh across the finish line. Dr. Ford has herself moved on from the proceedings, stating that she will not continue to press charges.
The midterms still loom ahead for both sides. Some Democrats such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler, have suggested that they will attempt to impeach Justice Kavanaugh should they take back the House next month. The chances of such a proposal being put into action are still slim as many of the party’s more moderates representatives would cool such a notion. At the very least, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee succeeded in damaging Kavanaugh’s reputation. He will not be able to serve on the court without a cloud of suspicion. They have successfully smeared his name. Worse still, it is unclear who is lying. It is impossible to ever confirm that either Dr. Ford or Kavanaugh were lying. Ford came forward with an emotional and traumatizing story that takes great courage to tell, while Kavanaugh gave a passionate defense.
The culture of American politics is continuing to change. Or is it? There was a time a little over a decade ago when partisan squabbling was put aside. After 9/11, the nation was forced to put differences aside to combat the emerging threat of terrorism. Currently, the nation is fortunate to have the time to create a politically toxic environment. However, it may not be as easy for the U.S. to recover from the self-inflicted harm. Public approval ratings of Congress and the President are at record lows, while only the military remains somewhat credible. Even the intelligence agencies have come under fire in the recent years. Whether it has been the NSA illegally spying on American citizens or the FBI allowing agents such as Peter Strozk to remain employed.
The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh were only the beginning. However, the hearings did have a significant impact on the opinion of voters in key states. In Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, and New Jersey, the process itself was a strong motivator for voting in November. Since Texas and Tennessee are generally more conservative, most voters wanted to confirm him, while Arizona was split, and most were against him in New Jersey. The opposition party usually tends to do better in midterm elections, but nothing is certain. It is only known that the outcome of the elections will drastically shape the future of the nation’s political landscape.