On Friday, September 28, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to move the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Senate floor for a vote. Just before the vote, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) bowed to Democrat concerns, indicating he will urge that the Senate hold off on its vote (for a week or less) until the FBI has time to further investigate the various charges brought forth during the hearing. By late Friday afternoon, Republican leaders in the Senate agreed to seek an additional FBI background investigation and before the end of the day, President Trump issued the order triggering it.
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings had been roiled by a series of lurid, last-minute, uncorroborated allegations of criminal misconduct against Kavanaugh which were purported to have occurred during his high school and college years. The testimony of an alleged Kavanaugh victim, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, put a credible and sympathetic face on the allegations.
In the end, Kavanaugh vigorously denied all the charges leveled against him and effectively defended his honor and integrity and potentially saved his nomination. Holding back tears and anger, Kavanaugh told Democrats on the committee that they were mounting a “coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family,” and called his confirmation process a “national disgrace.” He vehemently told the committee, “I am innocent of this charge.”
The hyper-partisanship on display during the last day of hearings was so intense that both sides were visibly and verbally angry with each other. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called out Democratic senators, saying, “this is the most unethical sham [I’ve seen] since I’ve been in politics . . . Boy, you all want power. I hope you never get it,” Graham said. “I hope the American people can see through this sham.”
In a July press release, Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life stated, “D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent jurist, who understands that the role of judiciary is to interpret the law, not make the law . . . Unfortunately, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has already signaled that she would rather cave to pressure from the abortion lobby rather than give Judge Kavanaugh due consideration based upon his experience and qualifications . . . Senator Baldwin will be held accountable for her actions during this confirmation process by Wisconsin Right to Life and our grassroots supporters.”
Last Friday’s frenzied, blistering and impassioned final day of hearings is only the first stop along the way to Kavanaugh’s seat on the high court. The next involves at least one more week of delay: Waiting on the FBI to conduct interviews and produce a report. Perhaps after that, the Kavanaugh nomination will finally receive a vote by the full Senate. And God-willing, he will be confirmed.