Justice wept by @BloggersRUs

Justice wept

by Tom Sullivan

To believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is mistaken about being assaulted as a teenager by Brett Kavanaugh is to insist she is mistaken about both Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. She named both as attackers in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Let that sink in.

The FBI interviewed neither man.

Republicans in the Senate hope this weekend to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime seat on the United States Supreme Court. This, after his public temper tantrum even longtime friends acknowledge was disqualifying regardless of the accuracy of Ford's recollection.

A reluctant Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of Lawfare and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explains his opposition in The Atlantic, "The Brett Kavanaugh who showed up to Thursday’s hearing [10/27] is a man I have never met whom I have never even caught a glimpse of in 20 years of knowing the person who showed up to the first hearing."

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens concurs. Stevens, 98 and a Republican, has lauded Kavanaugh in the past, but found Kavanaugh's behavior in last week's hearing unbefitting a Supreme Court justice.

Kavanaugh, Stevens said, “has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential (litigation) before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities,” adding, “It’s not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job.”

Even a clutch of Kavanaugh's former Yale drinking buddies agree lies they believe he told under oath are disqualifying. "Honesty is the glue that holds together a society of laws," they write. "Lies are the solvent that dissolves those bonds."

Yet half the members of the United States Senate are nonetheless hell-bent on appointing Kavanaugh in "an act of rank tribalism."

This confirmation process has been as tumultuous as the one for the previous Republican nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was not. Certainly, far less fraught than the hearings for Obama nominee Merrick Garland that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ensured never happened.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, every Supreme Court ruling for a generation will carry a Mark McGwire-like asterisk questioning its validity and that of the court. It is enough to make Lady Justice weep beneath her blindfold.

Meant to symbolize the impartiality of justice, that blindfold this morning represents the willful blindness of Republican senators and a conservative base consumed by tribalism and "weaponized misogyny." They mean to install on the high court a man who cut his political teeth as partisan attack dog and who bared them in a freakish tirade to committee Democrats who dared question him about his past.

America indeed seems to be tearing itself asunder emotionally and politically while violating norms of decency it once preached to the rest of the world.

But even on this dark Friday there are glimmers of light:

On Thursday, the day the Rev. William Barber Jr. was awarded a $625,000 “genius grant,” Barber was hard to reach, because he was being arrested. Which is related to why the North Carolina preacher was given one of the rare MacArthur Foundation awards.

Barber, 55, is one of the country’s best-known public advocates fighting racism and poverty, known for successfully organizing tens of thousands of people in marches and other nonviolent acts of civil disobedience around the country. On Thursday, as MacArthur was announcing that Barber was among 25 people “on the precipice of great discovery or a game-changing idea,” Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign was tweeting about his arrest.

“I’ve just been arrested in Chicago, and I’m waiting on their process,” he said in a call to the Raleigh News & Observer. “For minimum wage, in front of McDonald’s headquarters.”

The powerless have more power than they know and advocates the powerful need fear.

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