Above Photo: Rajbir Singh/Flickr
I agree with Ralph Nader that too often we do not put Supreme Court nominees in the context of corporatism, i.e. will they represent the people’s interest before corporate interests? Will they protect the planet even if it threatens corporate profit?
What I have found disturbing thus far in the Kavanaugh hearings are the allegations of perjury and the secrecy of withholding tens of thousands of documents. How can the Senate do its job if they cannot see documents relevant to reviewing Kavanaugh’s characters, legal views and political ties? A hearing with such secrecy is a sham hearing. They are hiding documents because they will undermine his confirmation. He is wrong on many controversial issues but it seems obvious the Republicans and White House do not want Senators to see his true views.
Lisa Graves, who wrote some of the stolen documents in question, clarifies the perjury allegation in an article that concludes Kavanaugh should be impeached not elevated writing “Kavanaugh should be removed because he was repeatedly asked under oath as part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about whether he had received such information from Miranda, and each time he falsely denied it.”
This is made worse by indications that Kavanaugh has lied to the committees that have reviewed his nominations. Hill Reporter describes how a complaint for perjury has been filed by Democratic Party-aligned groups and it will be heard by President Obama’s nominee, , who did not get a hearing because Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked it. They report:
“The Democratic Coalition, in their initial complaint, alleges that Kavanaugh’s testimony, not only in this hearing but in other testimony before Congress, includes false statements about certain documents said to be stolen from Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The complaint will now be heard by none other than Merrick Garland — President Obama’s pick for SCOTUS, who was denied a hearing.”
The Reporter further describes the complaint filed by the Democratic Coalition, records show that Kavanaugh received an email from Manuel Miranda in 2002 referencing the stolen documents and asking Kavanaugh, then a White House lawyer, to take no action in the matter. The Democratic Coalition released a statement and said it would file a judicial ethics complaint on Monday — which would be filed with the D.C. Circuit Court — to be reviewed by Judge Merrick Garland, who is the Chief Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Above the Law has taken this issue further and argued that with the perjury that is being discovered in these hearings, Kavanaugh should be impeached from the DC Circuit Court. This needs to be investigated further and resolved before this nomination can proceed. It would be a bizarre twist of fate, if a nominee accused of the crime of suborning perjury were considered for the highest court in the United States. In the last week, for the first time, mainstream pollsters have predicted the possibility that the Democrats might take control of the Senate after November. So the rush to confirmation by Mitch McConnell is an understandable effort to get through an extreme corporate conservative out of fear of losing the majority needed to confirm justices and judges. McConnell already changed the rules so only 51 one votes were required, when not long ago 60 were required, but to ignore legitimate questions of perjury seems like it should even too much for the Republican Party.
Elie Mystal, the Executive Editor of Above the Law and the Legal Editor for More Perfect recommends the Senate confirmation be stopped and the House of Representatives vote on impeachment, writing:
“We should have a House vote on the impeachment of Kavanaugh from the D.C. Circuit before we have a Senate vote on his confirmation. Each House member running for reelection this fall should be asked to vote on whether a member of the Court of Appeals can lie to Congress and still have his job.”
The next chapter may be Members of the House of Representatives filing Articles of Impeachment against Brett Kavanaugh to remove him from the DC Circuit, and if the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, allows them to be considered.
Progressive Review points to five things we know about Brett Kavanaugh that show his extremist thinking and what could become extremist jurisprudence:
1. He has not committed to uphold Roe v. Wade, and, if appointed to the Supreme Court, he would likely be the decisive vote that would undermine the right to safe and legal abortion.
2. He refers to birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs” and believes that employers have the right to exclude birth control from health insurance plans.
3. He has gone further than the Supreme Court and written that assault weapons and high-capacity magazines cannot be banned under the Second Amendment.
4. He believes that a sitting president should never be indicted, and he refuses to answer even basic questions about presidential authority, such as whether or not a president can pardon him or herself.
5. He has flat-out refused to recuse himself should any of the president’s civil or criminal investigations reach the Supreme Court.
Observers say that confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become President Trump’s second pick for a lifetime job on the Supreme Court will make the Court more conservative. It is more accurate to say Kavanaugh will make the Court more corporatist.
With Kavanaugh, it is all about siding with corporations over workers, consumers, patients, motorists, the poor, minority voters, and beleaguered communities.
Repeatedly Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions put corporate interests ahead of the common good—backing the powerful against the weak, the vulnerable, and the defenseless.
Apart from his declared views pouring power and immunity into the Presidency (which is why Trump wants him), Kavanaugh could be the most corporate judge in modern American history. Two meticulous reports on his judicial decisions, one by the Alliance for Justice(AFJ) and one by Public Citizen demonstrate that for him it’s all about corporations uber alles.
Here is AFJ’s summary:
Kavanaugh has repeatedly ruled against efforts to combat climate change and the regulation of greenhouse gases. He also repeatedly ruled against protections for clean air. He has repeatedly sided with the wealthy and the powerful over all Americans. He has fought consumer protections in the areas of automobile safety, financial services, and a free and open internet. Kavanaugh has also repeatedly ruled against workers, workplace protections and safety regulations.
Do you want him to be on the Supreme Court?
Kavanaugh is a corporate supremacist to a fanatic level of protecting corporate cruelty and greed. Giving him an unaccountable lifetime position on the Court will weaken our democracy and empower the corporate state.
What will he do when cases involve robots harming workers or consumers; corporate algorithms corkscrewing consumers; corporations turning the governments against their citizens; and corporate criminals being bailed out by taxpayers?
Fortunately, Kavanaugh gives us more than a clue from his many judicial decisions and dissents, especially with healthcare cases coming before the Court. Public Citizen’s factually-based report on Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions in split-decision cases provides insight into his judicial philosophy.
He ruled 15 times against worker rights, 2 times for worker rights. On environmental protection, he ruled 11 times for business interests and 2 times for the public’s interest. On consumer and regulatory cases, he ruled 18 times for businesses and 4 times for consumer protection interests. In the area of antitrust or anti-monopoly, he ruled 2 times for the corporations and zero times for market competition.
He seems to love government power when it is arrayed against the people, ruling 7 times for police or human rights abuses versus zero rulings for the victims. But he rules against government agencies when they are protecting the interests of the people over those of corporations.
Even more extreme, he does not like human beings to sue corporations or sue the government. But if you are a corporation, the courthouse doors are always open.
Kavanaugh rules like he is a corporation masquerading as a human. But in his introductory statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he wanted us to see him a regular guy, weirdly remembering the row and seat number at two professional sports games his father took him to as a child and listing all the names of his sixth grade daughter’s basketball team.
Shame on Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) for severely restricting the voices from civil society allowed to testify before the Judiciary Committee. No wonder Code Pink had to protest from the galleries.
Watch out for a cruel man with a folksy smile. Watch once again the Democratic Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee minimizing Kavanaugh’s bias for corporations— except for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Given the lives, injuries, and sickness at stake; given the dictatorially approved taxpayer-funded corporate welfare and bloated corporate contracts with governments draining the peoples’ necessities, given Kavanaugh’s mindless support for corporate dollars corruptly buying elections, maybe the motto against this awful nomination should be “Kavana-ugh!”