The circus surrounding the confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to take a seat at the Supreme Court has made for an intense summer. The last-minute accusations will be sorted out and should be, but the reason that this appointment is so important stems from a fundamental breakdown in the separation of powers. For too long, activists have avoided bringing their extremist desires to the voters for review and instead have tried to ride roughshod over the American people.
But in the last election, the future of the Supreme Court took center stage, in part because the pro-life generation knows that court appointments matter. Given the ”Spartacus” gauntlet and political gamesmanship that has taken place, I wonder if it’s because the courts in recent years seem more populated with reasoned thinkers rather than theatrical politicians of all political persuasions.
A 2014 Harvard University poll found Millennials and younger Americans view the Supreme Court more positively than the other branches of government. A Gallup July poll found that 53 percent of Americans approved of their Supreme Court, even after some controversial rulings.
One reason may be the concept of the rule of law itself, which provides the possibility of reliable protections for those who are vulnerable. Unlike technology, trends or even fashion that can change in the blink of an eye, the law and courts can provide the sense of a stable foundation. It’s one of the reason activist judges are so troubling, as a few people may arbitrarily impose their will on the nation.
And given abortion activists’ misuse of the courts to impose their will, the influence of judges on our culture impacts us all.
While Democrats tried to smear Kavanaugh during the initial hearings with a Scarlet-T, for Trump, the judge’s calm demeanor at that point in the process carried the day and the accusations and theatrics fell short. In late July, a number of polls found consistent support for Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
That might not be the case right now, but while the proverbial jury is still out on how the public views the current state of the nomination, the fact is the stakes are so high because court appointees spend years shaping policy, far beyond the careers of those who nominate them.
Let’s be clear. Democrats are fighting this nomination, pledging to oppose and shut down the process because their preferred president didn’t make the pick and because they want to keep the issue of abortion away from the voters. Half of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee pledged to oppose this nominee before the hearings began. Democratic party leaders talk about the Kavanaugh confirmation as a midterm election issue.
Case in point: Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the LA Times announced her decision to vote no on Kavanaugh already, saying one reason was “his hostility toward Roe vs. Wade.”
This nomination is not over. On Monday, an Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearing 2.0 could be on full display if Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexual misconduct while they were in high school, will go before the Senate Judiciary committee. It’s appropriate for this to be public given the public, nature of the accusations.
Kavanaugh has a right to confront his accuser and to address the kind of charges made about what might have happened in high school 36 years ago. It’s important to carefully address charges of sexual misconduct. It’s also important to remember that people deserve a presumption of innocence.
This summer, pro-life supporters rallied in states key to this confirmation because we at Students for Life of America know how important the courts are to the human rights issue of our day — abortion. We need judges committed to following the law rather than their personal whims or political allies. And the pro-life advocates will be watching whether the process goes forward fairly, or whether blind support for abortion will continue to add to the manufactured drama.