“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh”
Friday, October 5, 2018
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine intends to vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Sen. Collins is number 50, saying “YES”.
But today we have come to the conclusion of a confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional it looks more like a caricature of a gutter-level political campaign than a solemn occasion.
The President nominated Brett Kavanaugh on July 9th. Within moments of that announcement, special interest groups raced to be the first to oppose him, including one organization that didn’t even bother to fill in the Judge’s name on its pre-written press release – they simply wrote that they opposed “Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States.” A number of Senators joined the race to announce their opposition, but they were beaten to the punch by one of our colleagues who actually announced opposition before the nominee’s identity was even known.
Since that time, we have seen special interest groups whip their followers into a frenzy by spreading misrepresentations and outright falsehoods about Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record. Over-the-top rhetoric and distortions of his record and testimony at his first hearing produced short-lived headlines which, although debunked hours later, continue to live on and be spread through social media. Interest groups have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination.
Our Supreme Court confirmation process has been in steady decline for more than thirty years. One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom.
Against this backdrop, it is up to each individual Senator to decide what the Constitution’s “advice and consent” duty means. Informed by Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 76, I have interpreted this to mean that the President has broad discretion to consider a nominee’s philosophy, whereas my duty as a Senator is to focus on the nominee’s qualifications as long as that nominee’s philosophy is within the mainstream of judicial thought.
Senator Collins defended Judge Kavanaugh’s record saying that Kavanaugh ought to be given the presumption of innocence and fairness.
“We must always remember that when passions are most inflamed, that fairness is most in jeopardy,” she said.