In a shocking move, the God-King nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court … a judge who said the God-King should be immune from investigations. (More)
No one expected that the God-King would act in blatant self-interest, as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) noted:
Ever mindful of his self-interest, Trump has picked Brett Kavanaugh, who once wrote that he didn’t believe a sitting President should be subject to criminal investigation or prosecution.
Kavanaugh could be deciding vote on legal challenges to the Mueller investigation. pic.twitter.com/1b28UHharc
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 10, 2018
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) July 10, 2018
Alan Dershowitz to @GStephanopoulos: "You cannot question a president's motives when the president acts. If a president pardons, that's it. If a president fires, that's it. You can't go beyond an act and get into his motive or into his intent." #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/8x6F3KjVM6
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) July 8, 2018
And if a president nominates a Supreme Court justice who will cover his legal ass, “You can’t go beyond an act and get into his motive or into his intent.”
After graduating from Yale College in 1987 and Yale Law School in 1990, Kavanaugh spent two years as a law clerk, for Judge Walter Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He followed a one-year fellowship in the office of U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr with a clerkship for Justice Anthony Kennedy during October Term 1993. Kavanaugh went on to join Starr at the Office of the Independent Counsel, where Kavanaugh led the investigation into the death of Vince Foster, an aide to President Bill Clinton, and helped write the 1998 Starr Report to Congress, which outlined 11 grounds for Clinton’s impeachment.
He claims his flip-flop on investigating presidents is a matter of “learning from our mistakes.” But I don’t trust that for a moment. When a Democrat again occupies the White House, I’m sure Kavanaugh will “learn from his mistakes” again and decide that yes, we really do need investigations of presidents. Because no one should be above the law. Or something.
One final thought: I think Trump has handed Senate Democrats an absolute gift in nominating the principal author of the Starr report, that the confirmation fight will be excruciating for the President, and that he will ultimately regret this decision.
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) July 10, 2018
Correction per actual Starr report expert @benjaminwittes: Principal author was Stephen Bates, Kavanaugh wrote the legal arguments. The point still stands.
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) July 10, 2018
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee can and should hammer that, repeatedly. I suggest questions like this:
SENATOR: Judge Kavanaugh, you have been nominated by a president who is under investigation by a special counsel for possible ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. By a president who also faces lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct as well as fraud, and using his office to enrich himself and his family. You’ve written that a president should be immune from lawsuits and investigations while in office. Won’t your nomination – by this president – present a clear conflict of interest when these cases reach the Supreme Court?
Let’s be clear. Senate Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in the Gorsuch hearings, so Senate Democrats do not have enough votes to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But Senate Democrats can make the confirmation hearings loud, long, and messy … and they should. Maybe, just maybe, public opinion will swing enough to convince Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to say “No.” But I’m not holding my breath.
Oh, and it turns out Kavanaugh is also yet another religious zealot:
Whether you agree with him or not — and many liberals do not — Judge Kavanaugh has been a steadfast and fearless supporter of religious liberty for decades. When he was in private practice in the 1990s, he chaired the Federalist Society’s Religious Liberty practice group and worked pro bono on cases defending religious freedom. He wrote pro bono amicus briefs defending religious believers in high-profile Supreme Court cases. He represented a synagogue pro bono in a local zoning dispute. He advocated for the selection of judges who protect religious liberty. And as a judge himself, his record of defending religious liberty is unparalleled. His dissenting opinion in Priests for Life v. HHS, where he concluded that the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate violated the rights of religious organizations, was called “pure perfection” by one of the lawyers challenging the mandate.
By “religious liberty,” of course, they mean the “freedom” to impose one’s own religious beliefs on others. So somewhere down the road, we can look forward to a Supreme Court opinion like this:
Pious, Inc. v. Marcotte, et. al.
HISTORY: The petitioner is a business in California, where the respondents were employed. In May of 2019, the business owner walked into the company break room and heard the respondents discussing their birth control choices. The owner declared: “I will not have wanton sluts working here! You’re all fired!” and ordered security to escort them from the building.
The respondents filed an EEOC complaint and a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination on the basis of sex under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The EEOC found grounds for their lawsuit to continue, and the trial court found that the owner’s comments and actions were illegal discrimination. The petitioner appealed and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the trial court decision. We granted the owner’s petition for certiorari.
KAVANAUGH, J., for the majority:
Both the trial court and the Ninth Circuit found discrimination on the basis of “sex,” but textual analysis leaves no doubt that the word “sex” refers in Title VII to biological identity, that is, whether an employee is male or female. The petitioner did not criticize or fire the respondents because they were female, that is, due to their “sex” under the public meaning of Title VII when it was enacted.
Instead, the petitioner criticized the respondents sexual behavior, and sexual behavior is not covered by the language of Title VII.
As the petitioner testified at trial, he is a devout Christian who sincerely believes that sex is reserved solely for marriage and should always include the possibility of procreation. Requiring him to employ people who use birth control would violate his sincerely held religious convictions, in violation of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The respondents argue that they, too, have sincere religious beliefs, and their beliefs allow and indeed encourage the use of birth control for responsible family planning. They may indeed hold such beliefs, but their beliefs are irrelevant. This case is about an employer’s religious freedom, as it is his rights which stand imperiled. Were he compelled to reinstate them with back pay, as the trial court ordered, then government would be forcing his business to subsidize – through wages and other employment benefits – sexual behavior that he finds morally abhorrent. Such an offense to the First Amendment cannot stand.
The respondents also argue that the owner’s use of the phrase “wanton sluts” was sex-based harassment under the “hostile working environment” standard. We disagree on three grounds:
First, both men and women work as prostitutes, so “slut” does not exclusively target women.
Second, while the petitioner’s phrase “wanton sluts” may have been indelicate, it was no more ill-considered than the respondents discussing their sexual hijinks in the workplace.
Finally, and dispositively, the respondents lack standing to claim a “hostile working environment” because they no longer work for the petitioner.
For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the Ninth Circuit decision and direct them to remand the case to the trial court, with instructions to dismiss the respondents’ lawsuit with prejudice.
Hyperbole? Yeah, maybe a little.
Or maybe not….
Image Credits — Photo: Evan Vucci (AP); Comic transform: Crissie Brown (BPICampus.com)
Good day and good nuts