A marred confirmation hearing that has embarrassed us all

The hearing involving Judge Kavanaugh has provided the American public with a firsthand glimpse of the confirmation process in action.  While the hearing was supposed to provide the senators with an opportunity to question Judge Kavanaugh about his thoughts on different issues (some have done this), it has (so far) been marred by childish and partisan conduct embarrassing for the participants and the country as a whole.

"In past hearings, the questions have centered around the nominee's legal qualifications, decisions as a judge, positions on political issues, interpretations of the Constitution, general legal philosophy and current legal controversies."  These are all legitimate areas of inquiry, given the important and precedent-setting cases decided by the Supreme Court. 

On this occasion, precedent and history took a back seat.  While most senators posed tough yet fair questions, others were less than cordial. However, it wasn't necessarily the scope of the questions that cast a shadow over the hearing.  Judge Kavanaugh handled those with grace and relative ease.  Rather, it was the fact that some Democrats engaged in seemingly pre-arranged and childish behavior for the specific purpose of disrupting the hearing, delaying Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation, and garnering support among their strongest supporters.

There are many things to be embarrassed about regarding this disrespectful, disruptive, and childish behavior.  

1. Kamala Harris immediately and seemingly intentionally interrupted Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley when he first tried to deliver opening remarks at Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.  By way of reminder, Harris previously called president Trump's list of potential picks "non-starters," stating, "They are conservative ideologues, not mainstream jurists.  We cannot and will not accept them to serve on the highest court in the land."

2. A coalition of groups opposing Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination urged protesters to travel from throughout the U.S. to disrupt his Senate confirmation hearings this week.  These protesters shouted, screamed, and engaged in conduct that has no place at a hearing of this nature.

3. Some of the protesters were paid in cash to disrupt the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing.  According to Dr. Tom Schlueter

One thing was there were people who had come along... who had a bag of money, and people would hand them a piece of paper, and then they would give them money. So we know money was exchanged for some of the people to be here, just to protest.

There was no depth to what their understanding, they were just here to be a disruption, protesters. They were actually told, we heard them say this, 'when you go in, we want you to yell, to scream, and even possibly to get arrested.' So that was some of the processes we saw happening[.]

4. Some of the protestors made the confirmation hearing so unbearable that Judge Kavanaugh's young daughters had to be escorted out.  Judge Kavanaugh's parents were also visibly upset by the vulgar shouts of the protesters.

5. Some senators, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), approved of the protests.  "What we heard was the noise of democracy," Durbin said, according to the Daily Mail.  "This is what we hear when free people stand up to speak.  It's not mob rule."  With all due respect to Senator Durbin, there is an appropriate time, place, and manner to protest.  Protests should not happen in the same room where the hearing is taking place.

6. Some Democrats decided to object to any Trump nominee for the high court, no matter whom the president selects.  "Some Democrats said they don't have to wait for President Trump to pick a Supreme Court nominee – they're voting 'No' regardless of who he names."

This type of behavior is unacceptable and reflects poorly on the entire Senate, Congress, our system of government, and our nation.  As elected officials, members of the government serve the people.  We expect them to conduct themselves with dignity, civility, and self-respect.

It is clear that some people object to Judge Kavanaugh's nomination and do not want to see him confirmed.  Notwithstanding these objections, and given the current make-up of the Senate, there is little they can do to stop his confirmation.  When the dust settles, and the hearing is over, the responsible parties will have to deal with the consequences of their decisions, which embarrassed the nation, made a mockery of the confirmation process, and quite possibly cost their party votes come November.

Mr. Hakim is a writer and a practicing attorney.  His articles have been published in The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Western Journal, American Thinker, World Net Daily, the Sun-Sentinel, and other online publications.   


Twitter: @Elad3599

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