A Lying Supreme Court Justice?

In the early 2000s, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was working to get then-President George W. Bush’s judicial nominations through Senate confirmation hearings. At that time Republican Senate aide Manuel Miranda hacked into files of the Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained confidential memos, letters, and talking points. Those materials were routed to Kavanaugh. While receiving such materials was not an offense, lying about them under oath is an impeachable offense.

As part of his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh was asked under oath whether he’d received such materials. On both occasions, in replies to Senator Orrin Hatch in 2004 and to Senator Ted Kennedy in 2006, Kavanaugh denied receiving the documents or ever having seen them.

Yet this past week, a series of emails revealed that Kavanaugh had in fact received such stolen documents. When Senator Leahy questioned Kavanaugh during the hearings this past week, Kavanaugh’s reply was that it was typical for him to be told what Democrats planned to ask at hearings involving controversial nominees, and that this was in fact the “coin of the realm.”

As a former Republican staffer, I can certainly attest to the fact that hacking into the files of Democrats was not an accepted practice, and if I’d even mentioned anything like that, my boss would have had me on the street in minutes. The staffer who wrote some of those stolen memos and talking points has also publicly said essentially the same thing.

Yet it appears as though the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are not only moving to confirm Kavanaugh, but have no interest at all in disciplining a man who’s lied at least twice under oath. In addition, the fact that he’s lied under oath suggests that anything he’s said during his hearings should be taken with a barrel of salt.

Unhappily, we’ve elected people who’ve consistently lied, but isn’t elevating someone like that to the Supreme Court a bit much… even for the Trump Administration? Or the Republicans in the Senate? But maybe they really like Kavanaugh’s previously stated position that a sitting President can’t be indicted for crimes. I can’t say it surprises me, but couldn’t they at least have found an honest conservative nominee?

4 thoughts on “A Lying Supreme Court Justice?”

  1. Tom says:

    A Poll reported tonight that 38% of people that were asked responded that they would indeed be proud to have President Trump as their leader. After all the evidence of who and what he is and has always been.

    I hope I do not have to say “What Blue Wave”? in December.

  2. Hanneke says:

    I’d guess there’s 2 reasons for that; 1) he has clearly said (before these hearings) that he will not support indicting a Republican president, nor does he think the president should have to even give information in Court proceedings, be subpoenad or suchlike.
    2) The corporate donors really want him on the Supreme Court, as he is the most extremely pro-corporate judge I’ve ever heard of. He’s the only judge (including appeals judges) to agree with a corporation that a truck driver not following company orders to freeze to death with his load in his broken down truck waiting for help in a snowstorm, instead leaving just long enough to refuel to keep the generator running, constituted a fireable offence.

  3. Frank says:

    I’m not a judge or a lawyer, and do not claim any knowledge of the law other than what a layman can read and interpret during the “normal course of business,” but it seems to me that the issue here regarding the high-jacked emails is (or should be) first of all factual: did the emails get illegally hacked and stolen? Were they routed to Kavanaugh? Did he know that they were illegally obtained? When he denied ever having seen them before (both times) was the denial absolute or was he claiming that he “couldn’t remember having seen them”?

    I think that the last point is important because it may or may not help interpret his “coin of the realm” reference.

    My points are that we need to be very careful about the facts…something both political parties and even some of the media seems to have gotten away from…the devil often being in the details. And my other point is that because a candidate is found to have committed some offence earlier in life, should they be automatically barred from this office? Personally, I think it depends on the offence. I think that if we insist on absolute perfection…we will get what we have, i.e., “plastic” elected officials…or real people who lied to appear perfect.

    I don’t like Kavanaugh’s purported political opinions, but, I think when LEM laments why “they couldn’t have at least found an honest conservative?” the point is that he seems to fail the test of what kind of person he is, not if he agrees with (my) politics.

    I remember when both Democrats and Republicans both at least appeared to require honesty first, and not just political agreement…of course I also remember $1 meals from McDonald’s “with change from your dollar” and when the term “the loyal opposition” was still in use.

    1. R. Hamilton says:

      The British have a monarch that’s theoretically above politics; thus, someone for the opposition to be loyal to.

      We once had the Constitution (and as a “living document”, mainly in the sense of occasionally amending it as allowed for) and the rule of law (theoretically, rather than the rule of a ruler).

      Clearly both sides have fallen (although we were never as perfect as some would like to think, and probably not nearly as bad, except in certain ways, as others think; and the left was NOT in the lead in changing the worst of those). Although I tend to think that the notion that balance may be obtained by pretending both sides are equally bad is artificial at best: for all that Trump may offend many, the left’s lack of anything but the poor choice between over-the-top pervasive propaganda or moving ever further to extremes, offers little alternative for many that are not enamored of those extremes .

      BOTH sides should welcome their supporters and everyone else holding them accountable.

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