For Senator Collins, the question whether to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is simple
Some people have suggested the upcoming vote on whether or not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a United States Supreme Court Justice will be one of the most difficult Senator Susan Collins will take in her career and that the pressure couldn’t be higher.
On the contrary the decision should be pretty easy once all the available evidence is in and it boils down to a simple question: Is Brett Kavanaugh fit to serve a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land?
To me the answer is clearly no -- and I say this as someone who supported President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court bench and Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA. Elections have consequences and those qualified for a position should be confirmed -- their contrary views to mine on important issues notwithstanding.
In my 20 plus years of litigating cases before federal judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents never have I witnessed such a display of political bias or hysterical and angry temperament as I did last Thursday. Judge Kavanaugh’s tirade was unbecoming of the office he aspires to represent. His appointment to the bench threatens the integrity of the institution.
Judge Kavanaugh’s treatment of the senators on the committee was a shocking display of machismo and arrogance and his cavalier juggling of the facts offensive. I fear for the litigants seeking justice before him. That a jurist would so heavily rely on weak, lawyer-written hearsay that clearly would not be admissible in a court of law as “evidence” of his innocence is suspect and his shouting down those he suspects of a political conspiracy alarming. His churlish sneers and interruptions were telling of a man who lacks control.
Judge Kavanaugh appeared petulant and self-absorbed — choking up over what a swell guy he was drinking beer. He was also unreasonably combative and refused to answer questions of senators yet willingly appeared on FOX News as some sort of virgin justice — none of this in keeping with the solemnity, dignity and decorum of the federal judiciary.
Senator Collins has no political debt to her Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate and certainly is not compelled to be a “team player” when it comes to Kavanaugh. She is a free agent and can vote her conscious on the merits of the nomination, perhaps an unintended consequence of Mitch McConnell’s betrayal of trust preceding the vote on President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax bill in 2017 that will bring little economic reward to the vast majority of Maine people and will add billions to the federal deficit.
McConnell promised Collins that in exchange for her support of President Trump’s tax cut legislation -- that included the elimination of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act -- two of her bills intended to shore up the ACA and mitigate harm would “certainly” be passed, but that promise was broken.
Likewise Senator Collins owes nothing to President Trump — who has brought disgrace and chaos to the office of the president — or to the far left trying to coerce her vote with threats of political retribution and worse.
When you are conscientious it’s not hard to vote your conscience. It’s hard not to. For all the commotion and hysteria surrounding this confirmation process the issue is simple. If Brett Kavanaugh is found to be unfit to serve as a United States Supreme Court Justice because he lacks the candor, objectiveness and temperament required of the office, Senator Collins should vote no and sleep soundly.