A Democrat Casts the Deciding Vote for Kavanaugh

The Senate just voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and Democrat Joe Manchin cast the 50th vote.

Ever worse, the Democrats knew about Dr. Ford’s sexual assault months ago. If they had privately told the Trump administration in July, Kavanaugh would never have been nominated and Ford would never have been forced to testify. Instead they sat on the information and now Kavanaugh is heading to the Supreme Court.

The Democrats have helped the Republicans stage the corporate takeover of our judiciary at every step. Obama stood by without a fight for an entire year while the Republicans denied his last Supreme Court nominee a hearing. Then the Democrats left dozens of judicial seats vacant for Trump on their way out of the White House.

Just this August, the same #Resistance Democrats that showed so much righteous indignation toward Kavanaugh agreed to fast-track the confirmation of 15 Trump judges to lifetime federal court appointments. Every single Democratic senator went along.

Even as he continued to denounce Kavanaugh as a threat to women, DNC Chair Tom Perez said that his party would stand behind any Democrat who votes for Kavanaugh. Chuck Schumer gave the full Democratic Senate caucus permission to vote for Kavanaugh, saying there would be no penalty for it. In fact the Democrats publicly said they were afraid of defeating Kavanaugh because it might anger Tea Party Republicans into voting against their most conservative senators: Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester and Joe Donnelly.

Kavanaugh will now rule with the conservative majority on issues (https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/09/politics/kavanaugh-on-the-issues/index.html) from abortion to affirmative action, from voting restrictions to racial profiling, from consumer protection to mass surveillance, from immigration to environmental regulations. And while the media was fixated on Kavanaugh, House Republicans passed a $3.8 trillion tax cut without so much as a shrug from the Democrats.

From the start, this was never going to be a fair process. It was an interview for one of the most important jobs in the land that turned into a show trial. Did Anita Hill get a fair hearing when Democrat Joe Biden was in charge of it in 1991? Even before Dr. Ford’s sexual assault revelations, Kavanaugh’s unwavering corporate allegiance and his lies under oath should have disqualified him instantly.

Supreme Court Justice is a tenured job that remarkably has no requirements: not by age, citizenship, education or experience. Who knew before this circus that you don’t need a law degree to sit on the highest court?

The only requirement that the establishment parties seem to agree on is “judicial temperament.” On that score, Kavanaugh failed miserably. Twenty-four hundred law professors  signed a letter of opposition, the ACLU broke precedent to reject him, and the National Council of Churches  made a rare show of dissent. Retired conservative Justice John Paul Stevens , under whom Kavanaugh clerked, even came out in opposition. Stevens had been friends with Kavanaugh.

The worst part though is that even if Kavanaugh had been defeated, an endless series of corporate nominees would have followed him. Even if the Republicans had handed the Democrats the nomination, it still would have been a Wall Street appointee like Obama’s Merrick Garland, who supported the Citizens United decision and its inundation of our politics in corporate cash.

Frantically scrambling to defeat one corporate judicial nominee after the next is not a winning strategy for the progressive movement. That’s how we got here. Instead we need to smash the two-party assembly line that delivers one Wall Street judge, or bill, or politician, after the other in perpetuity.

That’s why we’re building a people’s party. That’s why hundreds of labor and progressive organizers have joined our Labor-Community Campaign for an Independent Party with Socialist Organizer. That’s why Chris Hedges has joined the movement. That’s why we’re campaigning for Tim Canova. And that’s why our MPP Ambassadors  are building the coalition for a major new party.

For now though, millions of women in America are left to wonder: ‘Me When?”

In solidarity,

Carol Ehrle
Political Director
Movement for a People’s Party