It was a very dramatic moment this afternoon when Senator Susan Collins from Maine took the Senate floor and announced her support for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. But what she said ought to be extremely unsettling for Christian conservatives and other social/cultural conservatives within the GOP coalition.
(S)omeone who believes that the importance of precedent has been rooted in the Constitution would follow long-established precedent except in those rare circumstances where a decision is “grievously wrong” or “deeply inconsistent with the law.” Those are Judge Kavanaugh’s phrases.
As Judge Kavanaugh asserted to me, a long-established precedent is not something to be trimmed, narrowed, discarded, or overlooked. Its roots in the Constitution give the concept of stare decisis greater weight such that precedent can’t be trimmed or narrowed simply because a judge might want to on a whim. In short, his views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly...
I asked Judge Kavanaugh whether the passage of time is relevant to following precedent. He said decisions become part of our legal framework with the passage of time and that honoring precedent is essential to maintaining public confidence...
When I asked him would it be sufficient to overturn a long-established precedent if five current justices believed it was wrongly decided, he emphatically said “no”...
I asked the judge point blank whether he had made any commitments or pledges to anyone at the White House, to the Federalist Society, or to any outside group on how he would decide cases. He unequivocally assured me he had not.
She also repeatedly referred to Kavanaugh as "mainstream" and "centrist".
The clear implication is that Senator Collins was absolutely convinced Kavanaugh would not overturn Roe v. Wade based on her conversations with him.
It is understood that this Kabuki dance is part of the rituals Republican and conservative Supreme Court nominees must undergo. However, she was quite emphatic; and her vote was nearly critical to his securing the nomination, particularly in view of the fact that Lisa Murkowski was voting "no". We must remain mindful that Republican nominees to the Supreme Court have an approximate .500 batting average. Half of them are good, and half turn out to be huge disappointments. One observer has estimated that there is currently only one vote on the high court to overturn Roe-- Clarence Thomas.
President Trump had promised that all of his Supreme Court nominees will vote to overturn. If Kavanaugh would not do so, that would be a broken promise on the part of Trump. Kavanaugh was not on his initial list of prospective candidates that had been developed by representatives of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. He selected Kavanaugh for this vacancy partially upon the recommendation of the D.C. swamp. This was particularly important since the GOP only had a one-vote majority in the Senate after sabotaging the candidacy of Roy Moore in Alabama.
Republicans and conservatives understandably had been quite upset and galvanized by the tactics employed by the socialists and their friends in the media to sink Kavanaugh's nomination. What this crowd had done, however, was nothing new. It has been going on for decades. The Republicans, however, turned the situation to their political advantage this election season.
Nonetheless, we are left with a nominee who very might well refuse to reverse the greatest injustice in American history-- the willful slaughter of 60 million unborn children of American citizens.
Collins also maintained that Kavanaugh likely would not overturn Obamacare, by the way.
Many Christian conservatives have allied themselves with the GOP for many years. Many pro-life, pro-family groups also tend to be aligned with the Republicans. But in fact, the national GOP hardly ever delivers major victories for these folks-- and the state GOP here in North Carolina is in the process of walking away from them also.
I have had some concerns with certain aspects of Kavanaugh's character and his jurisprudence nearly since he was nominated. We should hope and pray he will be at least a marginal improvement over Anthony Kennedy. As I have noted previously, perhaps a deep, smoldering anger over what the socialists had done to him and his family will give him a newfound sense of conviction over what his role must be on the court.
But Christian conservatives ought to find Susan Collins' remarks extremely worrisome. In fact, this entire situation is typical of the kinds of reasons I elected several years ago to leave the GOP, and join the Constitution Party. We just had this major drag-down fight over Kavanaugh's nomination; and what do we have to show for it?
It is pretty clear that the Republicans are not committed to winning on our issues. They are committed to a tepid brand of economic conservatism; and to various military incursions and entanglements worldwide, at least some of which are not justified. Republican elected officials in Washington also often tend to be committed to their own power and wealth. Our issues are a low priority for them.
Of course, this entire episode is a sad commentary on the massively disproportionate role the Supreme Court has taken in the life of our nation. But the Republicans are not doing anything about that either-- in Raleigh or in Washington. If anything, the intense focus on Supreme Court nominations feeds the beast.