Kavanaugh unfit for office?

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in to the Supreme Court


Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court justice

The Senate voted to send Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, ushering in a generational conservative majority and delivering a huge victory to President Donald Trump after a vicious confirmation battle inflamed by allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.

As shrieks of "shame, shame, shame" echoed from the public galleries, divided and angry senators voted 50-48 to endorse a lifetime seat on the court for Kavanaugh. The protests underscored the vital importance of an appointment that will have sweeping consequences for some of the nation's most contested disputes over abortion, LGBT rights, the scope of presidential power and the role of religion in society.

Hours later, Kavanaugh was sworn in at a private ceremony at the Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts and the man he will replace, retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Outside, a crowd of noisy protestors gathered, and was eventually pushed back from the ornate building's steps by police.

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Is Brett Kavanaugh unfit to hold a position in the Supreme Court?

By Joe Harker

When Doctor Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, US Senators Joe Manchin and Susan Collins, Democrat and Republican respectively, described her testimony as "credible". Despite this, they both voted to approve Kavanaugh to his new position in the Supreme Court of the United States. Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 margin as protesters made their voices heard and he could sit on the SCOTUS bench as early as tomorrow.

It is seen as a major victory for the Republicans and Donald Trump in particular. Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court is for life and the BBC reports that he will help "strengthen conservative control" of the highest court in the US.

Before making their decision Senators were able to read a late FBI report on the allegations against Kavanaugh, which he denies. The findings are not available to the public but Senator Dianne Feinstein called it "the product of an incomplete investigation". As part of their investigation the FBI interviewed a number of people but reportedly did not look at the claims made by Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Kavanaugh.

The repercussions of appointing Kavanaugh may be felt throughout the US for years. Appointing a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women will harm the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Then again, the current president is facing even more accusations of that nature. If the American public loses faith in the Supreme Court, one of the key institutions in the country, then it will have a profound effect on the nation.

Bloomberg argues that Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court makes it "blatantly partisan" and unfit for purpose. It is supposed to be an impartial institution, though governments tend to nominate people who would agree with them.

Attempts to redress the balance with counter appointments by the Democrats if and when they return to power will not remove the partisan poisoning of the Supreme Court. It will instead become a tug of war between them and the Republicans over who can gain a majority and stack the deck with their own people.

Kavanaugh has launched a number of partisan attacks on his political enemies and many millions of people in the US believe Dr Ford. To those people the Supreme Court has now been corrupted by his appointment. If they cannot trust the highest legal authority in their country then who can they believe?

There are also the accusations that Kavanaugh lied and committed perjury when responding to Dr Ford. If he has then he is surely utterly unfit to hold a position on the Supreme Court.

John Paul Stevens, a retired Supreme Court justice, said Kavanaugh was not suitable to sit on the Supreme Court. He said that Kavanaugh "would not be able to perform his full responsibilities" due to the political demonstrated.

For many people in the US their only hope is that the Democrats can use the swell of anger among millions of Americans to thrash the Republicans in the midterms.

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Editorial: Yale Law Professors Are Right. Brett Kavanaugh Is Unfit For High Court

FBI background checks are confidential. So the public will never see the agency's latest report on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, which Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls "a sham" and "a whitewash. " What the public has seen in vivid color, however, is Mr. Kavanaugh's bitterness and vindictiveness. They make him unfit to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans can, and should, do better. Mr. Kavanaugh's nomination should be withdrawn, and President Donald Trump should find a nominee who is more temperamentally suited to the highest court in the land.

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