Very few commentators are willing to predict the outcome of this week’s Supreme Court nomination hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.
The woman who came forward with a storm of a violent sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh will testify this week, and the judge will also have his say.
But, regardless of the vote, the Kavanaugh saga is just beginning, writes a Bloomberg columnist.
After explaining why today’s landscape is so different than when Justice Clarence Thomas survived accusations of sexual harassment and went on to join the court as a silent and reliably conservative vote.
“The Clarence Thomas battle ended when Thomas took his seat on the court. The Kavanaugh war could escalate if he reaches the same height,” writes Bloomberg’s Francis Wilkinson.
Part of the reason is Trump himself—and the way he’s changed the dialogue. No longer is it verboten to attack the judiciary or even American intelligence.
“Trump’s multifaceted attacks on rule of law and his sprawling corruption, ignored, excused or fully embraced by the Republican Congress, have clarified the stakes for Democrats,” Bloomberg says. “It’s no longer just about who gets to run things until the other guys take over… It will be in Democrats’ political interest to delegitimize a partisan Republican court waging war against a Congress and state governments under Democratic control.”
If Democrats have control of one house of Congress, Kavanaugh’s possible lifetime appointment and deep unpopularity—he’s less popular than Trump—will make him “appear to them as a wounded, vulnerable prey.”
What can Democrats do? Plenty, Bloomberg says. Though there is no real precedent, Supreme Court justices can be impeached from office. And they can be investigated by Congress for that purpose.
“Democrats can revisit evidence of his misleading testimony,” Wilkinson writes for Bloomberg. “They can pursue documentary corroboration, among the vast trove to which Republicans denied the Democrats and the public access, to buttress potential claims of perjury. And if Ford is bullied out of her moment now, they can give the alleged victim a belated but still-powerful platform, designed to her specifications.”
Read the full piece here.