Hypocrisy reigns on top court nominee


Friday, July 27, 2018


They are appointed for life by the president. The purpose for the lifetime appointment was to assure the integrity of the power granted to the Supreme Court and to protect justices against unwarranted interference. It was believed that lifetime appointments would take the political pressure of politics out of the Supreme Court and the justices would make decisions without bias. I’m sure the founders envisioned a Supreme Court of impartial justices who would make decisions based on constitutionality after carefully considering the arguments and evidence.

If that ever was the case, it most certainly is not now. Instead of seeking qualified constitutional jurists, presidents use their power to appoint persons who they believe will adhere to a particular political ideology. While this is true of almost all presidents, the current occupant of the White House appears intent on appointing justices to unravel decades of American social progress.  As a result of Trump’s first nominee Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the court, Republicans were rewarded with a number of rulings that upheld issues traditionally backed by conservatives.

The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda was validated by the court’s Trump v Hawaii ruling. Religious advocates had a significant win in the Masterpiece Cake Shop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. Anti-abortion advocates achieved success with the court’s National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v Becerra. All but one of these cases and others were decided by 5-4 votes, demonstrating the full impact of Gorsuch’s conservative viewpoint.

Now President Trump has announced his next candidate for the court, Brett Kavanaugh, A candidate who enjoys widespread support from the conservative right. So what makes him so popular with Donald?

Perhaps it was a 2009 Law review article where he said his experience in the White House persuaded him that “the job of the president is far more difficult then any other civilian position in government” and that presidents should be exempt from civil lawsuits and criminal investigations or prosecution while in office. Or maybe it’s because he served as a key staff member in the investigation of the Clintons’ Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals. In fact, he helped write the report to Congress that laid out 11 possible grounds for Bill Clinton’s impeachment.  

The current method of selecting Supreme Court justices has become completely outdated and biased. I don’t profess to have a perfect answer to the appointment dilemma, however, something must be done. I believe we better do better. For the sake of future generations we must do better.

Hezekiah Brown

Elizabeth City