Ethics Observations On The Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Senate Hearings, Part 1

Now take The Washington Post….please.

Yesterday’s Editorial Board screed about the hearings serve a single useful purpose for any readers with a smidgen of memory and a dash of objectivity. It serves as the equivalent of a neon sign reading, “We are shameless partisan hacks!”

Consider its headline: “Republicans boast they have not pulled a Kavanaugh. In fact, they’ve treated Jackson worse.”

Did Republicans dig up a witness (and pro-abortion activist—merely a coincidence, I’m sure) who used a three decade old “discovered memory” to accuse a a 50-year-old judge with an impeccable record as a responsible citizen and a devoted father and spouse of an attempted sexual assault when he was a teenager? No. Did they do this despite the fact that the alleged incident had no individual other than the accuser who could confirm it, nor even a definite date or place where the “assault” occurred? No. Has anything said in the hearings resulted in demonstrators calling the judge a rapist?


“A woman credibly accused Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual assault,” is the Post’s editors misleading description of Prof. Blasey-Ford’s testimony. Even assuming that characterization is accurate—and it wasn’t: she was incredible from the start, and a third-year law student could have ripped her testimony to shreds in a courtroom cross-examination.—childhood conduct is completely irrelevant to judging the character and trustworthiness of an adult, particularly an adult lawyer and judge of Brett Kavanaugh’s stature.

It gets worse, believe it or not. The Post editors actually signed off on an outright lie: “Neither side is blameless in the politicization of the confirmation process. But, particularly after they iced out then-Judge Merrick Garland in 2016, Republicans have done the most damage.”

All analysts and commentators agree that the politicizing of the SCOTUS confirmation process began with the despicable Democratic assault on Judge Robert H. Bork in 1987.  Nominated by President Reagan, Bork gave extensive answers to the Senators’ questions about hypothetical cases and judicial philosophy, and was reward was a slanderous attack by—of all people— that DUI and manslaughtering hypocrite Ted Kennedy, accusing Bork of being a racist, among other things. Bork was humiliated, and Democrats rejected him, though he was probably the most respected legal authority in the nation at that time.

Next, the Judiciary Committee chaired by Joe Biden allowed a disgruntled former employee (and, many guess, girl friend) of nominee Clarence Thomas to present unsubstantiated accusations of sexual harassment that almost derailed his chances of reaching the Court. Thomas saved himself only by playing the race card, but, as we saw in the use of Blasey-Ford, Democrats liked the potential in the surprise accuser tactic, and did it again.

Yes indeed, McConnell’s gamble with Garland’s nomination was wrong, but it didn’t do any damage to the confirmation process, because he used a loophole in the law to prevent the process from going forward. But arguendo, as they say in SCOTUS opinions, let’s give full weight to the Post’s claim that it was a scar on the process: Mitch’s slimy stunt still didn’t leave any distinguished jurists publicly savaged or increase public respect for the court.

The transformation of the SCOTUS nominee vetting process into the disgusting hyper-partisan abuse of what the Founders intended is almost entirely the work of the Democratic Party. The fact that the Washington Post’s editors would deliberately mislead its readers by claiming otherwise should, but won’t, end any argument that the paper is something better than a propaganda organ unworthy of public trust.

15 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Senate Hearings, Part 1

  1. Bork fired Archibald Cox at Nixon’s direction after better men resigned rather than do so, I consider that sufficient to deny him confirmation.

    • While we’re talking about unethical double standards, maybe we could compare the Democrat response to Watergate to the Democrat party’s and its bureaucrats’ participation in and response to, for lack of a better term, Russiagate?

    • As did many others, but he was obeying the chain of command, and Nixon’s order was not unlawful. I don’t think that penalizing a judge for following the law when he wasn’t a judge makes any sense. There would have been a Constitutional crisis if no one had been willing to fire Cox, who, we have subsequently learned, probably should have been fired, though not for the reasons Nixon wanted him gone.

    • Except no one raised that at his hearings and it’s a question of politics, not policy. Ted’s despicable attack on him was based entirely on his actions as a judge and projections as to what America would look like if he moved up to SCOTUS. Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus had both given personal assurances to Congress that they would not interfere, but Bork had not. Bork also went on to appoint a new special prosecutor who continued right on where Cox stopped. However, Bork himself later said in his posthumouslu published memoirs that Nixon promised him the next available seat on the SCOTUS for firing Cox. I don’t like that, and, had it come to light, that might have tainted the nomination enough to justify denial.

      • Will you–even if you disagree with my position–agree that it is reasonable to decide a man who didn’t stand up to a criminal president when others did should not sit on the court that just might at some point be needed to stand up to a criminal president?

        It’s not fringe to say I wouldn’t trust that guy based on what was known at the time.

        • That’s a pretty broad way of putting it. In this case, as Jack pointed out, the president issued a lawful order that he had to obey or resign. It isn’t clear just from this discussion how much Bork knew and whether he had in fact formed the opinion that Nixon had committed crimes. If he had gotten up there and said “I followed a lawful order given by the president that I had given no assurances I would not follow, and I did not want to resign and leave the Justice Department completely without its senior leadership,” I might give him the benefit of the doubt as a law enforcement professional doing what he believed was his sworn duty. If I had know he’d been essentially “bought” with a promise of this nomination, then I would not give him the benefit of the doubt. That said, the Senate didn’t choose to bring that up as a major issue at the time. If you say you would not have chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt at the time, I’m not going to call you out there for not doing so, although I don’t believe it would have been the right decision at the time, and, just to keep to Jack’s point above, it still doesn’t justify Ted’s dirty attack tactics.

        • Nixon Derangement Syndrome was, and to this day remains, endemic in the populous. I’m not sure whether it’s more, or less, virulent than Trump Derangement Syndrome. There does not appear to be a vaccine.

        • Pretty much, yes. It’s a disagreement based on policy and character, and you’re not engaging in smear tactics to oppose him.

          I am sorry to have to admit that Teddy Kennedy was briefly my senator way back when Massachusetts was denying my family and I the right to vote. Denying someone the franchise didn’t seem to bother him back then.

  2. “All analysts and commentators agree that the politicizing of the SCOTUS confirmation process began with the despicable Democratic assault on Judge Robert H. Bork in 1987.”

    Really? All of them? What an incredible claim.

    This commentator from 2001 seemed to disagree quite strongly with that, and makes a convincing case that the objections to Bork were well-founded and within the bounds of legitimate political discourse. I’m sure I could find more.

    • Truth be told, I always thought the battle to stop Abe Fortas from becoming Chief Justice might have been where it started, but even that battle, which at one point involved Senator Strom Thurmond reading from a family cookbook to hold the floor, wasn’t as vicious as the Bork fight. The writer of this article worked as a reporter for the post and an editorialist for the NY Times, so it should be pretty obvious where he’s coming from. He’s also published articles and one or two books, all from a liberal standpoint, of course. This article really isn’t too much more than opinion and an attermpt to rewrite history and gaslight current readers, saying “no, no, Bork wasn’t really treated that badly, the GOP is just feeding you folks a line to justify acting like victims.” This is a common tactic by the left, to gaslight readers into believing that whatever the other side says isn’t what they say it is.

      If Bork beat himself, he did so by NOT speaking up for himself like Kavanaugh did. Whatever you might think of BK, he stood up for himself and fought like you’d expect a man fighting for his career and his reputation would. Bork didn’t fight, despite the fact that he was a seasoned litigator, and he trusted that maintaining a dignified silence in the face of Ted the Swimmer’s outrageous accusations, which this writer tries to split hairs over, was the way to go. I’d suggest not relying on this to support the contention that Bork wasn’t badly mistreated and that the Democrats didn’t set a precedent to turn every vacancy in the Federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court into a tooth and nail, knock down, drag out, existential fight.

      • But I wasn’t arguing that Bork wasn’t mistreated. I was arguing against the claim that “every analyst and commentator” agrees on this. If your argument is that liberal analysts and commentators of course disagree with this, then you’re supporting my objection to Jack’s characterization.

        • Perhaps a better way to characterize it would be “All FAIR analysts and commentators who aren’t partisan hacks trying to gaslight the public agree on that.”

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