Conflict Of Interest

The Record And Views Of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Could Determine Constitutional Law To 2050!

Tomorrow, the contentious hearings on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

These will be the most controversial set of hearings since 1987 and Robert Bork, and 1991, with Clarence Thomas.

On both of those occasions, the Democrats controlled the Senate, and Bork was rejected by a vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The effect of Justice Clarence Thomas for the past 27 years has been profound, with many future potential Circuit Court or Supreme Court candidates having clerked for him.

Thomas has been trying to take us back to the Articles of Confederation in many ways, but also admiring Presidential power at the same time.

This is the danger of Brett Kavanaugh, that he would take America domestically back to the Gilded Age, wiping out the New Deal, Great Society, and everything Barack Obama changed.

He comes across on the surface as a pleasant, nice man, but it is all very misleading.

This is a man who worked for Ken Starr in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and now Kavanaugh has changed his view of Presidential power 180 degrees.

This is a man who worked in the White House for George W. Bush, and helped to plan the idea of an anti gay marriage amendment, that was part of the campaign of Bush in 2004. And now, Donald Trump has used executive privilege to prevent 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House from being made available, which is another controversy now created, as why should the Senate be unable to examine all pertinent material about a nominee?

This is a man who worked to deny September 11 victims the ability to sue for damages, limiting unsuccessfully that intent.

This is a man who in his Circuit Court decisions has come out against abortion rights, against ObamaCare, against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, against labor union rights, and willing to support limitations on voting rights.

This is a man who might be able to vote on whether Donald Trump can be indicted or prosecuted, and should recuse himself on any such matters as a conflict of interest, but likely will not do so. Justice William Rehnquist, when new on the Court as an Associate Justice, recused himself from the US Vs. Richard Nixon case in 1974 (after which Richard Nixon resigned), because Rehnquist had worked in the Justice Department under Nixon. So that famous and significant case was 8-0, not 9-0 or 8-1, and at the least, a Justice Kavanaugh should recuse himself from any case involving possible legal action against Donald Trump.

Kavanaugh could affect future decisions on campaign finance, climate change, election gerrymandering, and travel bans, and regulation of guns.

He would also create a right wing conservative Court, unlike any since 85 years ago.

And being only 53, he could be on the Supreme Court until 2050, when he would reach 85 years of age.

This would be the most long range effect of Donald Trump, no matter how much longer he remains in the Presidency, along with the 26 and more Circuit Court confirmations already accomplished by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Democrats’ only hope would be IF all 49 Democrats hold fast (highly unlikely); Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowksi (both pro choice on abortion) abandoning the party ties on this vote (highly unlikely); and the person who replaces John McCain in the Senate (maybe Cindy McCain) joining the two women Republican Senators in voting against Kavanaugh (highly unlikely).

A Generation Of Justice Clarence Thomas: Its Negative Impact!

Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has now been on the Court for a generation, and his impact is clear.

This is a man who was enmeshed in controversy when he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to replace Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall as the second African American in the history of the Supreme Court. He was clearly the “anti Marshall”, and has remained in controversy ever since 1991.

Thomas was accused by African American law professor Anita Hill of sexual harassment, and accused liberals of a “lynching”, and only was approved by a vote of 52-48 in the Senate, the closest of the 20th century. He has, in a memoir in 2007 and before and since, continued to have bitterness and resentment toward liberals and his other critics, and said when he was confirmed that he would confound the “damn liberals” by staying on the Court for 43 years, the age he was when appointed, which would surpass Justice William O. Douglas’s 36 years on the Court, the longest in Supreme Court history. His wife strangely contacted Anita Hill last year to ask for an “apology”, which was not forthcoming, but continues to simmer in his wife’s mind after a generation.

Thomas’s wife has been involved in ethical problems as the head of a conservative organization working against the Obama Health Care law, and in other ways, working with the Tea Party Movement, while her husband is involved in decisions where his wife’s activities create ethical problems for him, although he is unwilling to react to any criticism by recusing himself from cases, as creating a conflict of interest. He does not care what his critics say!

On the Court, he is seen in many ways as the MOST conservative member, even more than Antonin Scalia in some ways. He is well liked by his colleagues, but almost never asks any questions in oral arguments before the Court. He gives lectures around the country, but avoids the news media. He comes across as bitter and odd in many ways, but also arrogant and hard to fathom.

Thomas has shown willingness to strike down case law going back decades, and sometimes even a century. He is the only one to argue for consistent return to the “original” meaning of the Constitution when it was adopted in 1789, even more than Antonin Scalia. He sees the Court as having gone the wrong way in many areas of the law, and wanting reversal of past rulings.

Thomas alone believes that states should be able to establish an official religion; believes teenagers have no free speech rights at all; believes business should not be regulated and their commercial speech and campaign activities should not be regulated; wants to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act; and backs the President’s ability to hold an American citizen in prison indefinitely without charges or review by the courts.

Thomas refuses to see prisoner rights as legitimate and is against affirmative action to the extreme, even though he benefited from it himself! He spends his time only with people who agree with his hard line views, which many think is a shame, as it indicates he has a closed mind.

So Clarence Thomas continues to have a long range, in many ways deleterious effect on the Supreme Court, and probably will for close to another generation, as he predicted!