Brett Kavanaugh Threatens Racial Justice & Voting Rights

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s disturbing record on racial issues would put the Voting Rights Act in further jeopardy if he were to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, argues Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record on racial issues and his answers to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings have raised red flags about how he would rule on voting rights if confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

During his hearing, Kavanaugh bragged about hiring people of color as law clerks and said he decried the use of the “n” word. But when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked him whether he agreed with President Donald Trump that there was blame on both sides during the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, Kavanaugh refused to say “no.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) queried Kavanaugh about an amicus brief he co-authored with Robert Bork in a 1999 case in which they argued it was unconstitutional to prevent non-Native Hawaiians from voting for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a public agency set up in 1978 to defend the rights of Native Hawaiians..

Hirono said Kavanaugh’s views on Native Hawaiians are “factually wrong” and incredibly offensive. Hirono told the nominee: “I think you have a problem here. Your view is that Hawaiians don’t deserve protections as Indigenous people under the Constitution and your argument raises a serious question on how you would vote on the constitutionality of programs benefiting Alaska natives. I think that my colleagues from Alaska should be deeply troubled by your views.”

Hirono: Kavanauh has a problem. (Edward Kimmel)

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Kavanaugh called the program “Hawaii’s naked racial spoils system.” Harris asked Kavanaugh whether he knew that “racial spoils system” is commonly used by white supremacists. Kavanaugh said he didn’t.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) confronted Kavanaugh about another racist expression he had used, this time while working in the George W. Bush administration. Booker queried the nominee about his characterization of an affirmative action program as “a naked racial set-aside.” Kavanaugh had used the phrase in an email criticizing an affirmative action program under consideration by the Supreme Court. Like Hirono, Booker risked censure, discipline or removal by releasing this email, which had been marked “committee confidential.”

Voting Rights Act in Jeopardy

Kavanaugh has only decided one voting rights case. In 2012, he wrote the opinion for a three-judge panel in South Carolina v. United States, which upheld a voter ID law. The Obama Department of Justice had opposed the law, finding it violated the Voting Rights Act because it could disenfranchise tens of thousands of non-white voters who were less likely than whites to have identification.

The Justice Department presented evidence demonstrating that the South Carolina law disproportionately and materially burdened non-white voters. Expert testimony showed that Black voters were more than twice as likely as white voters not to have the required identification.

But Kavanaugh assigned more weight to elected officials. He bought into the argument that the law would prevent voter fraud, even though the state introduced no evidence to support that claim.

The landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act prohibits any voting practice or procedure that “results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”

A person who claims that a county, municipal or state law violates the Voting Rights Act need not prove the law was enacted with racist intent. He or she need only prove the law would have the effect of making it more difficult for a person of color to vote.

NAACP President Cornell Brooks called the Voting Rights Act “the crown jewel of civil rights” at Jeff Sessions’s confirmation hearing for attorney general.

In the 2013 case of Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Act, which established a formula for pre-clearance of jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination.

We’ve seen nothing less than a Machiavellian frenzy of voter disenfranchisement from one end of the country to the other” since Shelby was decided, Brooks said.

In the South Carolina voter ID caseKavanaugh had declined to join a separate concurrence signed by the other two judges on the panel, reaffirming the “vital function that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has played here.”

Voter fraud is used as a pretext to suppress voting rights. A 2014 study reported by The Washington Post found only 31 incidents of voter fraud out of more than 1 billion ballots cast from 2000 to 2014.

From Ohio to Wisconsin to Georgia, the vestiges of Jim Crow have resurfaced under a new cloak, unchecked and unabated,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, in a statement to the senators at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

Indeed, since 2010, 23 states have enacted more restrictive voting laws, according to the Brennan Center.

Sessions: Stopped challenge to ID laws. (Flickr U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) cited two examples — North Carolina and Texas — while questioning Kavanaugh.

In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in NAACP v. North Carolina struck down North Carolina’s 2013 voting law that established a photo ID requirement and eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting and preregistration of high school students. After requesting data on voting patterns of different races, North Carolina legislators had written a law that would “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision,” the court said.

And in Veasey v. Perry, a U.S. District Court held that Texas’s voter ID law created an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, had an impermissibly discriminatory effect on Latinos and African Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose. The court also found the provision in question constituted an unconstitutional poll tax.

After reciting Texas’s dismal history of denying access to the polls, the court noted, “This history describes not only a penchant for discrimination in Texas with respect to voting, but it exhibits a recalcitrance that has persisted over generations despite the repeated intervention of the federal government and its courts on behalf of minority citizens.”

Early last year, Attorney General Sessions reversed the Obama Justice Department’s policy of challenging voter ID laws. Now the Justice Department intervenes in favor of states that enact measures to restrict equal ballot access.

In light of the proliferation of laws that pose obstacles to voting, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to further eviscerate the Voting Rights Act.

Conservative organizations continue to cry “voter fraud” as a foil to enact laws that suppress voting rights for people of color. Kavanaugh’s entry onto the nine-member Court would make five solidly right-wing justices. The fate of the Voting Rights Act hangs in the balance.

Copyright Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an advisory board member of Veterans for Peace. An updated edition of her book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, was recently published.

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47 comments for “Brett Kavanaugh Threatens Racial Justice & Voting Rights

  1. will
    September 26, 2018 at 9:07 am

    also…he’s a lying drunken ex fratboy with a history of date rape…who will soon be ruling on issues effecting women’s rights.

  2. September 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I suggest you review this interview with prof. Francis Boyle who is one of the keenest legal minds we have suggesting that Kavanaugh is probably a war criminal based on documents in the possession of democrats who could but haven’t released them: https://youtu.be/Eu6T9gXyIUE or http://informationclearinghouse.info/50210.htm Amazing that no one else is studying his analysis. He claims the Dems really want Kavanaugh confirmed so their base will be so angry they will elect more Dems in the next election. Shows how corrupt and jaded the whole process is.

    • Mark A. Goldman
      September 25, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      I might point out that it took an amazing amount of courage for Prof. Boyle to also post this piece, which should embarras most US attorneys, who wouldn’t have the courage to do the same: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50263.htm

  3. September 19, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Kavanaugh is a neo-con protecting deep state interests. He covered up the Vince Foster murder, and while he is an ambitious man, he is not a brave man. You will not find him doing anything that upsets deep state interests.

    • will
      September 26, 2018 at 9:16 am

      “the vince foster murder” Sheesh… Now Enron and the Bush administration involvement in the J Clifford Baxter murder…that you might make a case for. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/01/enro-j28.html

      not mentioned in this article is the odd choice baxter made of shooting himself with a shot shell (no rifling marks on the projectiles thus difficult to link to a particular weapon). Anyone hoping to find themselves daed after shooting themselves i n the head would probably choose a solid or soft nose bullet rather than a round designed for shooting rats and snakes.

  4. Todd
    September 19, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Let’s be perfectly clear. If you designate a program or law based on the determination of Race or a protected class, then it is “racist” and “bigoted” and “biased” by it’s very nature. Let’s not try to suggest that you are racist for pointing out racial hypocrisy. Just because white supremacists use the language and have learned the logic to further their nefarious goals, does not make that logic racist. We should all be working toward ending identity politics, and concentrating on the real threats to human endeavor, which is the establishment corporate crony capitalists and their agenda against a level playing field.

  5. Don Bacon
    September 16, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    In Charlottesville, both factions were granted rally permits. One faction was disputing the removal of a General Robert E. Lee statue, and the other factions wanted to stop them from marching. So naturally there was violence on both sides and Kavanaugh was correct in not taking sides.

    Regarding racial bias, from the article:
    1. Kavanaugh: . . . argued it was unconstitutional to prevent non-Native Hawaiians from voting for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
    2. The 1965 Voting Rights Act prohibits any voting practice or procedure that “results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
    So Kavanaugh was correct. Let’s move on.

  6. rgl
    September 16, 2018 at 10:53 am

    ” … minutiae of various bullshit … ”

    I think that phrase encapsulates your entire post.

  7. rgl
    September 16, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I truly do not understand the ‘voting ID’ angst. I see absolutely NO problem with requiring ID to vote. You need ID to get booze, tobacco, to drive a car, to collect SS … sooo … just precisely wtf is the huge prob with this. People cannot ‘afford’ ID? BS.

    You are a citizen or you are not.

    You need the ID to prove you are. If you cannot prove you are indeed a citizen, they you cannot claim citizen bennies.

    • RickD
      September 17, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      The fly in the ointment is that thew necessary ID can be changed immediately prior to an election. Another is your lack of understanding of the conditions among the poor who do noto have drivers licenses, or cars for that matter, cannot afford what you consider to be a negligible expense for photo ID, and have great difficulty even getting to a DMV which is seldom in a blighted neighborhood. Many such areas have no pubic transportation within them in fact.

      Despite your middle class blindness ( I am sorry but it is true) it is far from easy and thus the GOP cleverness in stymieing voters.

    • Ron
      September 23, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      I agree. If we don’t require an ID to vote, how is it fair to require it for anything? The answer comes down to politics and people who vote without an ID are likely to vote Democrat. The easier it is to cheat the system, the more Democrat voters will turn out. California now allows criminals to vote as well, why? Because… you guessed it, criminals will vote Democrat too.

  8. September 16, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Both partisan “sides” are completely deluded and foolish as usual. Kavanaugh is a standard corporatist and globalist, essentially identical to Bader Ginsburg. The D side should be favoring him loudly and the R side should be bashing him. As usual, you’re going along with the bizarre nonsense emitted by your team coaches.

  9. Dunderhead
    September 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I am just going to apologize to everyone for that, a fair amount of that was tongue-in-cheek anyway but still why rattle that cage, rebuke excepted Herman, peace out

  10. SteveK9
    September 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    This person is obviously opposed to Kavanaugh. Unfortunately for her, I don’t find any of her arguments persuasive at all. In fact, she inclines me to support his nomination (not that I have anything to say about it). There may be some good reasons to oppose this nominee, but she needs to find them, if she wants to convince me.

  11. WheresOurTeddy
    September 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    your screen name is apt

  12. Alan Ross
    September 15, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I wonder if the influx of Trump supporters on this site, a very good site for news, is being carried out by the usual crew of trolls from the CIA? And as to the real Trumpites, if any, as another has said you can understand their anger against a murderous and corrupt establishment, but their approval of DJT is unwarranted by so much evidence you doubt their sincerity, or their…. (no need for insults). In any case I will continue to visit this website until the articles themselves are seriously corrupted by e.g. new owner putting the usual pressure on his workers to conform to his or her greedy views.

    • RickD
      September 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Considering the ongoing feud between Trump and the Intelligence community I cannot see much in the way of support for Trump among “the usual crew of trolls from the CIA”, or that there is such a “usual crew at all in fact.

    • Anon
      September 25, 2018 at 4:12 am

      There’s probably no influx. It’s more likely that moderate liberals have had enough of identity politics and find they have more in common with moderate conservatives than with the Post Modern left.

  13. michael crockett
    September 15, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Well said Drew. He along with other Justices on the court will do everything in their power to give corporations everything they want. I would say all three branches of government are a wholly owned subsidiary of transnational corporations and too big to fail banks. Jaime Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has concluded that there will be another economic collapse in 2019 or 2020. He states further that this one will be much worse than the one ten years ago. Of course he fails to mention that he and his Wall Street friends were largely responsible for the previous collapse and will again be culpable for the one that is pending. The rich, most likely, shall survive the crash unscathed. No bankers need to fear prosecution, for the Trump administration will be just like the Obama administration: To big to fail….To big to jail. Now for workers on the other hand; hard times with lots of pain and suffering have been baked into the cake. If history does not repeat itself it surely rhymes.

  14. September 14, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    The court is filled with people on the author’s political side. What is she worried about politically? He is a good judge with a good reputation. He decides issues within the confines of the law. And the court sits en bank. He should not be a problem for the left, the direction the whole country has been moving in for the last 100 years.

  15. backwardsevolution
    September 14, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Jeff Harrison – so if it’s a pain in the ass when you don’t have photo ID, then maybe the Southern Poverty Law Center (who is flush with cash, sitting in offshore tax havens) could pay for the poor to get a photo ID. It would surely be a good use of their money, seeing that they’re supposed to represent those in “poverty”.

    You don’t have a country when you have open borders, and you don’t have a country when you don’t have a legitimate voter ID system. The illegal immigrant who killed Mollie Tibbetts had a licence because he was using phony identification. If you don’t even know who’s a citizen and who’s not, then what kind of country do you have? Who’s voting? And don’t tell me there’s no fraud. People are cheating all the time, so don’t try to say that there’s no cheating in the voting process. That would be laughable.

    “There are vile excuses for human beings everywhere but they do seem to gravitate to the corporatist party. You present that as fact. It isn’t. It’s just your own, frankly, worthless opinion. The only fact is that it was a left winger who got killed.”

    Look at the violence in Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Come on, these people are over-the-top. Being constantly egged on by the Left, I’d say those on the Right have shown great restraint. It’s unfortunate someone died at Charlottesville, but the Republican congressman who was gunned down on the baseball diamond by someone on the Left was lucky he didn’t die also.

    And who is the “corporatist party”? It seems to me that the Democrats have been aligned with the corporate side for a very long time now (Clinton getting rid of the Glass-Steagall Act, bringing in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, the 1996 Telecommunications Act which allowed large corporations to buy out small media outfits, thereby creating what we have now – a monopoly of six corporations owning 90% of the media), Obama not jailing one banker after the 2008 economic crisis. I could go on and on.

    BOTH the Left and the Right are aligned in one great big party of “screw the little guy”. The elites are unified. Any real progressive policies will be quashed by the gatekeepers in the Democratic Party (Schumer, Pelosi, Clinton types). Same with the Republicans – the Paul Ryan’s and his like are going after Trump for wanting to end globalism and bring jobs home. All of these people are aligned with the corporate/military side.

    And speaking of upright and moral and caring, how about Hillary’s quote: “We came, we saw, he died.” Or Madeleine Albright’s comment that “we think it is worth it”. Or Schumer when he inferred that when you screw with the intelligence agencies, they have “six ways from Sunday of getting back at you”, and he was actually proud of this.

    The other day someone I know put Trump down for hooking up with Stormy Daniels. I said to him, “With the life you’ve lived, you’re going to put Trump down? Take a look in the mirror!” It didn’t take him but a few seconds to realize what I was saying was true. The problem is that these people always want to think that they’re all holier-than-though when they’re not.

    He then said, “Yeah, but he used Stormy Daniels.” I said, “He did nothing of the sort. He paid her money for the services she was selling at the time, and then she turned around and extorted more money out of him to keep her mouth shut.” Where are the cries from the holier-than-though party for the hooker who used extortion? Oh, but she’s on the Left, so that’s all right.

    What should be a class war, with all of the little people screaming about the current inequality between the lower classes and the upper classes, has been turned around (by the elites and their media propaganda arm) into a war between “victims” and the “white man”. What a masterful job they’ve done of tarring and feathering and shaming the white man.

    Open your eyes.

    • September 15, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Backwardsevolution, well said. Powerful people diverting attention by getting ordinary people at each other’s throats obviously works. I guess they call it identity politics. With the help of an oligopoly media, it works very well.

      In Baltimore, turn on the news and you get reports of a murder or two or three everyday, and the headlines are about a lady cop shooting a black man by mistake somewhere thousands of miles away. We starve Iranians or Iraqis through sanctions and the news is all about sexual harassment by some “important” person.

      It works.

  16. Professor
    September 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    This is much ado about overkill. There is already an activist, Originalist majority on the Court. The dye is cast. . The time to fight was Gore V. Bush 2000. This should have been the most important electoral issue in 2018 but the Dems were carrying so much baggage from stacking the DNC with Wasserman-Schultz, Regime Change, fracking, Hillary’s email server and their own Centrism that they couldn’t utter a logical , let alone an imperative , clear and concise position on potential Supreme Court decisions. . Money is Free Speech? , Come On? That’s bullet proof.? I guess for those who acquiesce to the’Corporations are People’ mantra it may well be. Gore V. Bush2000 is the gift that will keep on giving to the BAD PEOPLE who dominate our nations’ politics for 20 years or more. Kavanaugh isn’t as bad as Scalia or Gorsuch, He’s more like a Kennedy and might actually stake out an independent position in the future . Perhaps he and Roberts may find some common ground with the opposition and enable the Right Use of Reason to encourage Good Governance in the future. Haha . sometimes, the grape. That is kind of funny. I am extremely optimistic today, though I will type this, I do not think he is any more of a threat to the Children of this nation or any more of a reactionary than Senator Kamila Harris. Just a different flavor.

    • christina garcia
      September 15, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Die not Dye. See Die is the singular of dice. Dye is a chemical reaction of different substances.. It could be chemicals, colors, or a mixture.

      • Prof
        September 16, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        Oh thank you so much. Who cares? you knew what I meant. Irregardless,like that? ,, IF the Dems succeed in Swiftboating Kavanaugh at the last minute based on an obviously deliberate late release of an substantiated claim, a claim of a purported event of which the accused and his evil henchman are the only possible sources of verification and both denied that this accusation is fact based, (Her Psychiatrist, her husband and the “former FBI agent who administered a lie detector test do not matter. & Why this was necessary when the woman behind the claim states she wished to remain anonymous is a bit hard to understand, not so hard if she had been advised to do this by her attorney and what were the conditions and the methodology in which this purported lie detector test was conducted, etc. ad nauseum) ) THEN you can rest assured that the next Nominee will be even farther to the Right than Kavanaugh and he will be approved . The “Die” is still cast.

  17. Don K
    September 14, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    This seems like more of the type of stuff we can find anywhere else.

    When people say things like this: “During his hearing, Kavanaugh bragged about hiring people of color as law clerks and said he decried the use of the “n” word. But when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked him whether he agreed with President Donald Trump that there was blame on both sides during the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, Kavanaugh refused to say “no.””
    I will simply challenge you to watch this and tell me that there were just 2 sides in Charlottesville.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLA4lEtmH2A&t=12s

  18. Jeff Harrison
    September 14, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    There’s a reason that The Economist has labeled the US as a “flawed democracy”. They gave several very specific reasons but it has struck me that the Republicans specifically have little interest in actual democracy. If there isn’t an adult in the room who will require that the precepts of the constitution be adhered to, they won’t. Voting rights are merely a microcosm of their evil.

  19. mike k
    September 14, 2018 at 10:35 am

    The idea that there is any real justice in America is laughable for those like myself who have first hand experience of this “system”. In Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus puts forth the idea that “justice is the interest of the stronger.” This is our USA justice: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT. We have a supreme court of lying frauds. No wonder most people hold lawyers in contempt.

  20. Lucius Patrick
    September 14, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Lost me at the second sentence: “But when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked him whether he agreed with President Donald Trump that there was blame on both sides during the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, Kavanaugh refused to say ‘no.'”
    I don’t know a whole lot about that rally, but I’m willing to bet that Trump had a valid point to make. If Trump being always wrong is the litmus test, many of us are going to continue to note that and nod accordingly. The frenetic Democratic Part with its knee-jerk opposition to anything Trump is pathetic and inefficient. I was a lifelong Democrat up until Sanders lost out, at which point I supported Trump. Democrats have taken on a whole new light for me… Trump seems to be doing a great job. Give the man some credit.

    • Broompilot
      September 14, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Amen Lucius.

  21. September 14, 2018 at 9:20 am

    “During his hearing, Kavanaugh bragged about hiring people of color as law clerks and said he decried the use of the “n” word. But when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked him whether he agreed with President Donald Trump that there was blame on both sides during the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, Kavanaugh refused to say “no.”

    In fact, he was careful to say anything which he considered not in the purview of a Supreme Court judge. The baiting by Democratic members of the Committee and the extremism contained in the above has to be challenged whenever it rears its ugly head.

    I would hope, if he did express an opinion, he would say of course there are decent people on both sides but too few on both.

  22. mike k
    September 14, 2018 at 7:10 am

    The worst among us continue to select our Rulers from their own ugly ranks. As the US Empire collapses, the tyranny of the few over the many of us becomes more and more obvious and blatant.

  23. backwardsevolution
    September 14, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Isn’t it the Democrats who have been adamantly opposed to instigating a fair voter ID system? Am I right on this? If so, why is that? A country without a voter ID system? What kind of country is that? It’s discriminatory to blacks and Hispanics, so it mustn’t be changed? How is this not discriminatory to all others who do want a fair system?

    And I agree with some of the other commenters – get an ID. If you can’t afford it, I’m sure that rights groups would love to help you pay for it. But again, a voter ID system should be implemented, preferably photo ID. It’s not like the technology isn’t there. Why not use it?

    Kamala Harris and Cory Booker (old Spartacus himself!) are both posturing and grandstanding for their run for President in 2020.

    Of course both sides WERE to blame in Charlottesville. Just take a look at the aggression and violence from Antifa, Black Lives Matter and others on the Left over the last two years – unbelievable! And nobody is calling them on that. Where is the outrage? I mean, some sociology professor just shot himself in the arm over Trump! The Republican congressman who was shot at the baseball diamond. The Berkeley violence. The shutting down of free speech.
    Absolute hysteria.

    When Kavanaugh mentioned “abortion-inducing drugs”, he was quoting what some other group said. Those were not “his” words. This is just using scare tactics. We aren’t going back to back alleys and coat hangars.

    Hirono said, “I think you have a problem here. Your view is that Hawaiians don’t deserve protections as Indigenous people under the Constitution…” Perhaps what she should be doing, if she really cared, is getting behind the indigenous Hawaiian peoples who are calling for their country back!

    Affirmative action should be ended – tomorrow. When you pick winners, you just create losers. You end up with hyphenated-citizens, but lose the country. You create dependency when you have citizens that feel they should be protected: “Oh, you have to be there to protect me because I can’t make it on my own.”

    And just today Senator Feinstein has miraculously come out with another “anonymous” piece of information to try to bring down Kavanaugh. Apparently some anonymous person, who of course won’t be identified, has alleged that he did something at the junior prom.

    Disgusting and laughable. Put a fork in it.

  24. Realist
    September 14, 2018 at 3:36 am

    Yes, Kavanaugh may well threaten racial justice and voting rights. He may very well also threaten abortion rights. However, since the nuclear option was implemented last year, his confirmation will require only 51 votes, which the Republicans have already unless two of their numbers defect (if only one defects, VP Pence will decide the issue).

    Which two Republicans would dare to defy their caucus and not expect to get primaried out of office in their next election cycle? Some say Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, standing up for women’s reproductive rights–but only if they have had a bellyful of the political life and plan to retire.

    But, standing by, ready to counter their defections are about four blue dog Democrats (conservatives in progressive clothing) in highly red states up for their own re-elections. The ones I can think of off-hand are Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, John Tester and Joe Manchin. I think there are others: there always are.

    There are also many terrible war-mongering neo-conservative Dem senators on foreign policy like Diane Feinstein, Amy Klobuchar, Robert Menendez, Ben Cardin, Chuck Schumer, Chris Murphy, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Claire McCaskill (and arguably many others), but I doubt they will do anything to aid Trump or the Republicans by voting for Kavanaugh even if he promises to permanently enshrine unilateral war-making by the presidency without any participation by congress. (I know, that’s de-facto already, but someday some stickler might take it into his head to charge the lot of the swamp creatures with treason for blatantly and repeatedly violating the constitution.)

  25. Tom Kath
    September 14, 2018 at 12:17 am

    I have been saying for a long time that the “uprising”, “anti establishment” phenomenon in western countries is fundamentally a gender issue. Our society has become dominated by the feminine perspective – extremely! The resistance is the masculine perspective. This is very much simplified of course, since pretty much everyone has masculine as well as feminine attributes, but in the west, the masculine have been demonised. – If he gets in, it will be largely a symbolic shift.

    • backwardsevolution
      September 14, 2018 at 6:31 am

      Tom Kath – Paul Craig Roberts explains it this way:

      “Out of its hatred of Trump the left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American left has totally separated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump. The American left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the ‘Trump deplorables.’ The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.

      I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations. The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.”

      So the elites have everyone fighting each other (divide and conquer) when in reality everyone should be turning around and looking at the elites. What should be a “class” war has turned into a “victim” war, and the “white man” is apparently to blame. He’s being meant to feel shame and denounce his so-called “white privilege”.

      Everyone should be talking about “inequality”, as the elites have been making out like bandits while a great majority of the country are going backwards, but that’s not happening. Instead everyone is focused on victimhood and of course Russia.

      • Dunderhead
        September 14, 2018 at 10:19 pm

        Well said

  26. Anon
    September 13, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    So, I am tasked by the author here, to really read and study this piece, and do the requisite fact checking (as we must in this day and age); instead of reading the juicy anonymously source piece, emanating from Senator Diane Feinstein’s office, in the Washington Post, that insinuates that Brett Kavanaugh may have been a bad boy in grammar school. I believe I will get more out of the Washington Post piece to tell you the truth, sorry. I think the nation completely gets that Brett Kavanaugh will be the next incarnation of Roland Friesler (h**ps://twitter.com/mjfree/status/1037312904499027970) so this piece is unnecessarily diving into the minutia. Better to stick to the broad comparisons here: Freisler, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot… etc. IMHO

  27. Joel Walbert
    September 13, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Traanslation – He believes in equal protection under the law, not the un-Constitutional ‘protected class’ BS. As for Charlottesville, there were vile excuses for humans on BOTH sides. Fact.

    As for the Voting Rights Act, ya’ll any body who claims minorities don’t have or can’t get IDs are the real racists. EVERYONE has IDs that is here legally. Can’t open a bank account. Can’t collect ‘benefits’. Can’t get a job. Can’t do much of anything these days without one. What ya’ll are saying is blacks & Hispanics are too ignorant to get one. I got one when I was 16. Are you seriously implying an adult can’t? Oh that’s right, you traitors want criminal aliens to illegally vote.

    • DFC
      September 13, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      I am at the point of really tuning all of this out. It is so over the top.

      I think the only thing that the last two years have proven is that a significant number of people (maybe as high as 50%) can’t handle living under a democratic form of government. So, if after an election, you find the need to visit a psychotherapist, or medicate yourself, you really ought to consider moving to a country where the government does not change. It is as simple as that.

      And as far as the Kavanaugh nomination goes, the last time I checked, the Democratic Party is at its weakest point in close to a hundred years. So you really have to have a massive case of cognitive dissonance if you think the Supreme Court won’t be turning Conservative to follow. And whose fault is that? Who was driving the train when Trump got elected? Hello!

    • Jeff Harrison
      September 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      It’d be really good if you had a clue what you were talking about.

      Voter ID. This varies by state but to get social security benefits, you need a SS card. That ID will not be accepted in any state as voter ID. And interestingly, you expire when your ID expires. When my wife and I got married (we were 45 at the time), I had a passport with my SSAN in it but my wife didn’t. She did have a military ID from when she worked for the Army in Germany with her picture and SSAN on it. (We both had valid Missouri drivers licenses but, alas, the SSAN wasn’t on the driver’s license (as it shouldn’t be)). But the issuer of marriage licenses in St. Charles, Missouri wouldn’t accept it as ID because it had expired a few years earlier. Like I said, you seem to expire when your ID expires. I hope it happens to you because it’s a pain in the ass. The reality, well beyond your childish understanding, is that we, as a society, demand ID far more often than we should and you can really make life difficult by way of what you accept as ID.

      “There were vile excuses for human beings on BOTH sides”. In a way, that’s like saying the sky’s blue. There are vile excuses for human beings everywhere but they do seem to gravitate to the corporatist party. You present that as fact. It isn’t. It’s just your own, frankly, worthless opinion. The only fact is that it was a left winger who got killed.

  28. September 13, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    As if democrats are somehow protecting voters rights?

    Clinton’s stole the nomination from Sanders and cheated voters in Brooklyn and many other states.

    New York’s Worst-in-the-Country Voting System
    The supposedly progressive state is disenfranchising its citizens.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/new-yorks-worst-in-the-country-voting-system/570223/

    Neither party gives a whiff about democracy or voting rights.They both work for the same criminals.

    • Lucius Patrick
      September 14, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Spot on.

      • September 15, 2018 at 12:58 am

        Thank you.

    • Professor
      September 17, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Nevada was the best example of Clintonian Shenanigans vis-a-vis the DNC in the 2018 Democratic Primary process/farce. It was rude and stupid and gavelled ipso facto.

      • September 17, 2018 at 8:15 pm

        And right in their faces…..

  29. September 13, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    This corporation masquerading as a human being (Ralph Nader’s apt descriptive) won’t only be a threat to racial and voter rights. This blow dried corporate fascist is a serious threat to worker safety, environmental protections, consumer protections, anti Washington imperialist movements, anti Zionist activists, and the rights of organized labor.

    In other words, we have a nominee who’s a menace to 90% of the United States population, no, check that, he’s a potential danger to much of global humanity as well since he won’t lift a finger to rein in the Washington-Saudi-Zio Terror Network.

    This is the type of Wall Street predator who would have found absolutely nothing wrong with child labor, 70 hour work weeks, typhoid epidemics in the cities, rotten meat, maimed and disfigured assembly-line workers, and a non-existent minimum wage.

    As I’ve dropped in and out of watching the hearing, from what I can tell, I’ve noticed that many of the corporate Dems are failing to focus on the kitchen table bread and butter issues in favor of grilling him about gonadal identity politics. This doesn’t bode well.

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