“When they go low, we go high.” – Old Klingon Proverb
A report at PJ Media by David Harsanyi has it that in the context of the discussion about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health abortion case, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) directed our attention recently to the allegations made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination hearings, and tried by the US Senate Judiciary Committee.
AOC wrote Wednesday, “Reminder that Brett Kavanaugh *still* remains credibly accused of sexual assault on multiple accounts w/ corroborated details & this year the FBI admitted it never fully investigated. Yet, the court lets him decide whether to legalize forced birth in the US. No recusal.”
Adding, “Out of 9 justices, three were appointed by a man who tried to overthrow the US government (& elected via minority). Those three will decide whether the US will legalize forcing people to give birth against their will. Legitimacy requires the consent of the governed. They are dismantling it.”
The fact remains that Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court Justice. So what is that? Contempt? Of a delegate to Congress for a Supreme Court Justice? How does that preserve the integrity of the United States, in a statement that makes such a forceful priority of that with its reference to “a man who tried to overthrow the US government?”
Is this what AOC and others pursuing this line of argumentation will do now for every Supreme Court case for decades as long as Kavanaugh is on the bench? Re-litigate the allegations already settled by the Senate committee in 2018, to no end?
It won’t remove Kavanaugh from the bench, and it will not affect any policy or legal outcomes. It merely serves as a miserable form of commiseration with AOC’s followers who are disheartened by their view of what appears by many accounts to be the likely outcome of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. And it leaves a vast amount of untapped power on the table so that AOC and her followers, as well as the integrity of the US, are weaker for it.
All this accomplishes is redirecting her audience’s attention to already settled, already archived matters that they can neither do anything about nor learn anything new from and away from gaining a better, relevant understanding of the facts and opinions regarding the issues at the heart of the case before the high court.
Suppose this is the tactic every time a politically controversial case makes it to the Supreme Court for a decision (attack a judge’s character in the most sensational and inflammatory terms, the way elected politicians do to each other in election campaigns and as a matter of course). In that case, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will miss out on numerous opportunities to develop her statesmanship, inform the public of where she stands on the substance of the cases, and thereby build intelligent coalitions among the polity with herself a central networker.
Unless Democrats are prepared to scream and boo a duly, constitutionally nominated, and confirmed US Supreme Court Justice off the bench in much the same way that they have characterized the reaction of some of Donald Trump’s supporters to the 2020 elections, they should not say anything so inflammatory about or to a judge, and take care not to inflame a lousy conscience in a judge, who has so much power of decision making over such vital matters.
A good conscience is critically necessary for sound decision-making.