Pre-emptive strikes to Kavanaugh nomination stain Casey, Senate

This is how by-the-book and predictable Senate approvals of Supreme Court nominees have generally been.

Antonin Scalia, clearly a staunchly conservative nominee, was approved 99-0.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, clearly a staunchly liberal nominee, was approved unanimously.

Were they qualified to adequately interpret the Constitution in their rulings? That seemed to be all senators on both sides of the aisle wanted to determine.

There have been notable exceptions, such as Clarence Thomas, whose nomination was nearly derailed by sexual harassment allegations. Thomas, thought to be a compromised nominee, has grown into one of the steadiest voices on the high court.

There’s a lesson there for senators.

Judging from the reaction to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, some senators have not embraced the lesson.

The politicization of Supreme Court nominees is so bad that Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey announced his opposition before President Trump announced the nominee because the nominee was coming off a list of 25 people, several of whom he had previously voted for.

Given the Democrats’ appetite for spontaneous resistance these days, that line of reasoning may make Casey an ideal vice presidential choice for California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is coming here to raise money for his Senate re-election campaign.

But Casey’s logic conveniently leaves aside the level of transparency President Trump is displaying with his Supreme Court nominees.

To our knowledge he is the first president to actually give the American people his list of Supreme Court nominees before even being elected.

After Kavanaugh was nominated, Casey said he would grant him a meeting but would not change his mind.

Big of him.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who previously approved Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Appellate Court in Washington, D.C. – the feeding ground for many Supreme Court nominees – said he would oppose Kavanaugh’s appointment “with everything I have.”

The attempted slaying of Kavanaugh comes down to the fact that his nomination could move the High Court to a majority conservative lean, even though Kavanaugh appears to be only moderately conservative and previous Supreme Court nominees thought to be conservative have become more liberal once on the court.

With his nomination, Kavanaugh, a strict Constitutionalist, father of two girls, coach of their basketball team and habitual volunteer at his church’s soup kitchen for the homeless, has become the devil in the eyes of some senators, women’s groups and various other knee-jerk obstructionists.

Of course he should be thoroughly vetted before being approved by the Senate.

But the pre-emptive opposition and mischaracterizations of him by many of the senators who previously approved his Appellate Court nomination is embarrassing.

And we have a feeling the look will be even more embarrassing during his hearings.

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