Judge Kavanaugh's hearing must be delayed

The ongoing investigation into President Donald Trump's conduct in the 2016 election is not just an inquiry ...

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 1:58 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 1:58 PM

The ongoing investigation into President Donald Trump's conduct in the 2016 election is not just an inquiry into whether he or his associates committed crimes. It is a test of America's commitment to the basic principle that our justice system should treat every citizen equally.

If the US Senate is serious about upholding that principle, it will delay Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing until special counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation. If it does not, it risks tarnishing the Supreme Court and undermining the rule of law -- blows from which our nation will not easily recover.

Brett Kavanaugh

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Investigations

Law and legal system

North America

Political Figures - US

Politics

The Americas

United States

US Congress

US federal court system

US federal government

US Senate

US Supreme Court

White House

Trump has repeatedly denounced the special counsel's investigation as a partisan "witch hunt." But the investigation's findings so far suggest otherwise. Two of Trump's former campaign aides and his first national security adviser have all pleaded guilty to federal crimes. The President's former campaign manager has been convicted of financial fraud. And federal prosecutors recently secured a guilty plea from Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who said he made illegal campaign finance payments at the direction of then-candidate Trump.

To be sure, we don't yet know whether the President himself committed any crimes. But until the investigation is finished -- and it must be allowed to finish -- there exists a real possibility that some related issue, such as the President's obligation to obey a subpoena, will find its way before the nation's highest court. If that happens, the American people must be able to trust that each justice will vote according to the dictates of the law and the demands of the Constitution, not out of loyalty to Trump.

The only way to ensure that trust is to refuse to consider any Supreme Court nominee put forth by this administration until the investigation is complete. Ordinary citizens don't get to appoint the judges that will hear their cases. The President should be treated no differently.

Despite the cloud of legal uncertainty shadowing the President, Senate Republicans are determined to proceed with Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. And they are doing so in the most irresponsible way, scrambling to complete the hearings before the National Archives can release even a small fraction of Kavanaugh's papers. To date, Kavanagh's opinions from the DC Circuit, all public, have been released, but the White House has withheld 100,000 pages of his record working in George W. Bush's White House.

Contrary to Republicans' objections, these documents are extremely relevant, detailing his years of service in Bush's White House, years which Kavanaugh himself called the "the most interesting and formative" of his pre-judicial career. By rushing confirmation hearings before Kavanaugh's full record can be thoroughly examined, the Senate leadership is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a nominee who will shape American jurisprudence for a generation.

Not all of Kavanaugh's record remains hidden from sight, of course. My colleagues at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund have spent months scrutinizing Kavanaugh's judicial opinions, writings and public statements, and they have documented their findings in an exhaustive report. What emerges is an intellectual portrait of a jurist committed to an ultra-conservative philosophy, one that grants the executive extraordinary power and threatens longstanding laws and precedents that protect civil rights in the United States.

These are alarming beliefs, especially now. Kavanaugh has suggested that the President has unlimited power to remove executive branch officers, questioned the 1974 Supreme Court decision that forced Richard Nixon to release the Watergate tapes, and argued that a sitting president should be able to defer civil suits and criminal prosecutions until after he or she leaves office. These are troubling views from a judge who may well be called upon to decide whether a president (the President who appointed him, no less) can withhold evidence or fire a special counsel investigating his conduct.

Kavanaugh seems just as unlikely to stand up to this administration's tireless assault on civil rights and racial justice. He has promoted the idea that the Constitution is colorblind, thus rejecting decades of Supreme Court precedent that helped to end legalized discrimination in the United States. He also upheld a voter ID law that the Justice Department deemed a threat to the votes of tens of thousands of minority citizens.

Trump has refused to condemn violent white supremacists, and he has repeatedly made false allegations of widespread voter fraud, perpetuating a myth used to disenfranchise Americans of color. Placing Kavanaugh on the bench would lend judicial cover to the Trump administration's efforts to roll back a half-century of progress and hollow out the Fourteenth Amendment.

The nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court represents a momentous juncture in our history. With his confirmation in the balance, the Senate has a chance to place country before party, to reaffirm certain principles in these uncertain times: that the public and their representatives have a right to carefully evaluate its judges; that all Americans deserve equal justice; that the United States is a nation of laws, not of men.

These principles will be jeopardized if Kavanaugh is placed on the Supreme Court. That is a steep price, one that will be paid not only by us, but by generations to come. He should not get a hearing, and he should not be confirmed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17331186
Hinds16373328
Harrison13731199
Rankin10854217
Jackson10557187
Lee8922141
Madison8335166
Jones6483112
Forrest6038120
Lauderdale5965187
Lowndes5425118
Lafayette503193
Lamar490865
Washington4826124
Bolivar4024109
Oktibbeha397681
Panola374680
Pontotoc369855
Monroe3591105
Warren3569100
Union348063
Marshall347769
Neshoba3413152
Pearl River3329103
Leflore3059107
Lincoln299386
Sunflower288271
Hancock282559
Tate274362
Alcorn267454
Itawamba265260
Pike264679
Scott250847
Prentiss248252
Yazoo247356
Tippah244450
Copiah243949
Coahoma242254
Simpson238368
Leake232966
Grenada220671
Covington215072
Marion215073
Adams207870
Wayne203232
Winston202667
George201939
Newton195044
Attala194659
Tishomingo191661
Chickasaw185744
Jasper174438
Holmes169168
Clay161335
Tallahatchie148235
Stone145921
Clarke141762
Calhoun137621
Smith122725
Yalobusha119134
Walthall112836
Noxubee111423
Greene111029
Montgomery110136
Carroll105321
Lawrence103217
Perry102831
Amite98826
Webster93924
Tunica87421
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85827
Benton83323
Humphreys83324
Kemper78420
Quitman6969
Franklin67115
Choctaw61213
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55419
Sharkey44017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 46°
Columbus
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 49°
Oxford
Mostly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 45°
Starkville
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 46°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather