Judge Kavanaugh's Opinion Piece may Not be Helpful.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
In an unprecedented move, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation vote is imminently before the Senate, published an op-ed in The Walls Street Journal, tonight. The piece, entitled "I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge" serves as a reassurance of his impartiality and an explanation for his emotional performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It's a nice piece, except. . . he shouldn't have ever penned it.
Make no mistake, this piece was not written to reassure any of us. Judge Kavanaugh wrote this editorial because he was advised to do so. And the reason someone advised him to do it is quite simply to reassure three senators: Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski. These are the only people in the whole target audience whose impressions of Judge Kavanaugh actually count, and the only ones the piece was intended to sway.
So, why should he have notwritten the article? Three reasons. First, by writing the piece he has just extended his participation in the world of politics. Second, he inadvertently admitted that he was somehow more emotional than he had the inherent right to be, which plays right into the hands of Democrats. And third, he injected opinions about the Court and the judiciary with which many conservatives disagree, this making room for unnecessary and extraneous debate.
Every lobbyist knows that once the fight to get something passed is won, your best bet, in fact your onlyvalid strategy, is to stop talking. Brett Kavanaugh has won this thing. He has survived the most immensely disgusting confirmation process in the history of the United States. For half the country, and at least fifty senators and the Vice President, he walks on water. Unfortunately for him and for our nation, that's the absolute best he is ever going to achieve. So, at this point, his role is to make himself really small and hope that no unforeseeable event derails this process.
Obviously, I am not privy to the information his handlers have, but I can scarcely see how writing this opinion piece, however candid it may be, can help his odds. As a matter of fact, it opens up just one more uncontrollable factor into the mix; one more thing for his detractors to exploit and use against him.
Second, Judge Kavanaugh has nothing to apologize for. As far as I'm concerned he was as measured as anyone could have been under such circumstances. In the few instances where he taunted his inquirers, I recognized that the confrontation was warranted.
But worse, in the article, he admitted that he was "too emotional" at times, which is exactly what the media and the left wants to use against him. I'm willing to bet that by the time anyone reads this article there will have already been some leftist hypocrite who will have said, "See, even Judge Kavanaugh admits problems with his temperament!" even though the reality is that he handled himself better than just about anyone would have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Finally, he put into play conversations about his views of the court and the judiciary. For example, there isn't a self-respecting conservative who believes that the Supreme Court is not a partisan institution, yet that is exactly what the judge calls it in his op-ed. In fact, the irony of the matter is that it is precisely because the Supreme Court is such a partisan institution that that the lovers of the Constitution are fighting so hard for him, and people like him, to get appointed to the Court. If the Court were really nonpartisan, then who cares who occupies those seats. The results would be identical. By the way, it is also the reason the legislature must be able to override the aberrant opinion of the Supreme Court when it speaks on issues of constitutionality.
Additionally, Judge Kavanaugh said that the Supreme Court was the last line of defense for the separation of powers when in fact, many conservatives believe that under the effects of Marbury v. Madison, the judiciary has become the lead soldier of the destruction of the separation of powers.
Undoubtedly, Judge Kavanaugh is an amazing candidate for the Supreme Court, and he must be confirmed. And although he will make the Court stronger and more respectful of the limits placed upon it by the Constitution, his successful appointment is just one battle of a greater effort; one that preserves the dignity of man and limits the power of government and its abilities to intrude upon our personal liberties.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.