President Trump’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is currently undergoing Congressional hearings and the American people are getting a long hard look at the man who could be shaping their laws for the next several decades.
Of course, one must look askance at any person whose politics line up closely enough with Trump’s to receive a nomination, to say nothing of the fact that a president currently being probed for possible collusion with Russia shouldn’t be allowed to appoint any more justices in the first place.
President Obama was denied his appointment of Merrick Garland by Republicans who claimed that it was proper to wait until after the next election to see which party would get to make the appointment. Now, those same Republicans want us to believe that a president possibly guilty of treasonous conspiracy should be allowed a breezy confirmation process for his justice. The bad faith at work is staggering.
Kavanaugh’s appointment to the bench carries additional weight because, in the near future, he may be asked to cast a vote that decides the future of our Republic. Specifically, he may be asked to rule on the limits of the president’s pardon power if Trump attempts to pardon himself or offers pardons to associates in return for their noncooperation in the Mueller probe.
During his hearing today, Kavanaugh was asked by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) if he believes that Trump has an “absolute right” to pardon himself. Kavanaugh obfuscated and talked in circles, refusing to give a substantive answer to the question. He gave the tepid excuse that he hasn’t analyzed the issue and so can’t really speak to it.
When pressed if he believes Trump can offer pardons to witnesses in exchange for silence. Kavanaugh said he won’t answer “hypothetical questions of that sort,” once again cravenly refusing to state his opinions. He then rambled on for a bit, attempting to muddy the waters even further. His entire performance was pathetic and shameful and clearly demonstrated that this man has no place sitting on the Supreme Court.
LEAHY: Trump claims he has an absolute right to pardon himself. Does he?
KAVANAUGH: I can't begin to answer that Q in this context.
L: Does the president have the ability to pardon somebody in exchange for assurances that they won't testify against him?
K: Can't answer that. pic.twitter.com/DtUPP7Y9wO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 5, 2018