Although the Supreme Court has been supportive of fellow justices and dismissive of the rigor of the nomination process, "Justice on Trial" co-authors agree there is fear Justice Brett Kavanaugh's circus-like nomination will not be the last of its kind.
But how can Congress and the American people allow another Supreme Court confirmation such as that of Justice Kavanaugh to happen again?
This was one of the main topics of discussion at an event last Monday for The New York Times' bestseller entitled "Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court."
The event featured co-authors Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, who spoke on the main focuses of their book: to tell the saga of the Kavanaugh confirmation and to place the Kavanaugh controversy in the context of other Supreme Court nomination hearings.
Hemingway began by sharing the stories of four important women in Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation process: wife Ashley Kavanaugh; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the pivotal Senate player in the confirmation process; Rachel Mitchell, a public prosecutor who served as Investigative Counsel for the confirmation hearings; and Leland Kaiser, high school best friend of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
While the Supreme Court is meant to be a strictly non-partisan branch of government, the political leanings of a candidate for the high court have increasingly been taken into account for nominations since the court was conceived.
"Judicial philosophy of a justice does matter," said Carrie Severino, adding "the biggest battles" on the Supreme Court come when there is a chance to flip the court along ideological lines.
Hemingway and Severino explained this by using the example of Justice Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearings, which took place in early 2017, versus those of Justice Kavanaugh's.
Gorsuch faced opposition in the Senate. But the outcry over his confirmation was not nearly as severe as that over Kavanaugh, as Gorsuch followed in the place of late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative appointed by former President Ronald Reagan.
Kavanaugh was set to replace Anthony Kennedy, who, while appointed by President Reagan, was frequently a swing vote on many controversial decisions.
The presence of a more conservative justice on the high court, Hemingway and Severino continued, would affect many of the controversial rulings and shift the makeup of the Supreme Court.
Severino explained the impact of the Supreme Court, as well as the possibility of it yielding too much power, in comparison to the other two branches of government.
While confirmation hearings are, by definition, "a political process" as Hemingway revealed, the other Supreme Court justices were supportive of Kavanaugh throughout his hearings.
After Kavanaugh's hearings, Severino explained, justices who were in Washington, D.C. at the time met with Kavanaugh privately and expressed their laments about his and — in many cases – their own confirmation hearings.
Even while protestors tried to ram down the doors of the Supreme Court, the other justices in D.C. at the time, regardless of political affiliation, came to support Kavanaugh, and the "collegiality" between the justices has been noticed.
(Clare Hillen is a sophomore at George Washington University, and a summer intern at the Washington, D.C. bureau of Newsmax)
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