The Senate grants Bush staff secretary Brett Kavanaugh judgeship on a federal appeals court after he lied under oath before and during his confirmation hearing.
Kavanaugh was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by George W. Bush in 2003. His confirmation has been delayed multiple times because he’s unqualified and has a controversial history.
In addition to being too inexperienced for the position, Kavanaugh’s résumé reeks of partisanship. He helped draft impeachment documents against Bill Clinton. He wrote an op-ed accusing Clinton of authorizing a media smear campaign and praising his boss, impeachment prosecutor Kenneth Starr, as an “American hero.” (That American hero goes on to work for Jeffrey Epstein.)
Since then, he’s earned a reputation in the Bush White House for helping select far-right judicial nominees. There’s also mounting evidence that Kavanaugh was involved in the formation of policies that advanced government surveillance and torture on U.S. soil after 9/11.
He’s also not afraid of lying under oath.
Lies 1 & 2: During his first confirmation hearing in 2004, lawmakers asked Kavanaugh if he’d seen or received any documents or memos stolen from members on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Thousands of documents were stolen from committee Democrats in 2002 by GOP aide Manuel Miranda, who worked alongside Kavanaugh at the time.
Kavanaugh denied having any knowledge of the documents. He repeated that claim in this year’s hearing. Senator Patrick Leahy is able to prove in 2018 that Kavanaugh lied every time he denied having access to the documents.
Lies 3 & 4: He lied again in his 2004 hearing when asked about the nomination of William Pryor, a judge who vehemently opposes Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh told senators that he had no role in selecting Pryor. Records show Kavanaugh was involved, interviewed him for the nomination, and guided his nomination process through the Senate.
Kavanaugh also denied his involvement in the nomination of Charles Pickering, a judge who made headlines for reducing a man’s sentence after he burned a cross in front of an interracial couple’s house. Again, records indicate Kavanaugh was involved in the nomination process.
Lie 5: This year, Kavanaugh testified that he knew nothing about the Bush NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program until the media broke the story. Years later, the press obtains an email from 2001 which shows that he knew about the program four years before the public.
Lie 6: It didn’t end there, though. Kavanaugh also told senators that he wasn’t involved in legal discussions about the Bush administration’s detainee policy. Records unearthed later show Kavanaugh participated at least three times in those discussions.
Despite these and other reasons to find another nominee, the Senate votes 57 to 36 to give Kavanaugh a gavel.
Republican Senators were so desperate to confirm Kavanaugh that they threatened to ban judicial filibusters if Democrats tried to further delay the vote.
In Democrats’ defense, even the American Bar Association decreased its support for Kavanaugh since he was first nominated in 2003.
Democrats also pointed to an American Bar Association downgrading of its rating of Mr. Kavanaugh to “qualified” from “well qualified.”
Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, senior Democrat on the judiciary panel, said Thursday that he could not recall any nominee’s being confirmed after such a development.
Mr. Leahy said Mr. Kavanaugh had “failed miserably” to demonstrate “that he has the capacity to be independent of the president, to be an independent check on his political patron.”The New York Times, 05/25/2006
When Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2018, Senator Leahy laments that the Senate has become an arm of the Trump White House.
Photo: White House