The Senate voted Saturday to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, after one of the most contentious nomination battles in history and by the slimmest margin for a justice in the modern era. Now, difficult as this seems, it will be up to the new justice to seek to reassure a country riven over his selection that he has the temperament and judgment to do the job; as important, it will be up to the court as a whole to demonstrate that it is not just another partisan institution.
And it will be up to those who opposed his confirmation, including this page, to evaluate Kavanaugh fairly in his new position.
Many Americans believe, with reason, that the GOP-majority Senate muscled the Kavanaugh nomination through in its drive to install a reliable fifth conservative vote. Now, an increasingly dysfunctional Congress and a wayward presidency threaten to place more demands on this new court to address major social problems and perhaps even defuse threats to the nation’s constitutional order. Meantime, a cemented conservative majority will face temptations to wreak major changes in the law. As they confront these challenges, the justices must act as the careful, restrained jurists they claim to be, not the partisans in robes many fear.
Whether or not you believe Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations should have kept Kavanaugh off the court, she sacrificed her life as she knew it to relate her story. Trump only encouraged those assailing Ford, mocking her for failing to remember certain details of her assault. Survivors scared that they will be accused of smearing “a good man” on behalf of some covert agenda now have another reason to hesitate to report their assaults.
That is the sad legacy, so far, of the Kavanaugh confirmation saga. Now Kavanaugh and his colleagues will have an opportunity to fashion a more positive one in the years to come.
-The Washington Post