03 October 2018

Brett Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court’s looming legitimacy crisis

The past few years have been fraught ones for the Supreme Court. First there was the brazen 2016 power play by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans in denying President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, the chance to take the seat vacated by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia — an episode that left deep scars among Democrats. Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Scalia vacancy in 2017, and his subsequent confirmation, only deepened those tensions.

Now comes Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination has been thrown into uncertainty following accusations from different women, one accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault while in high school and another accusing him of exposing himself in college (allegations the nominee has denied). The prospect of Kavanaugh, along with another conservative justice accused of sexual harassment (Justice Clarence Thomas), teaming up with the rest of the Court’s conservatives to overturn Roe v. Wade looks like a powder keg.

Zack Beauchamp