Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn
Initial reports about the brief FBI investigation of sexual assault allegations reek of a whitewash as the Senate scrambles to fill the Supreme Court seat before facing voters in November. Combined with the abbreviated and inadequate document release of Brett Kavanaugh’s professional career and his appearance at last week’s hearing, many questions have been raised about Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as a Justice and they must be answered.
The American people deserve to know the full truth about anyone nominated to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. It’s more than apparent that we need to know more, not less, about Judge Kavanaugh’s past. A vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh under the current circumstances would abandon the high standards that are supposed to accompany the Senate’s constitutional role in the advice and consent process.
Judge Kavanaugh’s second appearance before the committee raised serious concerns about both his partisanship and judicial temperament. From his gratuitous partisan slap at the Clintons and an alleged conspiracy to scuttle his nomination to his warning that “what goes around, comes around,” he grossly undercut his obligation to uphold the independence and integrity of the judiciary. As more than 1,000 law professors wrote in a letter to the Senate today, Kavanaugh opened the door wide to well-founded concerns that his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. The American people deserve jurists at all levels who are fair and impartial. There should be no exception for the Supreme Court.
As Common Cause wrote to the Senate previously, the Senate should not be moving forward on this nomination given the gross information deficit about Kavanaugh’s record and the cloud that hangs over President Trump due to ongoing Justice Department investigations. Still, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans a cloture vote tomorrow and a final vote soon after. This rush to judgment must cease. The reputation of our nation’s highest court is at stake.