Tonight Donald Trump has promised to announce his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court.
No matter who it is, it’s a sure bet that he or she will be a right-wing ideologue, and that is not good for advancing democracy in these increasingly Un-United States. But there is one in particular who seems to be the favorite.
Writing for the Minnesota Law Review, front-runner Brett Kavanaugh gives us a hint why his name is in the lead for a position that can last decades. In his lengthy tome, the first solution he offers for the breakdown of our institutions is this:
- PROVIDE SITTING PRESIDENTS WITH A TEMPORARY DEFERRAL OF CIVIL SUITS AND OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS
In this section, he goes on and on about Bill Clinton and how maybe it would have been better if Clinton had been left alone to deal with the weighty issues of the presidency. Of course, at the time, that isn’t what he believed. But now? Well, that’s a different story. He also neglects to differentiate between a president who was a sniffing dog when it came to women (sad and disgusting but not a matter of national security) and a president who spits in the face of the Constitution, was aided and abetted by Russia to steal the office of the presidency, has given classified information to the Russians and who provably lies multiple times on a daily basis.
In particular, Congress might consider a law exempting a President—while in office—from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel. Criminal investigations targeted at or revolving around a President are inevitably politicized by both their supporters and critics. As I have written before, “no Attorney General or special counsel will have the necessary credibility to avoid the inevitable charges that he is politically motivated—whether in favor of the President or against him, depending on the individual leading the investigation and its results.”31 The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas. Such an outcome would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.
Basically, he is arguing that the President of the United States should be above the law while in office. Nixon anyone? It didn’t fly then and it doesn’t fly now. His argument that being president is a tough job and shouldn’t be interrupted by the petty adherence to the RULE OF LAW that applies every other individual in this country is something one would expect to hear from, say – Russia. Or North Korea. Or Turkey. Or any of the other authoritarian regimes where despots rape their countries while enjoying the unfettered freedom to do so.
Republicans love to scream about law and order. Trump screams about it all the time. He wants law and order as long as it doesn’t apply to him or any of his cronies. But if you’re the wrong color or the wrong religion or the wrong sex or don’t like him, then it’s “Kick them out!” “ Lock her up!” “I’ll pay your legal bills!” (to a Trump supporter who punched a protestor at one of Trump’s rallies).
The United States of America is no longer that shining beacon of freedom. Indeed, experts have listed our beloved country among the world’s declining democracies; and the fact that it has happened at an accelerated pace under the reign of #TraitorInChief and self-appointed King Donald J. Trump is no accident.
A potential nominee of the highest court in the land thinks that’s just fine and dandy; and if Trump is proven to be a traitor, we should let it be until he’s out of office. Because nothing says patriotism like keeping a lying, traitorous tyrant in office to do further damage to an already tenuous democracy.
Which is precisely why Kavanaugh heads that short list.