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Politics and the court 

When they say that confirming a Supreme Court justice is about the Constitution, they mean it's about politics. It's always about politics, at least in the modern era.

Whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmable depends altogether on whether he meets the current political persuasions of his party, which are not necessarily those of 40 years ago or another decade from now. Kavanaugh does, so he will be confirmed and will take his seat on the Supreme Court in time to protect his sponsor, Donald Trump, from the legal jeopardy that he has brought on himself.

The White House threw out lots of names of "conservative" judges as the potential justice, but none came as close as Kavanaugh to that promise for filling the vacancy left by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan Republican who sometimes jumped the political traces and ruled that the Constitution really meant what it said.

Arkansas Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton talked to Kavanaugh a few minutes and declared that he was a man dedicated to a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

No he isn't or, if he is, there's no evidence of it one way or the other. He's solidly in the camp of Donald Trump and the current Republican Party, for which he has been as loyal a servant as anyone in the legal profession, with the possible exception of Rudy Giuliani. In the design of the founding fathers, the third branch is supposed to be above politics and the changing whims of voters and to interpret the Constitution and the laws of Congress without favor. The president, of course, appoints the judges and the popularly elected Senate confirms them, but the founders expected life tenure to insulate judges from their political sponsors. It did and it didn't.

Take Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion, about which too much is now written and speculated. Abortion then was favored by evangelicals, even the Southern Baptist Convention, perhaps because the idea violated papal doctrine that God opposed birth control. Abortion was not on the Republican wavelength. Thus Roe v. Wade was a Republican decision, written by a Republican and produced by a Republican majority. Of the seven justices who delivered Roe, four were Republicans, one was a Catholic Democrat appointed by a Republican, and two were Democrats appointed by Democrats. The dissenting Democrat was Whizzer White, who was appointed to the court because he had led the National Football League in rushing for two years, was a corporate lawyer and had written the naval citation for his buddy John F. Kennedy's wartime heroism on PT boat 109.

Democrats are enraged that the Senate can't get its hands on all of Kavanaugh's writings in his various Republican government jobs, but who needs more? His writings in the seven-year snipe hunt to remove Bill Clinton from office are enough.

Remember that Vincent Foster, the Hope boy who was depressed over the serial attacks on his integrity in the Wall Street Journal, spurned his sister's pleas for him to see a psychiatrist, took his father's antique pistol to Fort Marcy Park and shot himself in the head. When the news broke, Rush Limbaugh went on the air and said the Clintons probably had him murdered because he must have known something bad on them.

The federal park police, the FBI, the state medical examiner, the Department of Justice and two congressional committees investigated and separately concluded that every bit of evidence proved it was suicide. A Republican federal prosecutor, appointed as an independent counsel, investigated the suicide again and also the Clintons' little 1977 land deal in Marion County and concluded suicide and no wrongdoing anywhere. Unhappy Republican judges in the District of Columbia removed him and appointed Starr, who had lost his federal job when Clinton became president.

Enter Brett Kavanaugh. He left his job in a prestigious Republican law firm to pursue the Clintons for Starr. The presidential murder of a friend was too good a yarn for the Republicans to drop. It took Kavanaugh and his team, assisted again by the FBI, two years — two years — to meekly file a report that, OK, the Clintons didn't kill their friend.

He joined a famous panel of former prosecutors, attorneys general and legal brains in 1998 and said maybe from now on presidents should name and remove special prosecutors, even if they are investigating him.

Within days, the Monica Lewinsky story broke and Kavanaugh saw another chance. He rushed back to Starr's staff to pursue the sex story and the chance to force Clinton to testify under oath about sex in the Paula Jones civil trial and set up the perjury trap that Trump now fears so much. Clinton fell into it.

Kavanaugh insisted that Starr gather all the sordid sex events — oral sex, masturbation, the stained dress, the cigar — in his confidential impeachment report to the House of Representatives to excite the congressmen and reinforce their urge to impeach and remove the Democrat. Then he got cold feet. At the last minute, he advised Starr that the slimy details should not go into the report because Republican congressmen might leak them to the media, as he had been doing, and the political nature of the witch hunt would be transparent. The public would turn against the Starr team and for Clinton. The Republicans instantly leaked them to the media, with exactly the result Kavanaugh feared. Now Kavanaugh thinks the president should be protected from prosecution.

A man of such sterling principle is perfect for the Supreme Court, no?

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