In what could be described as a closing argument, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh authored a commentary in the Wall Street Journal to explain his fiery defense of self amid accusations of sexual assault and offering a pledge to remain an independent, impartial jurist if seated on the High Court.
Published in the Journal‘s Friday print edition, Kavanaugh opened his commentary by recalling the period following his July nomination, discussing his qualifications and stating his case as an independent, sober-minded member of the federal bench.
Describing hearings, Kavanaugh recounted meetings with 65 senators, completing countless questionnaires and fully cooperating with Senate Judiciary Committee members.
Judge Kavanaugh then went on to acknowledge errors in his rebuttal to testimony offered by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of attempting to assault her at a 1982 house party. A claim Kavanaugh strenuously denies, the judge wrote:
“I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”
Kavanaugh continued his defense of self, saying the tone of his words “reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character.”
Vowing to be an impartial Supreme Court justice, Kavanaugh concluded:
“Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good.“
Simultaneous with Kavanaugh’s submission, in a rare criticism of a judicial nominee, the editorial board of the Washington Post countered Kavanaugh’s essay with a stinging reprimand, urging senators vote against confirmation.
Declaring too many questions linger over Ford’s allegations and inquiring whether Kavanaugh is a “partisan operative” destined for the High Court, the Post advised the Senate to vote in opposition to Trump’s nominee.
Citing the GOP’s alleged concealment of documents related to the nominee’s work in the Bush White House, supposed deference to President Trump, a concern over purported intemperate behavior, and questions over Kavanaugh’s veracity under cross-examination in front of the judiciary panel, the Post‘s editors wrote:
“(Kavanaugh) gratuitously indulged in hyperpartisan rhetoric against ‘the left,’ describing his stormy confirmation as ‘a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election’ and ‘revenge on behalf of the Clintons.’ He provided neither evidence nor even a plausible explanation for this red-meat partisanship, but he poisoned any sense that he could serve as an impartial judge. Democrats or liberal activists would have no reason to trust in his good faith in any cases involving politics. Even beyond such cases, his judgment and temperament would be in doubt.”
The Post also describes its opposition as motivated by an “unduly narrow” supplementary probe by the FBI of Dr. Ford’s sexual assault claims.
The editorials arrive the same morning Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination was advanced in the Senate by limiting floor debate in a partisan 51–49 vote, with only Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voting against their respective parties.
A full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is expected Saturday afternoon.