The U.S. Supreme Court - A Battle For Balance?
When President Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the remaining seat on the US Supreme Court, there was an immediate backlash surrounding the suitability of the nomination, which put into question the President’s effectiveness and judgement. Kavanaugh’s political background notes that he worked for George Bush as his counsel as well as being nominated by President Bush to the US Court of Appeals in DC. Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Court of Appeals was controversial and hard-fought at the time as the opposition judged him to be too partisan and biased to the side of the Republican party and policy rather than that of the law. After 3 years of hard-fought debates in the Senate, he was finally sworn into the Court of Appeals in June 2006.
Both Democrats and Republicans have been keen to draw attention to Kavanaugh’s views and record. There were memorable scenes as Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings took place. Protestors and various groups of people made their views on his confirmation known when they began to heckle and shout down the early proceedings showing their great opposition to Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice. Kamala Harris, the Democrat Senator for California particularly questioned Kavanaugh on his involvement as a staffer under the Bush presidency and brought up his record on abortion, women’s rights as well as equality. As Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation process is right in the middle of the midterm election season, the Democrats have been adamant to draw a closer look to his principles. The root of Kavanaugh’s nomination is another point in which the Democrats have strongly spoken out about, as they see this as another blow to the President’s judgement and credibility. In addition to this, sexual assault allegations have been made against Kavanaugh. At the time of writing, Republican senators have called for a delay on the vote for his confirmation as a victim has stepped forward, willing to testify under oath.
Nonetheless, Kavanaugh’s is able to maintain a great amount of support, as many profess he is more than qualified since he has served on the DC circuit for many years. Ted Cruz the outspoken Senator from Texas, has backed Kavanaugh as an excellent addition to the Supreme Court, by proclaiming he will uphold the will of the constitution.
The balance of the court and landmark cases:
The balance of the court between progressives and traditionalists has long been the key in the outcome of historic court decisions and judgements. Landmark cases such as, Roe v Wade (1973) which gave women the right to legally have an abortion. Or Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), (which was a breakthrough in the civil rights movement) ruled that the right to marriage was guaranteed to same-sex couples. The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh means that the courts will lean in favour of having a traditionalist majority.
What does this mean for the future of the Supreme Court as well as America?
Kavanaugh’s confirmation poses a threat to many minority groups as there is widespread concern that a more empowered traditionalist court may roll back the hard-fought rights and decisions gained in the past few decades.
If the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh is succesful, many fear it will lead to a rollback of certain civil rights, given the current political climate in America.