The “BrouHaHa” That Should Not Have Happened

I’m certain you saw or heard that — apparently — the Republicans have sufficient “Yes” votes to confirm the Supreme Court Justice nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Friday at 3:00 PM Eastern, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) gave a passionate (and historical) speech on the floor of the Senate that will not soon be forgotten.

Her speech was extremely important because she, as a Moderate Republican, has been known as holding a crucial vote on all Senate confirmations for pretty much every presidential appointee — and especially on this one.  As a Moderate, Collins is pro-choice, fiscally conservative, and has been jealously watchful over Roe v Wade and Obamacare. She also has been non-committal on the Kavanaugh confirmation to everyone — until today.

The speech today was lengthy, well thought-out, well-written, and VERY specific and non-political. It was without question the best U.S. Senate speech I have ever heard from any senator or any other, and will undoubtedly go down as a “forever” reminder of how dangerous American politicization has become and the necessity of abandoning it to help our nation re-engage with the Rule of Law. 

It was so appropriate and to-the-point, I am attaching it in its entirety in PDF format below so that you can download and keep it for your reference and that of your children. I will refer in my Summary to that speech as I wrap-up today’s story titled “The BrouHaHa That Should Not Have Happened,” but will spare you from reading her speech in its entirety as part of this story. PLEASE, download it and read it for yourself.

Analysis

At the top of her speech, Senator Collins hit the nail on the head as it pertains to members of the U.S. Senate exercising their right and responsibility regarding the confirmation process of presidential appointees — specifically that of Brett Kavanaugh:

“Now it is up to each individual senator to decide what the Constitution’s advice-and-consent duty means. Informed by Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 76, I have interpreted this to mean that the president has brought discretion to consider a nominee’s philosophy, whereas my duty as a Senator is to focus on the nominee’s qualifications as long as that nominee’s philosophy is within the mainstream of judicial thought. I have always opposed litmus tests for judicial nominees with respect to their personal views or politics, but I fully expect them to be able to put aside any and all personal preferences in deciding the cases that come before them. I’ve never considered the president’s identity or party when evaluating Supreme Court nominations. As a result, I voted in favor of Justices Roberts and Alito, who were nominated by President Bush, Justices Sotomayor and Kagan nominated by President Obama. And Justice Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Trump. So I began my evaluation of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination by reviewing his 12-year record on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, including his more than 300 opinions and his many speeches and law review articles. 19 attorneys, including lawyers from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, briefed me many times each week and assisted me in evaluating the judge’s extensive record.  I met with Judge Kavanaugh for more than two hours in my office. I listened carefully to the testimony at the committee hearings. I spoke with people who knew him personally, such as Condoleezza Rice and many others. And I talked with Judge Kavanaugh a second time by phone for another hour to ask him very specific additional questions. I also have met with thousands of my constituents, both advocates and many opponents regarding Judge Kavanaugh.”

Here’s what set Senator Collins apart from all those who had embraced the madness that Americans watched play-out in this highly publicized and amazingly partisan war of words over the last two weeks: SHE investigated Judge Kavanaugh’s extensive judicial history, examined his 300 published case opinions, read his numerous speeches and judicial writings, and then interviewed him personally for more than 2.5 hours. She asked him every imaginable question about all those things that are pertinent for any person seeking a seat on any federal court — especially the Supreme Court.

She listened to the opinions of thousands of her constituents who were both in support of Kavanaugh and against him. She spoke to both Democrat and Republican fellow senators at length listening to their thoughts on the nominee. Don’t forget she watched and listened to the many hours of his testimony and responses to questions posed by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the same during the second hearing before the Committee in which both Professor Christine Ford and Kavanaugh addressed her 35-year-old allegations of sexual abuse against Judge Kavanaugh.

“Advice and Consent”

In the United States, “advice and consent” is a power of the United States Senate to be consulted on and approve treaties signed and appointments made by the President of the United States to public positions, including Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, United States Attorneys, and ambassadors.

The term “advice and consent” first appears in the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, referring to the Senate’s role in the signing and ratification of treaties. This term is then used again, to describe the Senate’s role in the appointment of public officials, immediately after describing the president’s duty to nominate officials. Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 of the United States Constitution states:

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Needless to say, Senator Collins fulfilled her Senatorial obligation of “advice and consent.”

Summary

Before you read Senator Collins’ speech attached below, I have some final comments regarding the “BrouHaHa” we are discussing today:

  • Our political process is far too partisan. We as Americans are approaching a tipping point regarding political matters that is tearing our republic apart. Common decency is absent from political conversations. Respect for the opinions of others is not even an afterthought. A disagreement has devolved into first anger and now hatred;
  • Some point to our forefathers who fought partisanship too. Sometimes their division resulted in physical violence, even among themselves. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr actually had a gun duel! But it has been the better part of two centuries since this type of animus resulted in gun violence — until on a baseball field in suburban D.C. a year ago, Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) was gunned down by an angry Democrat partisan. Fortunately, Scalise has made a miraculous recovery;
  • On Thursday, 300 angry protestors who were illegally protesting the pending Kavanaugh confirmation were arrested in Washington D.C.  To make that situation worse, it was later revealed that hundreds of protestors (including some of those 300) were actually paid to protest by at least two non-profit organizations funded with several million dollars by liberal global activist George Soros to simply protest this and other conservative speakers, groups, and causes;
  • We should have known Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination would begin a political battle — especially when minutes after his nomination was announced, before any interviews, witness appearances, committee hearings or testimony was provided to senators, multiple Democrat senators publicly announced they were going to vote “no” on his confirmation. Several protestors carried professionally produced signs that said “I Am Against the President’s Nominee XX.” They did not even take the time to write Kavanaugh’s name on their signs! Obviously, to leftists, it mattered not if the nominee was Kavanaugh or some other conservative under consideration, the leftists would reject any nominee of THIS president. I thought it would have been humorous if President Trump had nominated an African American woman to the Court. Democrats would have probably treated that nominee the same, just because Donald Trump nominated her.

It may seem trivial at this stage for me to say “We need healing.” But we really do.

We’re not Republicans or Democrats or Socialists or Libertarians — WE’RE AMERICANS. The strength we have domestically and internationally comes from that strength.

There’s an age-old battle cry that has been used by many a despot, military leader, and dictator: “Divide and Conquer.” The division in the United States right now is at a fever pitch never before seen — at least not in my lifetime. What is its source? Who initiated it?  The most important question we all need to ask is “Can we obliterate it and replace it with unity?”

Senator Collins vividly painted a picture of what SHOULD have happened regarding this justice confirmation and that of every other presidential nominee to any federal position. She is a Republican. But in her speech, she spoke as an American. She challenged all of her fellow Senators and each American to go back to the drawing board, re-visit the ideals our forefathers drew upon when penning our Constitution. Further, we all should consider just how effective that constitution has worked for more than 200 years in crafting, managing, and maintaining the United States as not only the freest country on Earth but the richest — not just financially, but richest in its values regarding everything pertaining to liberty and justice for all and equal justice under the law.

We all need to examine that for ourselves. It’s decision time!

Susan Collins Kavanaugh Senate Speech

 


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