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Susan Collins - Justice Kavanaugh's Unlikely Savior

Robert Dimuro

Posted on October 7, 2018 17:39

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“We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.”

Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation on October 6 garnered a sigh of relief for Republicans - and a moment of despair for Democrats. Kavanaugh’s unlikely savior turned out to be Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), whose speech to explain her “yes” vote is worth discussing. It demonstrated everything that was wrong about the hearing and provided a much needed dose of common sense to the entire debate.


Collins addressed the Senate’s role of advise and consent in the hearing process being tossed away after the impetus of the hearing became centered around Dr. Ford’s testimony. As I addressed in last week’s article, Kavanaugh’s qualifications and his judicial resume are flawless. President Trump was very astute in nominating a judge that wasn’t necessarily the most conservative, but arguably one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in American history, knowing that arguments against Kavanaugh’s record would be weak. As such, playing dirty was the only expedient way for Democrats to subvert his confirmation.


Democrats justified this tactic by reminding us that the hearing process was essentially a job interview for Kavanaugh - not a criminal trial. Therefore, the facts and evidence on hand did not need to corroborate Dr. Ford’s account. Dr. Ford simply had to win over the Senators based on the words she spoke and how she said them. Not surprisingly, the emotion she elicited from the Senate proved to be a formidable force in the movement to sink Kavanaugh.


However, Collins argued in her speech that this was not a fair move. In more respectful words, she essentially said that even though the hearing was not regarded as a court of law, the forum should not have devolved into a chaotic jungle. Such behavior threatened to endanger the integrity of future confirmation hearings and diminish public trust in the Senate’s ability to act in the role of advise and consent.


Collins in her most incisive moment said: “we must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.” The unfairness to which Collins is referring is the abandonment of the concepts of justice and presumption of innocence. Even though the forum was not a court of law, these ideals should have been respected as moral imperatives. Such common sense was largely absent in the public’s perception of the hearing, with many still wholeheartedly believing in Dr. Ford’s recollection of the event and the idea that Kavanaugh is an evil rapist that must be held accountable for his crime.


In the end, Dr. Ford’s testimony and the subsequent whirlwind of outrage that still consumes the media and most of the Left were not enough to sway the majority of Senators against confirming Kavanaugh. However, the entire process was ugly, unfair, and damaging to the credibility of our political system in its ability to uphold the standards of civility and justice.  

Robert Dimuro

Posted on October 7, 2018 17:39

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An aide for the Senate committee overseeing hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh resigned after a sexual harassment...

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