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I’ve been fascinated by the confirmation hearings of the perfectly named Ketanji Brown Jackson. When asked about her judicial philosophy, her answers consistently place her slightly to the right of Brett Kavanaugh. She just follows the Constitution. That’s it. Her record is a bit different than his, of course. But her answers about legal matters are the same. That seems odd.
Republican Supreme Court nominees are nominated because they’re expected to interpret the Constitution as it’s written. So when they’re asked about their judicial philosophy in their confirmation hearings, they say that they intend to interpret the Constitution as it’s written. Democrat Supreme Court nominees are nominated because they’re expected to ignore the Constitution as it’s written. But when they’re asked about their judicial philosophy in their confirmation hearings, they say that they intend to interpret the Constitution as it’s written. That seems odd.
Why don’t Democrat candidates simply state that they intend to enact leftist policies regardless of what the Constitution says? After all, that’s why they were selected. On the other hand, why don’t Republican candidates pretend to view the Constitution as endlessly flexible? Why do Republican candidates acknowledge why they were nominated, and Democrat nominees conceal why they were nominated? Who are they performing for? Why does one feel the need to lie, and the other feel the need to be honest? That seems odd.
That seems even more odd when you consider that elected officials – Republican or Democrat – tend to govern further to the left than they campaigned. The news media tend to be further to the left than they pretend to be. Educational institutions tend to be further to the left than they present themselves. Many powerful people and organizations in America tend to be further to the left than they openly acknowledge.
So why do Supreme Court nominees – Republican or Democrat – tend to pretend to be further to the right than they practice? Why are they the opposite of everyone else? That seems odd.
Obviously, when Judge Jackson says that she is a strict Constitutionalist, her supporters know that she is lying, and she’s just trying to get a few Republican votes. No problem – just ignore her – she’s just playing the game, right?
So why don’t Republican Supreme Court nominees do the same thing? They could say, “Screw the Constitution. I intend to do what’s right. Especially for blacks, women, children, and every minority that you can imagine. It’s all about the children. And the climate. And trans-sexuals.” That nominee could safely presume that his supporters in the Republican party would simply presume that he is lying, and he’s just trying to get a few Democrat votes. Just playing the game, right?
But the Republican nominee doesn’t do that. The Democrat does, but the Republican does not.
They both want the job, and are both willing to do whatever they need to do to get it. But the Republican candidates acknowledge why they were nominated, and Democrat nominees conceal why they were nominated.