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  • Ashley Baker

Missing the Larger Lessons of the Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight

Letter by CFJ director of public policy Ashley Baker published in The Boston Globe:

Although Joan Vennochi’s column “‘Justice on Trial’ and the lessons of the Kavanaugh nomination” (Opinion, Aug. 8) gives a concedingly biased but otherwise evenhanded recommendation of the book, the review underplays the real-life impact of the grueling ordeal and misses some historical context.

For example, the description of Senator Lindsey Graham as an “over-the-top Kavanaugh shill” ignores 15 years of history. Graham’s righteous indignation over judicial confirmation politics dates back to the failed nomination of Miguel Estrada.

It’s also worth mentioning the huge impact the protesters had on the day-to-day life of the Kavanaugh family, who were arguably the biggest victims in this latest chapter of judicial confirmation mayhem. If “much of the book is like looking into a fun house mirror,” the reader must be severely out of touch with the millions of Americans who watched this spectacle.

But at the end, Vennochi hits the nail on the head: “Kavanaugh opponents aren’t giving up. Now House Democrats are asking the National Archives to release records relating to Kavanaugh’s time in George W. Bush’s White House. Sorry, that’s a lost cause. Read ‘Justice on Trial,’ and get ready for the next big battle.”

The unfortunate reality is that what we witnessed with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings may be just a trial run for the next confirmation fight.

Ashley Baker

Director of Public Policy

The Committee for Justice

Washington, D.C.




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