The US Senate has appointed a right-wing, reactionary hack to the US Supreme Court (USSC) following a vote of 50-48. But it’s time for some introspection for anyone who looks to the Democratic Party as the ‘resistance’ to Donald Trump’s government. Because the Democrats could have fought tooth and nail to prevent Brett Kavanaugh from filling the space left by Justice Kennedy’s resignation. They were right to focus energy on the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, of course, but they failed miserably to focus on Kavanaugh’s corporatism – something that could have prevented his appointment.
‘A corporate supremacist’
Eminent US lawyer and consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader described Kavanaugh as “a corporation masquerading as a judge”.
Public interest groups Public Citizen and Alliance for Justice paint a picture of a man dedicated to representing the rich and powerful. Kavanaugh’s judicial record and legal writings show he is viscerally opposed to workers’ rights, consumer protections, environmental protections, net neutrality, and restricting monopoly practices of major corporations; and the list goes on.
Public Citizen wrote that, as a US Court of Appeal judge, Kavanaugh:
Sided with corporations 87 Percent of the time in split decisions in key areas.
Or as Nader put it:
With Kavanaugh, it is all about siding with corporations over workers, consumers, patients, motorists, the poor, minority voters, and beleaguered communities.
But it doesn’t stop there.
A supporter of an ‘imperial presidency’
The former president of the National Lawyers Guild, Marjorie Cohn, has detailed how – in nearly all of Kavanaugh’s decisions relating to the so-called ‘war on terror’ – he:
demonstrated nothing but disdain for international law and an uncritical deference to executive power.
In 2014, Kavanaugh wrote that a US president should be able to ignore laws he ‘deems unconstitutional’ until “a final court order says otherwise”.
Cohn thus correctly explained that:
Kavanaugh would create a dangerous presumption in favor of a president who refuses to follow the law.
Republicans and Democrats: two wings of the same oligarchy
As Real News Network editor Paul Jay explained:
the Democrats are more interested in defense of this whole system of the architecture the Supreme Court, and they’re so worried about people’s respect for the Supreme Court. Why? The Supreme Court, in a totally partisan 5-4 vote in the year 2000, essentially helped participate in an electoral fraud. Elected George Bush, took it away from Al Gore. That’s the Supreme Court we’re talking about. But let’s also talk about at some point how come Al Gore doesn’t fight. Because there is a pattern here. When it really comes to really revealing the real nature of these institutions and the nature of the system, and the nature of how the oligarchy rules through these political institutions, the Dems always pull back.
#Resistance or #Assistance?
As journalist Jake Johnson wrote in August, Democratic senator and minority leader Chuck Schumer actually ‘cut a deal’ with Republicans in order to ‘fast-track’ seven of Trump’s right-wing judicial appointments:
Just hours after the deal was reported, all seven judges were confirmed, with the help of some Democrats.
Because these judges—selected with the help of the right-wing Federalist Society—are relatively young, they are now in a position to shape American law for decades to come, threatening the planet, workers, and women’s reproductive rights.
Schumer is utterly useless https://t.co/H4EHhmfKrx
— Chase Madar (@ChaseMadar) August 28, 2018
In July, Schumer openly refused to “deploy the whip” to prevent Kavanaugh’s appointment. Perhaps even more shocking, Tom Perez – the head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) – said that the DNC would continue to back Democrats even if they voted to confirm Kavanaugh. West Virginia Democrat senator Joe Manchin, meanwhile, actually voted for Kavanaugh.
At the same time, let’s remember that former president Barack Obama and former attorney general Eric Holder strongly backed Perez for DNC chair over the more progressive Keith Ellison. Democrats even failed to back Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’s call for a perjury investigation, even though there is enough evidence to support one.
Democrats are part of the problem. Remember that.
Kavanaugh is a truly retrograde choice in every sense of the word. The Democratic Party, however, had months to educate the US population about his horrible track record of serving power. It could have built a united front for a jurist who doesn’t serve the corporate state as slavishly as Kavanaugh. But it didn’t.
The Democrats are not the resistance they claim to be. It’s time for progressives to accept that and build an alternative.
– To see information on truly progressive candidates in the US, see Our Revolution and Justice Democrats. If you’re a US resident, you can also join and participate in the activities of the Democratic Socialists of America. And if you want more voters to choose the best candidate over the best-funded candidate, then support anti-corruption groups like Move to Amend, Represent.US, and Wolf-PAC.
– Support independent journalism at The Canary; please share our articles and join us if you can.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?