‘Private Assurances’ for SCOTUS Nominees Deny Transparency, Betray Public Trust

Her “friends across the aisle”: Collins shows her solidarity with the late John Lewis, the congressman who led the Capitol sit-in demanding more citizen disarmament edicts. (U.S. Senator Susan Collins/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Kavanaugh Gave Private Assurances. Collins Says He ‘Misled’ Her,” The New York Times (via The Seattle Times due to paywall access) reports. “During a two-hour meeting in her Senate office with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Aug. 21, 2018, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine pressed him hard on why she should trust him not to overturn Roe v. Wade if she backed his confirmation. Kavanaugh worked vigorously to reassure her that he was no threat to the landmark abortion rights ruling.”

Collins is the one who feels misled?

How about every American who relies on Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings to elicit information about nominees and form opinions on the politicians who back or oppose them? Might their opinions and support or opposition change if they knew they were not only not getting the whole picture, but that backroom deals were being deliberately withheld from them outside of the committee? (Collins sits on Appropriations; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Intelligence; and the Special Committee on Aging.)

Consider that when Kavanaugh was up for confirmation gun owners had a general idea about where he might stand due to past views, but getting into specific details, particularly over cases he would probably have to rule on, was regarded and treated as against the rules. That’s because typically in judicial confirmation hearings, nominees have been able to rely on an “out” giving them a pass on answering specific questions. From Congressional Research Service, which does for Congress what its name implies:

“In recent decades a recurring Senate issue has been what kinds of questions are appropriate for Senators to pose to a Supreme Court nominee appearing at hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Particularly at issue has been whether, or to what extent, questions by committee members should seek out a nominee’s personal views on current legal or constitutional issues or on past Supreme Court decisions that have involved those issues. Usually, when Senators at confirmation hearings have asked Supreme Court nominees to comment on topical legal and constitutional issues, the nominees have firmly declined to do so. In those situations, the nominees typically have taken the position that answers to questions which convey their personal views would conflict with their obligation to avoid appearing to make commitments, or provide signals, as to how they would vote as a Justice on future cases.”

Think of one job you’ve ever applied for where you’d have gotten it if you decided to play coy with the hiring managers.  While it may be “inappropriate” for a judge to weigh in on a specific case before confirmation — for legitimate reasons, including not having studied and evaluated all the particulars, evidence, and precedents against the “supreme Law of the Land,” — there’s no reason why general principles of understanding should be off-limits. Such hearings are supposed to be, among other things, high-level employment interviews, not pre-coronation ceremonies.

If real principles – or lack thereof – are only shared behind closed doors with select politicians trying to advance an agenda, the whole purpose of public hearings is exposed as fraudulent theater, a dishonest performance with the sole intent to manipulate the voting public. Collins isn’t the one who should feel betrayed. But with her chronic oath-breaking voting record, like her enthusiastic support joining other Republican Quislings for the “bipartisan” gun bill) it’s not surprising that she resorts to projection and to accusing others of that which she routinely does herself.

But the thing is, you can be sure she’s not the only one who holds private audiences with the promise of quid-pro-quo votes in exchange for assurances the public will never hear about. And that leads to the next logical question, heightened in significance with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer:

What citizen disarmament ruling promises were extracted behind closed doors from Ketanji Brown Jackson (who Collins unsurprisingly voted to confirm)?


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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Chuck

The problem with Hypothetical questions is that the only answer is ambiguity.
Did Kavanaugh accept the nomination with the intent of ending Roe? No, because a Justice does not know what cases will be accepted or rejected by the court prior to taking the bench, so how could they know all of the particulars.
Collins feels she was misled? Tough Luck, them’s the breaks Senator Wishy Washy.

nod

Collins is a Democrat parading around as a two faced swamp Republican. Thank you Maine (for nothing).

Tionico

Unlike Collins, Kavanaugh has basic principles from which he draws tomake his decisions. Collins should have known his pro-life stands from his history and background. Even so, it seems quite likeky that Mr. Kavanaugh had not considered the constituitional issues that ended up driving the Roe decision. Once those got trotted out, any “moral” or”princple” issues would have to wave bye bye. He IS and has been a pretty rock solid constitutionalist. Unlike the three who voted against in that decisio. Now, how long will it take before MORE similar issues will arise and be judged according to those principles?… Read more »

hippybiker

Collins=Just another Cant Understand Normal Thinker!

nrringlee

And this particular case in point is why it is so important for conservatives and constitutionalists (same people) to understand one truth: the Republican Party is a Progressive Party. They hate us but will use us to raise money and votes and power but when real conservative and constitutional principles are at stake we get the knife in the back, they get the pay out. This is exactly why fourteen cowards in our Senate republican delegation crossed the isle: self preservation first, progressive agenda second, Constitutional principles last. That is the current logic in national politics.

Last edited 1 month ago by nrringlee
pigpen51

So just how did Kagan and Sotomayor answer when asked about the 2nd amendment? I don’t see how they can complain about conservative justices failing to answer when liberal justices do the same thing.

J Gibbons

Sotomayor can’t spell constitution or amendment, so her opinion, such as it is, is worthless. Kagan at least has a decent amount of intelligence, she’s just biased politically.

swmft

we need a federal sunshine law no more backroom bs where we the people get shafted

Cruiser

Politicans and cockroaches hate the light.

uncle dudley

After the way Justice Kavanaugh was treated in the circus that they called hearings I don’t blame the guy for his vote to send the abortion case back to the states.
These politicians lie to the American people quite often and they also fail to follow the laws that they have put on the American people.
I am sick of the do as I say not as I do policy they have.

Ral3312

This woman is a joke, just like Romney is a JOKE. Remember this
There are republicans that are democrats
BUT
There aren’t any democrats that are republicans

Green Mtn. Boy

Just like Squish mislead the voters of Maine,RINO witch.

swmft

I’m to the point of thinking interviewing their friends to find out who they really are is necessary without radical life altering events people dont change their views much , my ideals when I went to work with dea was to stop predators from preying on weak , what I found was that it was about who controled drug sales not the actual drugs and abuse of weak people not idealistic people but power and control corruption

JMacZ

And yet these very same people, Collins and her House/Senate cronies, ‘mislead’ us citizens every day with their duplicitous lies.
I wish that she would join her friend John Lewis…

Last edited 1 month ago by JMacZ
john

Collins is a headliner who supports her rhino friends she is a nothing burger only a media talking point. Democrats / Collins should be held responsible: And the president says NOTHING! / Ironic how the FBI supposedly didn’t know about this plot. Officials say the man, identified as Nicholas John Roske, 26, was armed with a handgun, a knife, pepper spray and burglary tools. He was stopped a block from the justice’s house. And when police detained him, he said he was there to kill Kavanaugh, the officials said. He had a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, zip ties, pepper… Read more »

DDS

For any one expecting the semblance of a Judiciary Committee holding honest and above board hearings into judicial nominees’ qualifications, I have two words.

Robert Bork

swmft

the whole government is just one big slime ball