Opinion pages in some of the nation's top publications reveal the deep divide on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court

Andrew Harnik/Getty ImagesSupreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

The Senate is just hours away from holding a procedural vote that will determine how lawmakers will move forward with confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. If he’s confirmed, once he’s sworn in, Kavanaugh will begin a lifetime appointment on the bench.

But in the final hours, several editorial boards and columnists have sounded off – both for and against his nomination.

Recent polling indicates that voters generally hold an unfavorable view of Kavanaugh. According to analysis from CNN pollster Harry Enten, Kavanaugh is the least-liked Supreme Court nominee since 1987, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork.

Here’s what news organisations had to say about Kavanaugh:


The Wall Street Journal

In a column for The Wall Street Journal, Judge Brett Kavanaugh addressed his critics and admitted he grew “emotional” during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week:

“I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mum, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.

“Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good.”

Read the full column at The Wall Street Journal »


The New York Post

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesFBI Director Christopher Wray.

Gregg Nunziata, a former chief nominations counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, undercut the claim that the FBI’s supplemental background check on Kavanaugh was not thorough, and threw cold water on the Democrats’ calls for delaying the vote:

“Frustrated that the bureau hasn’t helped them bring down a nomination they otherwise oppose, Democrats have pivoted to attacking the FBI – specifically, claiming that the inquiry was curtailed to prejudice the outcome by limiting the pool of interviewees.

“They’re wrong: The FBI followed procedure precisely.”

Read the full column at the New York Post »


Fox News

Tom Williams-Pool/Getty ImagesA scene from the Kavanaugh hearing.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, argued it was “time to end this charade” and urged the Senate to take a vote:

“Kavanaugh’s opponents are willing to say anything and use any tactics – no matter how unfair and cruel – to prevent his confirmation. And are doing this not because of anything disqualifying in his background or professional qualifications, but simply because of the way they believe he will rule in cases before the Supreme Court.

“The worst part of all of this is that – in addition to the terrible ordeal and defamation that Kavanaugh and his family have been put through – good people who could serve our nation with great distinction as judges and other government officials will be deterred from public service.”

Read the full column at Fox News »


CNN

CNN commentator Sally Kohn drew parallels between protests shortly before the American Revolution and protests at Senate office buildings this week:

“Protest is not only ingrained in the American story but essential to it. Protest isn’t a threat to our democracy but a means of its preservation.

“This, my fellow Americans, is what democracy looks like.”

Read the full column at CNN »


The New York Times

Jim Bourg/Getty ImagesKavanaugh.

The New York Times’ editorial board, whose work represents “the voice of the board, its editor and the publisher,” wrote about Kavanaugh, explaining “why the Senate should vote to keep him off the Supreme Court.”

In a scathing column titled “How Brett Kavanaugh Failed,” the board wrote:

“Judges are human beings, not ideological blank slates, but the American legal system depends on their being fair and open-minded to all who come before them. Judge Kavanaugh failed to show that he can do this, or that he even would want to.”

Read the full column at The New York Times »


The Hartford Courant

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

In the Connecticut-based Hartford Courant, Kevin Rennie, a former Republican state senator, described some of the theatrics put on by lawmakers:

“Kavanaugh’s second appearance before the committee provided a useful elixir to the popular notion that every mystery can be solved in 60 minutes with commercial breaks. The search for truth is often complicated and one of our nation’s glories is the presumption of innocence.

“You may believe credibly believe Ford or Kavanaugh, but you would not want to live in a country in which someone could be convicted of a crime based on what we know from the testimony we’ve heard.

“You would, however, want to be a citizen of a nation that rejects a nominee to the Supreme Court if it turns out he did not tell the truth while answering questions that offended his sensibilities.”

Read the full column at the Hartford Courant »


The Chicago Tribune

Win McNamee/PoolChristine Blasey Ford.

The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board said Christine Blasey Ford, a California-based professor who testified Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in high school during the 1980s, “showed tremendous courage in coming forward,” but said the judicial process must continue.

“A yes vote on Kavanaugh is not a referendum on whether you believe him or her. You can believe both are convinced they are telling the truth. But belief isn’t evidence. The Senate should vote.”

Read the full column at the Chicago Tribune »


The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s editorial board published a blunt opinion column urging lawmakers to vote “no” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

The editorial board said Kavanaugh “poisoned any sense that he could serve as an impartial judge,” following his September 27 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“If Mr. Kavanaugh truly is, or believes himself to be, a victim of mistaken identity, his anger is understandable. But he went further in last Thursday’s hearing than expressing anger.

He gratuitously indulged in hyperpartisan rhetoric against ‘the left,’ describing his stormy confirmation as ‘a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fuelled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election’ and ‘revenge on behalf of the Clintons.'”

Read the full column at The Washington Post »


USA Today

Tom Williams-Pool/Getty ImagesFord at the hearing on September 27.

Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology, referenced his years of psychology research and determined that “Christine Blasey Ford is more credible than Brett Kavanaugh”:

“I can’t tell you the truth about what actually occurred back when they were teen-agers – no one can, not even Ford or Kavanaugh. But I can tell you without doubt that one of these individuals is almost certainly more believable than the other.

“Human memory is incredibly complex and poorly understood. Unlike computer memory, which normally stores and retrieves information without distorting it in any way, human memory is constructive, creative, and ever changing.

“One of the few kinds of memory that gets instantly preserved – sometimes forever – is that caused by trauma, in part because people who experience trauma often relive the traumatic event thousands of times as the years go by. That’s why victims tend, on average, to be more reliable reporters than perpetrators.”

Read the full column at USA Today »

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