But when it came time for his testimony in response to Ford, Kavanaugh in both is prepared testimony and answers to the senators’ questions made clear that all of his prior protestations of a calm, apolitical, even-handed mulling of issues was pure showmanship to get confirmed.
In a Trump-like tirade that would have led to a lawyer being cited for contempt of court if spoken to a judge, Kavanaugh not only aggressively attacked the Democrats on the committee by claiming that Ford’s allegations were “revenge on behalf of the Clintons,” but he darkly promised that “what goes around comes around.”
Now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed, how does the court go forward with a justice who has openly and angrily revealed himself to bear a partisan vendetta?
Kavanaugh is aware of the potential damage he has caused the court, writing a begrudging mea culpa in the Wall Street Journal that protests, “The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of the aisle … I would be a part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and the laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player.”
But even if Kavanaugh sincerely means it, who is going to believe him? And there’s the rub, because as the justices themselves have repeatedly acknowledged over the years, the court — like Tinkerbell — depends on the public believing in it to have continued vitality.
The only possible answer is that Kavanaugh must recuse himself from all future cases where the court is deciding an issue with ramifications for the electora