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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Par for the Court


Kavanaugh confirms the time old unbiased nature of the Court

Among the many concerns that were expressed about Kavanaugh’s qualifications leading up to and during his Senate hearings, his obvious partisanship was one of great worries.

Many people quarreled with Kavanaugh’s nomination initially because of his supposed incompatibility with the espoused idea that the Supreme Court is unbiased.

This is a complete fallacy on the part of the American public to believe the U.S. Supreme Court promotes any kind of standard of unbiased and impartial adjudicating.

The American public has spent so much time protecting the integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court before and during Kavanaugh’s hearings but the U.S. Supreme Court has never protected itself.

The reason a person like Kavanaugh, who is carrying all of this baggage and an obvious partisan leaning, is ascending to the bench is because he will easily feel at home there.

Justice Elena Kagan, during a recent talk at her alma-mater Princeton University, said that the Supreme Court should uphold its reputation as fair, neutral and impartial. With all due respect to Justice Kagan, that has never been the Court.

It has been tainted by partisan sentiment, racist sentiment and misogynist sentiment since its inception. It is simply par for the course. These are aspirational and somewhat delusional standards to hold the Court to with its history.

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen as this vaunted and august body that is occupied by the best legal minds who exhibit the best character. History proves this is not and has never been the case.

We have judges like Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who are brilliant legal minds and have wonderful character, but those are only two Justices out of the long history of the Supreme Court.   

Some of the most notorious Supreme Court justices have been openly expressive about partisan support.

The clearest Justice that comes to mind in recent history is Clarence Thomas.

In his 2007 book, “My Grandfather’s Son,” he claimed that his fears came to pass “in Washington, D.C. where [he] was pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots in flowing sanctimony.”

In this, Thomas was addressing his comments from his own Senate hearing where he claimed the Democratic committee hearing was a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

You simply have to read what Thomas said in his Senate Judiciary Committee meeting and then how he talks about his remarks in his book.

There is clear conservative and partisan sentiment which Thomas promotes wholeheartedly and without any kind prudence. This is a man that has been on the bench since 1991.

The fact that we have a two-party system makes every part of the federal government partisan by nature. We’ve been using the Supreme Court as a way of corroborating political sentiment through court cases for years.

We talk about the Court as it pertains to left-leaning or right-leaning sentiment. There is nothing within that discussion that gives off the idea that the American people simply care about the fairness and the stringent legal discernment that each and every Justice should supposedly practice and promote.

So Kavanaugh’s appointment, despite his very clear conservative leanings, shouldn’t have been a surprise nor a real issue to be concerned about in the first place.

And the self-serving Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal that was written to supposedly assuage any convictions that Kavanaugh wouldn’t be impartial only corroborated them.

All Kavanaugh had to do to dissuade us was to write a self-serving letter to the Wall Street Journal claiming that his testimony should not be interpreted in a way that would have the American public think he would be swayed by partisan sentiment.

Yet the Wall Street Journal article only had the word “impartial” in it three times, including its title.

Kavanaugh spent most of the article reasserting his claims that the allegations of sexual assault were unfounded.

Kavanaugh’s article doesn’t necessarily inspire any kind of belief, at least not in me, that he is in any way an “umpire–a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no political party.”

Kavanaugh will simply be another partisan justice, a further confirmation of the overall partisan nature of a Court that should be supposedly impartial and fair. 

In the end, we shouldn’t throw out the idea of an unbiased and legally judicious Court. I just think that as it is now, the Court hasn’t been the politically unmotivated entity that we’d like to espouse it as being.

We can’t delude ourselves and try to promote an idea of the Court that we know isn’t historically true.

Until we move away from using the Supreme Court bench as a political mechanism to promote either liberal or conservative political agendas, an unbiased, fair and impartial Court can never actually come to fruition.

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