SUPREME DISHONESTY ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT
We are a polarized nation and it seems to be getting worse. Which brings us to the recent Supreme Court confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh. Both Republican and Democratic senators claimed that their disagreements over Kavanaugh were primarily about his moral character, his background, his judicial temperament, or his experience as a judge. OK…maybe a few of the concerns were actually about some of this. But, for the most part, this was not the case. When you boil down all the vitriol and bitter squabbling, there is actually a lot of dishonesty on both sides of the aisle in the senate. Why do I say this?
Because the real issue (and the unstated issue) with any Supreme Court nominee is not so much their “professional qualifications”, as it is their worldview. Let’s be honest, no one gets nominated for the Supreme Court who isn’t “professionally qualified”. I’ve never seen an exception to this. Supreme Court nominees are academically brilliant and have an impressive judicial resumé. Having said that, a highly qualified person could be morally compromised in their past. This is precisely what Brett Kavanaugh was accused of. And this is certainly worth investigating; hence the multiple FBI investigations into his character and past.
The real reason for all of the “fireworks” over Supreme Court nominees in general, is because of the worldview of the nominees themselves. This is especially true in the fall of 2018, when Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court was up for grabs. Kennedy was typically seen as a “swing vote” on various issues that came before the court. What we witnessed over the past few weeks was an all out fist-fight over what kind of worldview would fill that empty seat.
The supreme dishonesty about the Supreme Court is this: the real issue when it comes to a nominee is not their “judicial qualifications”, but rather their moral framework and worldview. Why? Because no one is “values neutral” when it comes to making judicial decisions. Everyone knows that. Every single person makes decisions out of a moral and epistemological context. This is what is really on the line when it comes to judicial nominees. And this is why the confirmation battles become so intense.
For example, does a nominee affirm a traditional view of marriage as between a man and a woman? Do they believe that all human life is sacred, including the unborn? Will they respect the original intent of the constitution? Will they fight for justice and liberty for all citizens regardless of race or creed? These were the real issues that were being fought over in confirmation hearings. But of course, the senators (both Republican and Democratic) could never frame their questions or arguments to that end. This what they were really trying to get at. Once you understand what the REAL issues are, you begin to see why the fight over Supreme Court nominees are so fierce, so intense, and so vehement. Worldviews matter, and they matter a lot! A whole lot!
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor