The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Monday, October 8, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle Tests Supreme Court’s Chief Justice

WASHINGTON—Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court gives Chief Justice John Roberts a historic opportunity to lead a firmly conservative court. But it also presents a considerable challenge for a chief justice tasked with steering through national political turbulence that threatens to chip away at the court’s legitimacy.

Saturday’s 50-48 Senate vote capped a three-month battle that cast the court in a political light to a degree unseen since Bush v. Gore, the 5-4 ruling that decided the 2000 presidential election.

The chief justice hasn’t spoken publicly about the Kavanaugh situation, but he has warned periodically that the intense politicization of judicial confirmations has harmed the court.


I naively think the Court ought to just follow the law, warts and all, rather than try to "steer through national political turbulence." But it's a safe bet the Justice Roberts doesn't agree with me. I think we'll see Justice Kennedy 2.0.

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