For Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the confirmation hearing Tuesday for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court amounted to an unnecessary formality.
Like many of his Democrat colleagues in the Senate, Brown had already made up his mind about Kavanaugh – no hearings required.
In a press release issued nearly two weeks ago, on Aug. 24, Brown announced his decision to vote against Kavanaugh.
On Tuesday, Brown jumped on Twitter to lambaste Kavanaugh, trying to tie him to big insurance companies.
Working people need Justices who will put their rights first, not Justices who will side with insurance companies over cancer survivors, financial scammers over customers, or massive corporations over American workers.
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) September 4, 2018
In another tweet, Brown tried to spread fear that if Kavanaugh is allowed on the court, Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose their medical coverage.
#WhatsAtStake with Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination?
The next Court could be presented with critical decisions regarding protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. They could decide you’ll pay more for healthcare if you’ve been affected by something in this thread → https://t.co/ZJDk3HVtxf
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) September 4, 2018
Rep. Jim Renacci [R-OH-16], who is running against Brown in the November midterms, issued the following statement Tuesday about his opponent.
Judge Kavanaugh is an experienced and thoughtful jurist who has received bipartisan accolades. Yet liberal career politician Sherrod Brown has already announced his opposition to Judge Kavanaugh, before his hearing even began. That’s because Sherrod Brown cares more about pleasing Chuck Schumer than supporting the people of Ohio.”
Brown also used his Labor Day statement to advance the Democrats’ smear campaign against Kavanaugh. Though he didn’t mention Kavanaugh by name, it was clear who he was talking about. Brown chose the word “extremist” to describe the Supreme Court nominee. This is a word popularized under the Obama Justice Department to refer to everything from bigots to terrorists.
“Extremist judges, from the Supreme Court on, hand down decision after decision siding with corporations, choosing corporations over workers, corporations over – over – consumers, limiting workers’ power in the workplace.
“The Supreme Court consistently stands on the side of large companies – companies that outsource jobs, instead of siding with workers. And it’s getting worse.
“Right now more than a million and a half Americans live under the looming threat of drastic cuts to the pensions they earned over a lifetime of hard work.
“Millions of Americans work long hours, but struggle to get by and don’t feel like anyone notices or cares.”
Brett Kavanaugh is an extremist who wants to eliminate your healthcare and wipe out your pension, according to Brown. No hearings needed.
Liberals are concerned Kavanaugh could provide a decisive fifth vote on the nine-justice court to overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.
If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kennedy, despite being nominated by arch-conservative President Ronald Reagan, sided with the court’s liberals on culture-shaking social issues like abortion and gay rights.
While one Ohio senator is doing everything he can to obstruct the nomination, the other, Sen. Rob Portman [R-OH], is leading the effort to get him approved.
Portman noted at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing that the American Bar Association last week gave Kavanaugh a unanimous “well qualified” rating, which is the highest rating it offers. Portman praised Kavanaugh as fair, smart, and fiercely independent.
Also in Kavanaugh’s court Tuesday was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who described him as a man of “good judgment” and “a good listener, especially to those with whom he disagrees.”
Kavanaugh is a respected judge and law professor. He said Tuesday a judge’s job “is to interpret the law, not to legislate or make the law.”
“A good judge must be an umpire, a neutral who takes the side of no litigant,” he said. “I do not decide cases based on personal preferences.”
Roughly half of Kavanaugh’s law clerks have been female and a quarter of them have been racial minorities. He is known in Washington’s legal community as a judge who promotes women, mentoring them at Yale and Harvard law schools, said attorney Lisa Black, who also spoke on his behalf at Tuesday’s hearing and described herself as a staunch Democrat who voted for Obama twice and Hillary Clinton.
“He does easily fit within the mainstream of legal thought,” Black said, adding that a Kavanaugh justice on the court is “the best possible outcome under the circumstances for liberals.”
Kavanaugh has authored more than 300 legal opinions while on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, many of the seen by scholars as “brilliant” for their depth and clarity, Portman said.
But, listening to Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, such as Sen. Kamala Harris [R-CA], one would get the idea that Kavanaugh was an unqualified hack being forwarded to the Supreme Court by Trump for one reason and one reason only – as a reliable vote for Trump in the off-chance that Trump’s presidential future should hang in the balance of a Supreme Court ruling.
Following are some facts on Sherrod Brown’s background as a partisan obstructionist:
- Brown voted for 100 percent of President Obama’s judicial nominees. (CQ Vote Study, Accessed 4/10/17)
- From 2009 to 2016, Brown voted with President Obama, on average, 95 percent of the time. (CQ Vote Studies, 4/10/17)
- When Neil Gorsuch was announced as President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brown “Immediately Announced His Opposition.” “Moments after newly-elected president Donald Trump announced his selection of Colorado’s Neil Gorsuch to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice, the commentary began. Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, immediately announced his opposition, declaring the nominee to be “far outside of the judicial mainstream” with rulings that deem corporations are people, are hostile toward anti-discrimination and criminal justice protections, and oppose women’s rights to basic healthcare at places like Planned Parenthood.” (Sabrina Eaton, “Sen. Sherrod Brown Pledges Opposition To Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Neil Gorsuch,” Plain Dealer, 3/31/17)
- Brown voted against confirming 15 of President Trump’s cabinet nominees. (Roll Call Vote #36, 2/1/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #54, 2/7/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #59, 2/8/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #63, 2/13/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #71, 2/17/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #61, 2/10/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #68, 2/16/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #79, 3/2/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #65, 2/14/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #116, 4/27/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #305, 12/5/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #21, 1/24/18, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #32, 1/23/17, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #84, 4/26/18, Brown Voted Nay; Roll Call Vote #101, 5/17/18, Brown Voted Nay)