by Hans von Spakovsky
The new FBI report on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that was being reviewed by senators Thursday makes it clear that there is absolutely no reason to further delay the confirmation vote on his nomination.
America would be well-served if the Senate seats this extraordinarily qualified judge on the nation’s highest court.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, reviewed the FBI’s supplemental background investigation of charges of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh on Thursday morning.
Grassley said: “There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know. These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations.”
Furthermore, Grassley said the FBI’s “investigation found no hint of misconduct.”
The new FBI report supplements the sixth full-field FBI background investigation of Kavanaugh since 1993.
The claims being made by Democrats that the FBI was somehow limited or curtailed in its investigation because it didn’t have enough time to conduct the probe shows a woeful ignorance of the resources of the agency and the extensive manpower it can bring to bear.
While this supplementary investigation looked at specific allegations made against Kavanaugh, the regular FBI background investigations Kavanaugh was subjected to earlier were very extensive, extremely thorough, and open-ended. Such investigations often receive wide-ranging input from hundreds of people.
Nevertheless, Kavanaugh’s critics reject any report that doesn’t provide the politically damaging conclusion they seek. And this supplemental report, which gives Kavanaugh a clean bill of health, definitely did not come out as they wanted.
The level of investigation Kavanaugh has undergone is extraordinary. In fact, the Senate has received far more information about Kavanaugh than it has received about all prior Supreme Court nominees combined throughout American history.
First came the six FBI background investigations of Kavanaugh. Then the Senate Judiciary Committee made public about 500,000 pages of documents dealing with Kavanaugh and his work.
On top of this, the committee received tens of thousands of pages of Kavanaugh court opinions, articles, and speeches. And Kavanaugh answered an unprecedented 1,278 post-hearing written questions from senators.
So it is abundantly clear that senators have all of the information they need to do what they are tasked with doing under the Constitution: provide their advice and consent to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Importantly, this is not the first time the Senate has had the opportunity to review Kavanaugh’s background, education, and professional qualifications for an important judicial post. It did this 12 years ago when Kavanaugh was nominated to be an appellate court judge.
At that time, the Senate found no valid reason to withhold its consent to Kavanaugh being seated on what many consider to be the second-highest court in the United States—the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
There is nothing in the record that has changed since then that should bar Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court—other than uncorroborated accusations of sexual misconduct against him that the FBI has found no evidence to support.
Compare these unproven claims against Kavanaugh’s nearly 30 years of a distinguished professional career in which those who have interacted with him have given him nothing but the highest praise.
And Kavanaugh has received praise not only as an outstanding lawyer, jurist, and mentor, but as a warm, decent, and kind man involved with his family, his community, and his church.
Kavanaugh could have earned many times his government salary as a top lawyer in the private sector. But instead of focusing on enriching his family, he has dedicated the bulk of his career to public service.
As Grassley said, what we know about Kavanaugh is that his “former clerks, colleagues, and friends from high school to the present acclaim his personal integrity and character.”
Kavanaugh is probably one of the most qualified lawyers to ever be nominated for a position on the Supreme Court. He has more judicial experience than the vast majority of prior nominees to the high court—certainly more than current Justice Elena Kagan, who did not spend a single day as an appellate judge before she was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Yet she was easily and quickly confirmed with Republican support.
We have been subjected to a constant demand for more and more information and more and more investigations dealing with Kavanaugh by Democratic senators who long ago announced they would oppose his appointment to the Supreme Court.
These senators said they would not vote for Kavanaugh even before they had even examined his qualifications and his record. That tells you all you need to know about the current clamor against him.
Democrats have mounted cruel and vicious personal attacks against Kavanaugh, his family, and the Republican senators supporting his confirmation. Their goal is to stop a conservative who believes in the rule of law and the Constitution from being seated on the Supreme Court.
The opposition to Kavanaugh has nothing to do with his qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. It has everything to do with liberal efforts to turn the Supreme Court into another policymaking body like Congress that will implement their far-left public policy views.
Kavanaugh’s opponents are willing to say anything and use any tactics—no matter how unfair and cruel—to prevent his confirmation. And they are doing this not because of anything disqualifying in his background or professional qualifications, but simply because of the way they believe he will rule in cases before the Supreme Court
The worst part of all of this is that, in addition to the terrible ordeal and defamation that Kavanaugh and his family have been put through, good people who could serve our nation with great distinction as judges and other government officials will be deterred from public service.
During his Senate confirmation hearing in 1991, when he had to defend himself against allegations of sexual harassment, Supreme Court nominee and current Justice Clarence Thomas called the hearing “a circus,” “a national disgrace,” and “a high-tech lynching.”
All those words apply to what Senate Democrats and their allies have put Kavanaugh through. It is time to end this charade and proceed to a Senate vote that should end with Kavanaugh’s confirmation as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.
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Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research.