Op-eds

Below you will find the op-eds (opinion articles) that have been published in newspapers and online across the country.  Op-eds are posted according to their release date. To read by topic, please see the Issue Positions page.

“Democrats have gone 'borking mad' on Brett Kavanaugh”

Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh is an extremely qualified and compassionate individual, who does not deserve to be Borked by Democrats.

By Orrin G. Hatch

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/08/02/brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-robert-bork-column/878756002/

To Bork, or not to Bork?

For Senate Democrats, that is the question.

For those unfamiliar with borking, the term — officially recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002 — refers to the unprecedented campaign of character assassination waged against Judge Robert Bork during his 1987 Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Judge Bork was among the most qualified and credentialed judicial nominees ever to come before the Senate. A giant on the federal bench, his opinions were never once overruled on appeal. His jurisprudence was unassailable; his character beyond reproach.

By all accounts, Judge Bork’s confirmation should have been a cakewalk. But it quickly became a political gauntlet from which neither his career nor his reputation would ever recover. 

Rather than evaluate Judge Bork on the merits of his judicial record, Democrats subjected him to a public inquisition, misrepresenting his positions and demonizing his character at every turn. Their ultimate goal was to portray Judge Bork not as the reasoned and principled jurist we all knew him to be, but as a political extremist hell-bent on returning America to a racist, reactionary past.

And in large part, they succeeded. Judge Bork’s nomination was eventually defeated. Never mind that the reputation of a decent and honorable man lay in tatters — liberals had claimed their first scalp in the full-scale politicization of the Supreme Court confirmation process.

So vicious and low was the left’s treatment of the good judge that a description of this behavior found its way into the everyday parlance: to Bork. To Bork public officials is to vilify them for political gain. It is to strip them of their humanity, tear their public image to shreds, and depict them as evil incarnate. It is to do to a person exactly what Democrats are attempting to do to Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 

Democrats trying to Bork Kavanaugh

Like Judge Bork, Judge Kavanaugh is among the most qualified individuals ever nominated to the Supreme Court. With a sterling academic résumé, a demonstrated commitment to the Constitution and more than 12 years on the federal bench, he is everything Americans could hope for in a Supreme Court justice. Democrats know they can’t derail Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination on the merits. Instead, they attack a straw man — a gross caricature of the real Judge Kavanaugh, a fictitious being born of rank hyperbole and liberal lies.

In their zeal to portray Judge Kavanaugh as the embodiment of our greatest fears, Democrats have gone borking mad. As if announcing a professional wrestling match, Sen. Richard Blumenthal described Judge Kavanaugh as nothing less than “your worst nightmare.” Sen. Kamala Harris went a step further when she warned that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would result in the “destruction of the Constitution of the United States.” But Sen. Jeff Merkley one-upped them all when he stated, with no hint of irony, that Judge Kavanaugh "is a nominee who wants to pave the path to tyranny.”

In a moment of indiscretion, it seems that President Donald Trump has nominated Genghis Khan to the Supreme Court.

n recent days, liberal rhetoric has taken an even more apocalyptic turn. Take, for example, the letter signed by hundreds of Yale Law School alumni, students and faculty prophesying that “people will die if (Judge Kavanaugh) is confirmed.”

Or consider Sen. Cory Booker’s declaration that anyone supporting Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is “complicit (in) evil” — or his biblical allusion likening this political moment to “walking through the valley of the shadow of death.”

Given the rhetoric, you’d be forgiven if you thought the left was talking about the Grim Reaper and not Judge Kavanaugh. While both might wear black robes, only one is a minivan-driving carpool dad. Only one is a baseball-loving law professor adored by students of all political stripes. Only one is a former altar boy turned girls basketball coach who feeds the homeless in his free time. And that’s Judge Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is an 'incredibly decent' human being

Try as they might to depict my friend as the harbinger of death, Democrats are repeatedly frustrated by the same simple fact: Judge Kavanaugh is an incredibly decent human being. 

I know from firsthand experience. Judge Kavanaugh and I became well acquainted when he was nominated to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, I oversaw every step of his confirmation. Throughout the process, Judge Kavanaugh proved himself to be an individual of exceptional kindness, character and compassion. The judge I know personally is nothing like the cartoon villain the left makes him out to be.   

Political operatives can dehumanize Judge Kavanaugh all they want in the media. But at the end of the day, this is the same man who, every year, takes the little girl of his widowed friend to the school daddy-daughter dance. It’s the same man who has championed the professional success of women and minorities throughout the entirety of his legal career. And it’s the same man who has garnered widespread admiration from jurists and academics on both sides of the political aisle.

In an attempt to make a monster of a mensch, Democrats have dumped millions of dollars on political ads maligning Judge Kavanaugh’s character. But the truth, like Teflon, keeps these attacks from sticking.  

Of course, reality won’t deter Democrats from further attempts to Bork Judge Kavanaugh. Mother Theresa could be our nominee, and the left would still find something to complain about. Even so, I trust the American people to see through the ruse. Judge Kavanaugh is both a gentleman and a jurist of the highest quality. He is an eminently qualified nominee who deserves swift confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Orrin G. Hatch is a Republican senator from Utah.

 

 

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