Federal Courts and Nominations

Learning With: ‘With Battle Over, Kavanaugh Quickly Gets to Work as a Supreme Court Justice’

Before reading the article:

Why was the nomination and subsequent confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court contentious?

Who is Christine Blasey Ford? What did she accuse Justice Kavanaugh of doing when the two of them were teenagers?

How many Senators ultimately voted to confirm Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court? How many voted against his appointment?

Now, read the article, “With Battle Over, Kavanaugh Quickly Gets to Work as a Supreme Court Justice,” and answer the following questions:

  1. What do Justice Kavanaugh’s critics say about his hiring of four women and no men to serve as his Supreme Court clerks?
  2. Who is Elizabeth B. Wydra?
  3. What does she say about Justice Kavanaugh’s staff of clerks and about his confirmation?
  4. What do Justice Kavanaugh’s supporters have to say about that?
  5. When did Justice Kavanaugh serve as a Supreme Court clerk? Under which justice did he serve?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

related article states:

There will be no swing justice in the mold of Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor or Lewis F. Powell Jr., who forged alliances with both liberals and conservatives. Instead, the court will consist of two distinct blocs — five conservatives and four liberals. The court, in other words, will perfectly reflect the deep polarization of the American public and political system.

The fight to put Judge Kavanaugh on the court only widened that division. The confirmation process was a bare-knuckle brawl, and the nomination was muscled through by sheer force of political will. All of this inflicted collateral damage on the court, leaving it injured and diminished.

Do you agree with the writer’s assertion that “collateral damage” has been done to the Supreme Court? Why or why not?

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