John Paul Stevens: Don’t Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

As I have written previously, I have long been a huge admirer of former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens — not just for being a fellow Cubs fan.  However, I was surprised to see that Stevens broke a long-standing uwritten rule of former and current justices not to speak on pending nominations or confirmations. According to The Palm Beach Post, Stevens spoke publicly at an event with a retirement group that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. The event was described as “closed” so it is not clear that Stevens realized that he would be quoted, but it was obviously a large crowd setting. Stevens said that the anger and language used by Kavanaugh raises serious questions of his temperament.  

Stevens said “I thought [Kavanaugh] had the qualifications for the Supreme Court, should he be selected. I’ve changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability … I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind.”

I have previously criticized Kavanaugh for some of his language and his tenor, particularly his reference to Democratic Senators and the Clintons.  Many people view the withholding of the allegations as a “hit job,” as he stated, but he should have left such political analysis to others.  As a judge, he should have known better than let these circumstances trigger such emotive outbursts.

Having said that,  I do not believe that the temperament of Kavanaugh can be judged from this one, unique circumstance. He was accused, among other things, of leading a virtual rape gang in high school. That would leave most people rather ticked and angry.

Putting aside our assumptions as to temperament, there should be no question about the need for former justices to stay out of the politics of confirmation. Indeed, it was a curious moment and subject for Stevens to break from his long observance of this rule.  He is breaking a long tradition of avoiding comments on political matters in order to criticize a nominee for commenting on political matters.

Clearly, Stevens is not required to avoid such commentary but it undermines the Court for current or former members to be seen as participating in the debate for confirmations.  Like Kavanaugh, his points made be correct but he is not the proper messenger.

233 thoughts on “John Paul Stevens: Don’t Confirm Brett Kavanaugh”

  1. Kavanaugh confirmed, vote of 50-48 w/ one paired for and one paired against.

  2. Yes, he is the wrong messenger for this issue.

    I think the danger in his statement is that he is making a broad assumption that Brett Kavanaugh is unqualified because he got into a shouting match. However, I think the fact that he started shouting is like asking for someone to be passive when they are being accused of a crime. I could imagine there were some in the viewing audience who would have been comfortable with him practicing tee-ball against the offending Senators. These were Senators who decided he was guilty before the day’s hearing commenced, and then decided he was ineligible for being an Associate Justice because he verbally harangued some miscreants.

    I was appalled at the behavior of the Democrat Senators on that committee before, during, and after the day’s hearing. And then when I listened to what former Justice Stevens said, I almost screamed.

  3. Judge or not do you ever forget the folks who tried to ruin you and your family’s lives? I sure hope not.

    1. Robert Bork offered (about 30 years ago) that Stevens was an amiable man completely steeped in the social world of affluent and educated people in the BosWash corridor (and, one presumes, Chicago, where he’d grown up and made his career). Per Bork, he was hardly able to conceive of any worldview other than the one all around him. You review his biography and you see the only time in his life spent outside of it was his 3 years and change in the Navy. (Profiles of him do not indicate where he was stationed, just that he was a cryptographer).

  4. Hello Justice Kavanaugh. I can’t wait till Trump replaces RBG’s seat.

  5. Hijab Hannah has called Susan Collins and her “white” children and grandchildren a disgrace etc.
    Remember when she was organizing the 1st wimmin’s march in Jan 2017…..she wrote on their Facebook page that white women needed
    to step back and be quiet and let women of colors take. the lead. Yes Ma’am!!

    1. Seven people have told the Senate under penalty of law that “devils triangle” was a drinking game they played with Justice Kavanaugh. And “boofing” was indeed “farting.”

      1. I believe the Devil’s Triangle is the area created by our 3 branches of government, otherwise known as the Administrative State. That area has expanded over the last 100 years and Judge Kavanough’s seat on the court threatens to reduce that area.

      2. Boofing on the other hand will become the term to describe the odor left behind when those deep state conspirators are finally put behind bars. As in Boof, there goes Stzrok, Page, Comey and Ohr.

        1. And what chargeable crimes would you endeavor to convict them of? Not liking Trump?

          1. “Official Misconduct” is a crime in New York. I’d wager theirs a similar offense defined in the U.S. Code. Can be malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance.

    2. This reminds me of a tale from the final stages of WWII in which a Polish woman strapped down her daughter’s breasts so as not to excite or otherwise advertise to the oncoming Russians.

      Why do women place themselves in predictable situations then complain about a realized potential?

      We all know what has high probability of occurring.

      Murphy’s Law – If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.

  6. Moving right along now to 2020,

    Kamala Harris’ criticism and false accusations of Judge Kavanaugh may be hypocrisy. Kamala Harris began her career as the “girlfriend” of the very married Willie Brown who “…appointed Harris to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.” Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, 2014, must know that Brown was in terested in her for quite some period of time.

    ‘Poontronage’: When Kamala Met Willie
    By Lloyd Billingsley

    “She is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough,” said the president of the United States in 2013. “She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.”

    That would be former California Attorney General Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, and now the state’s junior U.S. senator. As it happens, Barack Obama was not the first prominent Democrat to be dazzled by the UC Berkeley beauty.

    As speaker of the California State Assembly from 1980 to 1995, Willie Brown was by far the Golden State’s most powerful shot-caller. In 1994 Brown, 60, met Kamala Harris, a full 30 years his junior, and she became “the Speaker’s new steady,” Brown’s “girlfriend” and “frequent companion.” The two-year relationship worked out well for Harris.

    Willie Brown appointed Harris to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which paid $97,088 a year. She served six months and Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, which met only once a month but paid Harris $72,000. Call it “poontronage,” a politician’s appointment of his steady girlfriend, frequent companion, and main squeeze to a lucrative government position requiring little work.”

    1. Kamala Harris never attended U.C. Berkeley. Her undergraduate degree is from Howard (she is 1/4 black) and her law degree is from Hastings College of the Law. Poorly researched article!

  7. It’s over, for reals this time. Say hello to the latest addition to the Supreme Court of the United States, the honorable(and forever red-pilled) Justice Brett Kavanaugh. I’m going off to chug a beer in celebration.

      1. I’m in that court as well. I will however put some beer on ice.

        On another note, with Judge Kavanaugh on the court, what would be Ginsburg’s motivation to not retire given the fact her vote will be of little consequence to future “landmark” decisions?

  8. Who cares about Roe v. Wade? I want the sanctuary city case resolved against the anarchists and funding stopped post haste. Then you’ll see the fur fly ’cause the Maoists won’t have public funds to subsidize them. Can’t wait

    1. “Sanctuary city” policies are unconstitutional usurpation of the power of Congress, solely, to establish immigration law.

      The Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795 and 1802, as examples of immigration legislation, thrice iterated the requirement that citizens be “…free white person(s)…” etc., etc., etc.

      No state, county or municipality has any authority to legislate or modify immigration policy.

      “Sanctuary city” polices are willful subversion of the Constitution and they must be treated as such.

      How about putting some “teeth” in the Constitution?

  9. the Votes have been declared, it appears Kavanaugh will be on the High Court with Manchin’s help. ha!

    All that we need next is for Roe v Wade to be overturned (nod to Kavanaugh for payback to the Dems), followed Resist-types and all those “enraged” womyn to effectively abort themselves. courage of their conviction and all that

    Jeff Bezos would make a mint if Amazon started selling Hari Kari Kits

    1. But, but, but wait a minute. Bart promised Susan Collins he WOULD NOT overturn Roe v. Wade. Are you saying he lied to get a seat on the SCOTUS?

      All that’s been proven so far is what a competent conniver Kellyanne is. The fake outrage approach has her stinky fingerprints all over it. Legal scholars, a former SCOTUS Justice and an organization representing 45 million Christians demanded that Kavanaugh be withdrawn due to lack of impartiality and lack of proper judicial temperament. Susan Collins bought the lie that Kavanaugh wouldn’t overturn Roe. Even you, Cathy, and the other Trumpsters know that was a lie. Why doesn’t she?

      1. I think Kellyanne Conway must have stolen Natacha’s lunch money.

      2. you sure are dumb. Roberts said the same thing as Kavanaugh, fyi.

        Chuck Schumer:

        “Let’s be clear: This is not as simple as Judge Kavanaugh saying that Roe is settled law,” said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Everything the Supreme Court decides is settled law until it unsettles it. Saying a case is settled law is not the same thing as saying a case was correctly decided.”

      1. I ain’t believing it until Charlie Brown kicks that football.

  10. As we speak, the four holdouts appear to be putting their cards on the table. Fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but it doesn’t look bad for BK. Lets hope for tomorrow or Monday.

  11. Evidence left unexamined
    Pro illegal mass surveillance
    Pro unitary executive

    The deep state has a winner! USA, RIP

    1. Evidence left unexamined

      Dishonest Talking Points We’re Done With.


      1. Sure I do. They make certain that the illegal becomes “legal”. No true conservative would vote for mass surveillance and the unitary executive. Nu conservatives love that stuff.

        Congress does this also. The NDAA for example is Congress’ baby. If you’ve been missing the consolidation of power in the hands of the executive which has been going on for years, you’re not paying attention. The executive is a figurehead, but the deep state will have all the “legal” power it needs to make the US an open dictatorship. We’re very close to that now. I’m not talking to the govt. posters who already know this, I’m talking to the people who think they are conservatives and don’t really understand what is happening.

        I also know for sure that SC justices are not supposed to perjure themselves to get on the court. but that’s already happened, so that’s hardly surprising!

        Time for people power. Enough is enough.

        1. No true conservative would vote for mass surveillance and the unitary executive. Nu conservatives love that stuff.

          No one here believes you could offer a coherent explanation of the term ‘unitary executive’ without plagiarizing wholesale from some other site.

          1. Tab,

            Why don’t you look it up and what Brett has to say about it for yourself? I’m sure you’re smart enough to do that.

        2. The laws are passed by Congress. The Supreme Court judges consititutionality. They are not there to pass laws or to prevent laws from being passed. You have an odd idea of the balance of power. That there is so much agita over a Supreme nominee tells us our system is broken. Congressional Democrats are leaving the legislating to the Supreme Court rather than passing legislation in Congress or passing Constitutional Amendments. The same is seen when the executive branch acts as a legislative body. Obama did this over and over again and the Democrats relied upon his executive orders rather than doing their jobs and passing legislation.

          You can continue with your hyperbolic trip to wherever you are going or you can provide a dialogue based on fact and law. So far you have chosen the former.

          1. The political and social views of Jill and Natacha can be summarized as an open mouth saying “I want”.

        3. Damn, if you had the common sense to actually look sh!t up instead of regurgitating the tripe you’re regularly fed, you’d quickly learn Judge Kavanaugh is nothing like you’ve been blathering about.

          In reviewing Kavanaugh’s robust record on administrative law, I find myself agreeing with Jonathan Adler’s conclusion that a Justice Kavanaugh would not bring to the Supreme Court a commitment, in Steve Bannon’s words, to the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” He cares deeply about administrative law and regulatory practice. But he would likely “put a tighter leash on the regulatory state” — a tightening that would generally apply to regulation and deregulation alike.

          That is because Kavanaugh’s decisions on the D.C. Circuit, coupled with his other writings, reveal a judge who takes separation of powers seriously. For Kavanaugh, agency regulatory authority comes from and is constrained by Article I, in that “[a]ll legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” Similarly, the modern administrative state functions against the Article II backdrop that “[t]he executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” These constitutional separation-of-powers values deeply influence Kavanaugh’s approach to administrative law.

          Although not a comprehensive survey of his administrative law jurisprudence, the following in-depth look at three areas captures some of Kavanaugh’s major contributions to administrative law and assesses his potential impact on the federal regulatory state if he is elevated to the Supreme Court.

          1. Despite all the yelling and screaming if you divide the court “politically” into thirds I believe Kavanaugh would fit into the middle third.

            1. That’s right. You have the 4 ultra lefitsts, then 3 conservatives, and then two moderates. Kavanaugh will join roberts as a moderate.

      2. Allan – if sworn in, Kavanaugh get to open the door for the other justices. 😉

    2. @ Jill…..Abortions will always be legal in China though probably not safe. Send us postcards when you move. Not


      1. jan, I didn’t think Trump would appt. a person who would not overturn Roe V Wade. If he wants his mistress to abort, he’ll force her to overseas to have an abortion. I am talking about much other issues.

        You have evidence that deliberately went unexamined. That’s not justice, it’s a sham.
        You had perjury by Brett.
        Brett is pro torture.
        Brett is pro mass surveillance.
        Brett is pro the unitary executive.

        If you like China, you’re going to love the US deep state dictatorship!

        1. Jill, Virtually all Republican nominees to the Supreme Court over the past few decades have been accused of wishing to overturn Roe vs Wade. It is time for you to return from deep space back to earth.

      2. And abortions will always be legal in California, so nobody needs to go to China, or even Mexico. So stop with the hyperbole. If Indiana or Mississippi are allowed to outlaw abortion, who cares….jump on a plane and get it done in another state and be back by tomorrow. Or better yet, don’t return to the sh!thole state at all.

  12. Monica McLean and Christine Blasey Ford pressured Leland Keyser to change her story and corroborate Ford’s fabricated tale according to a statement by Leland Keyser.

    Monica McLean retired from the FBI in 2016, upon the election of President Trump, and became an active agent of the FBI/DOJ/Intel “deep state” in support of the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

    Friend Of Blasey Ford Says Dems Pressured Her To Change Her Story on Kavanaugh

    “Lifelong friend of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the fourth alleged witness in Ford’s story of alleged sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh says she was pressured by Democrats to change her story on Kavanaugh. Leland Keyser was one of Fords best friends in high school but says she has no recollection of ever having been at a party with Kavanaugh, and that she doesn’t even know him.

    Keyser told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and friend of Ford’s, had urged her to clarify her statement,

    On September 23rd, Keyser’s attorney Howard Walsh, wrote in a statement that was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” “Leland has significant health challenges, and let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes,” Ford said during the hearing. She added: “Leland would not remember this unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties, and nothing remarkable happened to them that evening.”

    – Big League Politics

  13. The Supreme Court should consist of one Chief Justice acting under the threat of impeachment and conviction.

    “Teeth” must be placed back into the Constitution and governance.

    The integrity of a single Chief Justice would be glaring and conspicuous.

    There is one “manifest tenor” of the Constitution and only one justice is necessary to declare contrary acts void.

    There is no need for more than one justice. That sole justice must “…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.” All Americans can comprehend the logic of the law. Impeachment must be employed as the control over that justice and politics must remain in Congress. America must return to the coherence and rationality of Ben Franklin’s restricted-vote republic, “…in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote…” (Merriam-Webster) or it will evolve into dictatorship, which is the inevitable product of one man, one vote democracy. Elected officials have the constitutional authority to legislate restrictions to the right to vote.

    The Constitution is simple. Americans are totally and completely free and the government is severely limited and maximally restricted. Americans are free from central planning, control of the means of production (i.e. regulation), compulsory redistribution of wealth and social engineering. Government is limited and restricted from imposing those unconstitutional principles of communism.

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    1. If your next door neighbor dumped 10,000 gallons of arsenic and dioxin on the ground, inches from your property line, would it bother you? Without government regulations, what would be your remedy?

  14. An organization representing 100,000 Christian churches with 45 million members, just demanded that Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn because of his lack of judicial temperament and lack of impartiality. What does it take? Full-scale rioting?

    1. The organization represents its own staff and that’s it. You won’t locate one parishioner in 100 who cares.

    2. “What does it take? Full-scale rioting?” That does seem to be how the far Left, as well as other authoritarian regimes, try to wrest power away from democracy and the rule of law.

      Speaking of democracy, a Harvard poll showed over 60% of Americans favor Kavanaugh being confirmed for the Supreme Court. 75% faulted Diane Feinstein’s handling of the situation.

      What’s it going to take for the Left to respect evidence, justice, and the rule of law in our democratic process?

      1. Karen,

        You are the person who cheers a man on the SC who does not respect our Constitution. Even if you agree with mass surveillance, unitary executive, perjury, etc. those things are not in our Constitution. they violate it. And, in addition there is corroborating testimony. You just won’t listen to it.

        I told this to the people who voted for Obama and I will tell you this now. You will rue this day.

      2. “wrest power away from democracy and the rule of law”? How about the right of Barak Obama, elected by more Americans than the rodeo clown, to name a successor to the seat vacated by Scalia? He was denied this right by McConnell solely and exclusively for political reasons, to stack the Court with ultra-conservatives whose views of the law do not reflect the values of most Americans. You dare to speak of democracy and the rule of law as if you have a clue what this means?

        1. Natacha, I know you think its an outrage when you don’t get what you want, but the Senate is under no obligation to advise and consent to any nominee nor was their much of a prudential case for them to do so on a schedule you might prefer.

    3. “An organization representing 100,000 Christian churches with 45 million members, just demanded that Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn because of his lack of judicial temperament and lack of impartiality.” How many Churches believe homosexuality is a sin? How many oppose gay marriage? How many oppose abortion? What about the disconnect between the Catholic Church teaching not to use birth control, while most parishioners use it? Is what the leaders say truly reflective of parishioners?

      Now you care about what church leaders say?

      1. She’s talking about the National Council of Churches. I’m sure their staff fancies sodomy is a sacrament. The trouble is, it’s been a leftoid lobby for about 40-odd years, so this is unsurprising. What is surprising is that so many otherwise serious denominations haven’t pulled up stakes and left.

    4. You know the Left has gone full-tilt bat guano crazy when they drag out their “Christian” props from cold storage in an attempt to show their cause is legitimate. This time next week they’ll be back on ice.

      1. I’m rather irritated with the Eastern Churches and the anabaptist outfits who belong to NCC for continuing to do so. They should leave and let it collapse.

    5. Anony:
      “What does it take? Full-scale rioting?”

      Let me know when Christians take to full scale rioting? The closest I’ve seen to that is when they have a church bazaar and some unlucky soul brinks out the donuts from the fryer!

      1. You ain’t seen nothing until you accidentally sit in the “wrong” pew or even worse, the chaos that comes when it’s time to choose the color of the carpet in the sanctuary.

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