Kavanaugh effect could be end of democracy in US

By The Inverness Courier

You may be wondering what the big deal is around Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

There are three separate issues but they are also linked.

Firstly, there are nine justices on the SCOTUS. They are lifetime appointees; they only leave when they resign or die. Justices on our Supreme Court, by contrast, retire when they reach 70.

While the approval or otherwise of a member of the UK Supreme Court lies with a political appointee, selection does not and appointees are, therefore, pretty politically independent and not beholden to government.

In the American system, the President of the day nominates someone to fill any vacancy which arises. The Senate is then asked to approve the candidate.

Kavanaugh has replaced another Republican justice but, while his predecessor was a fairly moderate Republican voting on many issues with Democrat justices, Kavanaugh is extremely hardline.

Cases scheduled to come before the SCOTUS over the coming months are, thanks to Kavanaugh’s appointment, likely to result in:

•Measures being put in place to make it difficult for many Democrat voters to vote.

•Gerrymandering of electoral boundaries to ensure Republican success at future elections.

•The President being granted immunity in both state and federal criminal and civil offences (at the moment the President only has immunity against federal offences).

•Extension of the President’s power to pardon those convicted of crimes.

•Abolition of the two-term limit on presidential tenure.

Together these, effectively, spell the end of democracy in America.

The SCOTUS can also, unlike the UK equivalent, overrule primary legislation. So if there is ever again a future Democrat President – unlikely as that now appears – it may be that they can bring in none of the legislation they were elected to pursue.

The SCOTUS can even overturn previous SCOTUS decisions such as those on abortion. It can, and will, prevent any future American government doing anything to tackle climate change. It will ensure that gun control never happens.

The second issue which is a big deal is that the previous appointment to the SCOTUS should have been made by Barack Obama. The course of American history and its continuation as a democratic country was changed by an almost year-long filibuster by the Republican Senate who refused even to consider the moderate Merrick Garland (Obama’s choice).

The third issue, and the one that’s received most publicity of late, is that of several women who have come forward alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them many years ago.

Republicans have been at the forefront of demanding the resignation of Democrats like Al Franklin, without any investigation of the cases; unsupported allegations alone have been enough. But despite the very convincing testimony of Dr Christine Blasey-Ford Republicans have insisted (rightly, in my view) that people are innocent until proven guilty.

There has been no need for Kavanaugh to be appointed until such time as a proper investigation could be carried out. The week’s restricted investigation by the FBI into credible allegations was, frankly, a joke. The US has lost its way.

This article provided by NewsEdge.