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Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the second day of his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 5, 2018... Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the second day of his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 5, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 5, 2018 5:29 pm
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I wanted to follow up on my post below about Kavanaugh being a made to order Justice, courtesy of the Federalist Society and the rest of the conservative judicial incubation infrastructure. One highly knowledgeable reader of ours, who comes out of the DC legal world, notes more specific points: specifically, the way Kavanaugh’s grooming and incubation was conducted for the specific purpose of a) being absolutely certain that he was a strict right-wing ideologue, with no hidden dimensions of possible heterodoxy unexamined and b)that he was clean as a whistle, not only with no scandals but no paper trail that would cause undue problems. No more emerging heterodoxy like Kennedy and Souter. No more flame-outs like Bork.

From TPM Reader XX (true initials witheld) …

He has been groomed essentially from birth (ok, law school, his birth as a lawyer) – my analogy is the Boys from Brazil – totally in the Federalist Society world, given the right jobs/experience/etc. They know to a certainty what he will do because he has grown up entirely with like-minded people and been inculcated with the “right” (in both senses) values.

What the Dems have missed in this hearing is that Kav is the culmination of a 30-year project, which began when Kennedy got the Bork seat, to ensure that there would be no more Kennedys; that Republican nominees would be 100% dependable. They weren’t successful initially – see Justice Souter. But they killed Harriet Miers’ nomination because she hadn’t been Federalist Society born and bred. And got Justice Alito, who qualified fully.

With Kav’s confirmation, they have 4 totally dependable votes and a fifth (the Chief Justice) who will be dependable much of the time.

While it is mildly interesting to look at Kavanaugh’s record, particularly his campaign speeches about Rehnquist and Meese (when he had to bolster his conservative bona fides), the real focus should be the goals of the conservative legal movement – the Federalists, AEI, Heritage – because that is what Kav is going to be implementing. After all, the Trump people literally outsourced Supreme Court selection to Leonard Leo, so it is no surprise that Leo picked someone who is a complete creature of that movement and who we can assume Leo is quite sure will be a 100% dependable vote, as Gorsuch has been, as well as 100% committed to radical change once he gets to the Supreme Court, as Gorsuch has been (count up the number of precedents he’s targeted for overruling or drastic revision in just one year – it’s more than a dozen!).

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