Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just finished with a tense, divisive confirmation process in which he stoked concerns that he is an instinctual partisan Republican.
One would think the last thing he and his fellow members of the court would do at such a moment is serve as set pieces in President Donald Trump’s midterm campaign.
Yet that is what they did on Monday, participating in an unnecessary White House ceremony celebrating Kavanaugh’s elevation to the high court.
Though ceremonial swearings-in like the one Kavanaugh received are not unheard-of, President Barack Obama’s two court picks, Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, wisely eschewed such spectacles after they were confirmed, asserting their independence from the president who chose them. Kavanaugh, unwisely, did not follow their example, dragging his fellow justices to an event that at times felt like a Trump victory lap. “The White House ceremony, which included cocktails and a band, in some ways felt like a cross between a campaign rally and a wedding reception,” The Post’s Ashley Parker and John Wagner reported. Also in attendance were Fox News’ poisonous conservative provocateur Laura Ingraham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Trump once again rubbed salt in the wounds of the Americans still distraught that the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, were not taken more seriously. The president apologized to Kavanaugh “for the terrible pain and suffering” he was “forced to endure.” Trump not only dismissed Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh but also argued she was part of a partisan conspiracy.
The president’s behavior can only discourage sexual assault victims from coming forward for fear that they will be disbelieved and ridiculed by powerful men. That may be a benefit, as far as Trump is concerned.