Last weekend Brett Kavanaugh became a US Supreme Court Justice. A lifetime posting.
His 50-48 confirmation by the Senate was a triumph for the presumption of innocence. You know, that pesky presumption that ensures you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt…not the other way around.
The allegations of sexual misconduct against him were serious. But they were wholly uncorroborated.
Topping it off, the first allegation dates back to a high school party in the early 1980s. At the time Kavanaugh was 17 years old. And no one, save accuser Christine Blasey Ford, has any recollection of the alleged event.
Trump and his fellow Republicans were quick to celebrate the outcome. But the fact only one Democrat — West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin — voted for Kavanaugh shows how partisan US politics has become. Not to mention the intimidating heckling Manchin has faced from his own supporters.
Aside from the lurid accusations the Democrats had hoped would derail Kavanaugh, they asked him many of the questions you’d expect.
His take on Roe versus Wade, the landmark decision on US abortion, for example. He said that was an established law he was unlikely to oppose.
Or whether he communicated with anyone about the Trump campaign–Russia collusion fiasco. He said that was big news, so of course he had talked about it. He just couldn’t recall to precisely who.
Mr Kavanaugh, have you ever smoked marijuana?
But one question was notably missing.
‘Mr Kavanaugh, have you ever smoked marijuana?’
It’s an important question, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has suggested the feds ignore the 10th Amendment. That’s the one that reserves certain powers for the states. He wants the DEA to go after marijuana producers even in the US states where it is now legal.
Fortunately, the Trump administration has more pressing issues to attend to than turning back the clock on a legitimate multi-billion-dollar business.
But still, we would have expected at least one Senator to grill Brett Kavanaugh on the topic.
They could have been subtle about it. Something like, ‘Mr Kavanaugh, do you have any plans to visit Canada after 17 October?’
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