September 10, 2018

Stupid Brett Kavanugh tricks

Slate -During Thursday’s final round of questioning of Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris asked the nominee what seemed like a simple question.

“Judge, you’ve spoken about the president’s unlimited prosecutorial discretion,” Harris noted. “Does that discretion allow him to target his political enemies for prosecution and spare his friends?”

Kavanaugh began droning on about how the limits of prosecutorial discretion require further study before Harris cut him off, repeating a version of the simple yes-no question. “Do you agree with the principle that a sitting president should not politicize the Justice Department?” she asked. Kavanaugh said he couldn’t answer. “That is asking me to weigh in on the political arena,” he offered.

And so, this week, the question of whether or not a president can use the Department of Justice to punish political enemies and offer his friends impunity to commit crimes became a debatable, two-sided political question. Kavanaugh’s refusal to comment on the question of whether the president can turn the DOJ into his own personal Stasi was part of a pattern of refusals to answer once-simple questions that are now, in Trump’s America, considered “political controversies.”

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