[guest post by Dana]
This seemed to aptly sum up the political circus that was the first day of Judge Brett Kavanagh’s confirmation hearing:
Anyway, a truly good thing to come out of the hearing was Ben Sasse’s wonderful civics lesson as he covered the role of the judiciary, the correct allocation of authority in the three branches of the federal government, the need for limited government, the place of Congress and the “alphabet soup bureaucracies”. Watch the whole thing:
Best line from Sasse, who points to where the ultimate failure rests as he dissects a system that is “wildly out of whack”:
“At the end of the day, a lot of the power delegation that happens from this branch is because Congress has decided to self-neuter”
Congress is set up to be the most political branch. “This is supposed to be the institution dedicated to political fights,” Sasse said.
But in the name of politics, lawmakers have decided to keep their jobs rather than take tough votes. “Most people here want their jobs more than they really want to do legislative work, and so they punt their legislative work to the next branch,” Sasse said.
Because Congress often lets the executive branch write rules, and Americans aren’t sure who in the government bureaucracy to talk to, that leaves Americans with no other place than the courts to turn to express their frustration with policies. And the Supreme Court, with its nine visible members, is a convenient outlet. Sasse: “This transfer of power means people yearn for a place where politics can be done, and when we don’t do a lot of big political debate here, people transfer it to the Supreme Court. And that’s why the Supreme Court is increasingly a substitute political battleground for America.”
Sasse’s final point is one you can probably guess is coming by now: That this process needs to change. If Congress did more legislating, these Supreme Court nomination battles would get less political, he argues: “If we see lots and lots of protests in front of the Supreme Court, that’s a pretty good barometer of the fact that our republic isn’t healthy. They shouldn’t be protesting in front of the Supreme Court, they should be protesting in front of this body.”
After the hearing, Sasse made these observations:
Tuesday’s hearing shows that both Republicans and Democrats seem to view the Supreme Court as completely partisan.
I do think that the left started this fight, but I think both of these parties are really, really, lame in teaching basic civics to our kids right now.
Also, I’m posting this video as a second palate cleanser because at the end of the day, in spite of the political freakshow parading itself before us, love – true love – really does win. And it is simply the best:
An 88-year-old dad is reunited with his 53-year-old down syndrome son after spending a week apart for the first time ever. pic.twitter.com/5hvl0FkGKS
— The Dad (@thedad) September 1, 2018
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)