The Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of what is permitted under the US Constitution. Its members reach the bench through a process that begins with the president.
“Tonight, I speak to you from the East Room of the White House, regarding one of the most profound responsibility of the President of the United States, and that is the selection of a Supreme Court justice.”
Once nominated Supreme Court picks, faced rigorous scrutiny starting with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh came before us for a job interview, a lifetime appointment to the highest court land.”
For days the committee grills the nominee on his judicial philosophy and his interpretation of the law and the Constitution.
“Can an American citizen collaborating with other terrorists or not American citizens be held as an ‘enemy combatant’.”
Then the committee votes on whether to recommend the nominee to the full Senate.
Last week the committee narrowly advanced Kavanaugh, one day after Christine Blasey Ford testified that the nominee sexually assaulted her as a teenager. Kavanaugh denied the charge. The FBI has been given one week to investigate sexual misconduct allegations before a final Senate vote.
“The full Senate will begin considering judge Kavanaugh’s nomination today.”
Legal scholars say constitutional duties are being met even if the process is extraordinarily messy.
“Indeed the president has nominated a potential justice to fill the vacancy and the Senate is considering it. However it was very questionable whether the Senate is actually doing a good job, of considering the issues that have come up.
51 votes are needed to confirm a nominee in the 100 member chamber. Republicans have 51 members a number that could change in next month’s elections. If Democrats vote lockstep against Kavanaugh they would need two Republicans to join them to defeat the nominee, since Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote in the event of a 50-50 split.
Michael Bowman VOA News Washington.