Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his accusers, the U.S. Supreme Court and the American people all deserve to have a full, fair, objective, definitive and final investigation of the claims of sexual assault. This is the only way to put an end to the now utterly polarized process of selecting an associate justice who will serve for life. There is new information potentially relevant to the fitness of Judge Kavanaugh. Had it been known at the time of the background investigation, it would have been considered.
There is no particular urgency to fill this seat. If it proceeds and a vote is taken to send the nomination on to the full Senate and Judge Kavanaugh is approved, that will not be the end of it. If the Democrats get control of the House of Representatives, it is highly likely that an investigation will be done while Judge Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court. Then we may be faced with an impeachment proceeding. Only one associate justice, Samuel Chase, has been impeached by the House. The Senate acquitted him in 1805.
Reopening the background investigation will cut off any later initiatives to investigate. After a truly final background investigation, the vote on Judge Kavanaugh can be taken and, if the nomination is approved, he can then go to the Supreme Court without facing further investigation as to these claims, and the process will end.
Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar supported Judge Kavanuagh’s nomination and testified in support. In the Yale Daily News on Monday, he stands by what he has said about Judge Kavanagh’s “uniquely impressive judicial and scholarly record.” He continued: “But now that serious accusations have arisen about his conduct in his teenage years, I believe that these accusations deserve the best and most professional investigation possible—even if that means a brief additional delay on the ultimate vote on Judge Kavanaugh, and even if that investigatory delay imperils his confirmation.”
We could not agree more. Let us not send Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court without the full airing everyone deserves.