WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence condemned Democrat obstruction of the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. At a luncheon for the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), he cited a liberal judge who called on Democrats to support Kavanaugh, and attacked the unprecedented opposition the judge has received.
“It used to be unthinkable,” Pence declared, “that a United States senator would actually announce their opposition to a nominee before that nominee was announced.”
Even so, the vice president recalled that “five Senate Democrats announced their opposition before President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
Citing the Constitution, Pence quipped, “That’s not ‘advise and consent, that’s simply ‘obstruct and oppose,’ and the American people deserve better.”
.@VP Mike Pence notes that “5 Senate democrats announced their opposition before President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh. That’s not ‘advise and consent,’ that’s obstruct and oppose.” @PJMedia_com pic.twitter.com/x1IiUJ2251
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) August 24, 2018
The vice president denounced Democrats, who “have no intention of giving this brave man and this brilliant jurist consideration.”
Pence testified to Kavanaugh’s character, citing the second part of Georgetown Prep School’s motto — “men of faith, men for others.” (Both Brett Kavanaugh and now-Justice Neil Gorsuch attended the school.) “I can’t tell you how impressed I was by this man for others,” Pence said.
“If you look at the life, if you look at the character of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, you will see that it has always been about others,” the vice president testified.
Beyond the judge’s personal life, Pence praised his judicial record, noting that Kavanaugh’s opinions have been cited by courts around the country. “The Supreme Court has endorsed Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions more than a dozen times,” he said, and the crowd remained silent. “I think that’s worth a round of applause,” he added, and the crowd responded with vigor.
“The truth is, Judge Brett Kavanaugh supports the principles of limited government enshrined by our founders in the Constitution of the United States,” Pence declared. “He’s a textualist, an originalist, and yet he enjoys a broad degree of support.”
The vice president paraphrased liberal lawyer Lisa Blatt, who wrote an article supporting Kavanaugh in POLITICO. “Democrats should support Judge Kavanaugh. Quit attacking him — full stop,” Pence said.
This wasn’t a direct quote, but it definitely caught the spirit of the article. Blatt declared, “Democrats should quit attacking Kavanaugh—full stop. It is unbecoming to block him simply because they want to, and they risk alienating intelligent people who see the obvious: He is the most qualified conservative for the job.”
“If we lived in a more respectful time, Judge Kavanaugh would be confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate,” Pence declared. He cited the 1993 vote to confirm the “notorious RBG,” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which involved 96 senators confirming her nomination.
.@VP Mike Pence praises Gorsuch, Kavanaugh: "President Trump and I couldn’t be more proud of Justice Neil Gorsuch. We also couldn’t be more proud of the next justice of the Supreme Court of the Untied States, Justice Brett Kavanaugh!" @PJMedia_com
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) August 24, 2018
Importantly, the vice president noted that Democrats have obstructed more than just Kavanaugh. “An unprecedented 42 district court nominees are just waiting for a Senate vote,” he said. He noted that Trump has nominated more than 130 “extraordinary men and women to our federal courts, and they’re conservatives all.”
The vice president added, “I’m up to eight tie-breaking votes.”
In Kavanaugh’s case specifically, Pence attacked the Democrats for demanding “a ridiculous amount of documents.” He noted that in the nomination hearings for Justice Elena Kagan, the Senate Judiciary Committee received roughly 173,000 documents, whereas the committee has already received 430,000 documents regarding Kavanaugh.
In the end, the vice president argued, “the most powerful media in America has been and always will be word of mouth.” He urged RNLA members to pressure senators to confirm Kavanaugh and to help elect Republicans in November.
Indeed, opposition to Kavanaugh has reached a fever pitch, with Democrats crying foul when the judge called Roe v. Wade (1973) “settled law,” Senate Democrats cancelling their meetings with him over the plea deal of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, and celebrities like Alyssa Milano dressing up like a handmaid from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” suggesting that if Kavanaugh were confirmed to the Senate, women would lose their rights and face state-sanctioned systematic rape.
To this, Pence countered with this repeated line, riffing off the Constitution: “‘Advise and consent’ has turned into ‘obstruct and oppose.'” Too true.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.