Political Focus: The Republican double standard – Why Anthony Kennedy’s replacement is making everyone so angry

Ben Hume, Staff Reporter

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The entire month of July for U.S. politics was turned on its head when current Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his sudden retirement. Kennedy was an integral part of many recent progressive Supreme Court decisions, from legalizing same-sex marriage to defending women’s reproductive rights. His retirement left the filling of his position to the ever-chaotic Trump administration. Their decision for nomination is far more conservative than his predecessor, but surprisingly that is not the only aspect of the story stirring the pot. If you reach deep into your memory banks, you might recall some issues with the previous court justice filling during the Obama administration, something like the Republican-dominated congress not allowing for Obama to fill a vacant justice seat with a very moderate candidate. Republicans of course blocked that nomination all the way until a conservative president entered the White House. So why the sudden need to nominate a new justice so conveniently close to the midterm elections? This is the beauty of the Republican double-standard.

The schedule for nominating Kennedy’s replacement has the seat being filled sometime in the beginning of August, and the man currently in line to fill that seat is a real character. His name is Brett M. Kavanaugh, and his stances are extremely conservative. The 53-year-old is a federal appeals court judge, and the culmination of a 30-year attempt at bringing a conservative majority to the Supreme Court. But all of this is relatively tame. Just as a progressive administration would want to fill the seat with a liberal candidate, a Republican filling the seat with a conservative judge is not a surprise. The resentment comes in the fact that Congress is putting Kavanaugh’s nomination on a fast track, with plans to confirm his nomination before the predicted liberal swing after the midterm elections.

Not only has the Supreme Court lost an important swing vote in favor of the most progressive decisions of the decade, but they’ve gained a fully conservative majority for the first time in years. Annoying, but Kavanaugh is no ordinary conservative. He has very particular stances on impeachment and pressing criminal charges against standing presidents that are very beneficial to an administration constantly under scrutiny.

As a recap, the Republican Congress blocked the confirmation of a moderate Supreme Court justice during Obama’s presidency. After placing their own conservative justice in the seat that should have been filled by the Obama administration, they are given another opportunity to nominate a justice with Kennedy’s retirement. Despite calls by Democratic congress members to wait on a vote due to a sketchy and poor nomination by President Trump, Republicans are doing exactly the opposite thing they did to Obama and confirming a justice before they are ousted from power during the midterms. This obvious double standard makes my blood boil, and I am confident that if I was told of a similar manipulation of the justice system by the Democratic party that I would hold them equally as accountable. This is not a matter of party, this is a matter of basic human dignity. You do not hold others to different standards than your own, especially when so many important national decisions hang on a single vote.

So this August, no matter your party, vote for politicians that at least have a shred of humanity left in them. God knows we need them.