The TRUTH Behind the Kavanaugh Confirmation
Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino deliver the definitive account with shocking revelations and dire implications for the future of the Court
“You may defeat me in the final vote, but you will never get me to quit. Never.” —Brett Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On June 27, 2018, a quiet meeting set in motion the most consequential confirmation ordeal in Supreme Court history. That afternoon Justice Anthony Kennedy slipped out of the Supreme Court building and traveled incognito to the White House to inform President Donald Trump that he was retiring. This news touched off a media maelstrom—President Trump would now choose a nominee to replace the abortion swing vote on the Court. Justice Kennedy’s retirement triggered a political process that his successor, Brett Kavanaugh, would denounce three months later as a “national disgrace” and a “circus.”
Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court (Regnery Publishing; July 9, 2019; $28.99), written by Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist and Fox News contributor, and Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, is the definitive reporting and analysis on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Based on news-breaking interviews of more than 100 people—including the president of the United States, several Supreme Court justices, high-ranking White House and Department of Justice officials, and dozens of senators—two women with exclusive access tell the true story of what really happened behind the scenes during the Kavanaugh confirmation and explore what the bitterly divisive hearings mean for the future of the Court and the battle for the soul of America.
The judicial confirmation process, on the point of breakdown for thirty years, proved utterly dysfunctional with President Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh. Nasty politics and unverified accusations of sexual assault became weapons in a ruthless campaign of personal destruction, culminating in the melodramatic hearings in which Kavanaugh’s impassioned defense resuscitated a nomination that seemed beyond saving.
The Supreme Court has become the arbiter of our nation’s most vexing and divisive disputes. With the stakes of each vacancy incalculably high, the incentive to destroy a nominee is nearly irresistible. The next time a nominee promises to change the balance of the Court, Hemingway and Severino warn, the confirmation fight will be even uglier than Kavanaugh’s.
A good person might accept that nomination in the naïve belief that what happened to Kavanaugh won’t happen to him because he is a good person. But it can happen, it does happen, and it just happened.
The question is whether Americans will let it happen again.