“We believe presidents are entitled to significant deference if they nominate well-qualified people within the broad mainstream of judicial thought,” the editorial said. “When President Trump named Mr. Kavanaugh, he seemed to be such a person: an accomplished judge whom any conservative president might have picked. But given Republicans’ refusal to properly vet Mr. Kavanaugh, and given what we have learned about him during the process, we now believe it would be a serious blow to the court and the nation if he were confirmed.”
The Post decried the Senate Judiciary Committee’s failure to exhaustively vet Kavanaugh. One of the primary omissions, the paper said, was the evaluation of Kavanaugh’s time working in the George W. Bush White House.
“Those documents, which could have been processed without crippling delay, might end up supporting his case, or they might not; we have no idea,” according to the editorial. “But any responsible senator should insist on seeing them before casting a vote.”
The paper also slammed the FBI investigation into claims of sexual misconduct leveled against Kavanaugh as rushed and incomplete, accusing President Donald Trump and Republicans of preventing more exhaustive work from being done.
As for Kavanaugh’s emotional display during his testimony last week, the Post worries that his “hyperpartisan rhetoric against ‘the left’” ― Kavanaugh accused the Clintons of being behind the accusations ― is proof that he’s incapable of being impartial.
Kavanaugh defended his temperament in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Thursday, admitting that he grew too emotional because of the “deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled.”
The committee will go ahead with a procedural vote on Friday, followed by the final vote Saturday. Thousands of protesters made their opposition to his nomination heard on Thursday, marching through Senate halls.
He’s widely expected to be confirmed, although four senators ― Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) —still haven’t announced which side of the coin they fall on.