Congressional Democrats’ Renewed Calls to Impeach Kavanaugh Are Predictable, Should Be Rejected

September 17, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

Commentary

A new allegation of sexual misconduct against Justice Brett Kavanaugh recently surfaced in a New York Times piece.

The allegation against Kavanaugh is uncorroborated and disputed, yet several of the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Julian Castro, recently announced that Kavanaugh “must be impeached.” Their calls for impeachment are baseless and should be rejected in their entirety.

Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution states: “The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Article 3, Section 1 provides more guidance:

“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”

Accordingly, Supreme Court justices shall hold office so long as their behavior is good, although the term “good behavior” is not defined. Historically, Samuel Chase was the only Supreme Court justice who was ever impeached, although he wasn’t removed.

To impeach a Supreme Court justice, a simple majority of the House must pass articles of impeachment. The process then moves to the Senate, where a trial is held. Finally, and crucially, it takes a two-thirds majority vote by the Senate to actually convict a Supreme Court justice on any count. Conviction on any count would then remove the Supreme Court justice from his or her position.

The renewed calls for impeachment among some congressional Democrats should come as no surprise. After all, some of them showed their hands during Kavanaugh’s initial confirmation process.

For example, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told Fox News: “If the Republicans rush through a nominee where you have unanswered sexual assault allegations, I can promise you that Democratic senators will be interested in going and looking at those allegations, and if Judge Kavanaugh lied under oath, you could see a judicial impeachment, and that’s not good for anybody, so we should try and avoid that.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) also kept the possibility of impeaching Kavanaugh open, telling Yahoo News, “If there is conclusory evidence that shows unequivocally that he lied to a Senate committee, that is a crime and he should be held accountable for those criminal acts.”

At that time, many congressional Democrats maligned and tarnished Kavanaugh’s name and reputation and all but convicted Kavanaugh although no evidence of any wrongdoing was discovered.

Congressional Democrats fumed at the fact that Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed and vowed to impeach him if the opportunity presented itself at some later point. While Democrats believe that the new allegations in the NY Times article might provide a second bite at the apple, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

According to the NY Times article, which was an excerpt of an forthcoming book by two of its reporters, one of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates, Max Stier, claims that he saw Kavanaugh engage in inappropriate sexual behavior with a female student at a dorm party. While on its face, this allegation appears quite serious, the article excluded one exculpatory fact.

The NY Times has since published an “editors note” regarding the story. The NY Times wrote in a correction, in part: “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

As reported by Fox News: “The Times went on to note in the article that it had ‘corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier,’ but the article apparently meant only that the Times had corroborated that Stier made his claim to the FBI. No first-hand corroboration of the alleged episode was apparently obtained.”

According to John McCormack, the National Review’s Washington correspondent, “Omitting these facts from the @nytimes story is one of worst cases of journalistic malpractice that I can recall.”

To put this in proper perspective, some congressional Democrats are seeking to impeach a sitting Supreme Court justice based on a set of uncorroborated, unsupported, and disputed allegations when the alleged victim denies any knowledge or memory of the event in question.

Some Democrats also allege that Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate, but provided no evidence to support this allegation. In the absence of any corroborating and credible facts to support this allegation, Democrats’ calls for impeachment appear offensive, vindictive, and entirely partisan.

To date, Kavanaugh hasn’t committed any wrongdoing, let alone an impeachable offense. As such, any calls for his impeachment should be rejected in their entirety. Moreover, if these unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, and salacious allegations continue, perhaps Kavanaugh should seek redress in the courts, if possible, in order to defend his good name and reputation.

Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications. 

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.