Here’s a quick summary of why anti-Kavanaugh arguments are silly:
1. They fail to understand the process behind the nomination.
The Federalist Society, the foremost conservative legal group in the country, put together a list of 25 of the most conservative, most qualified judges in America. They had already thoroughly vetted all of them. There are no David Souters on that list. It’s a great list. By all accounts, Kavanaugh was one of the most conservative judges on the list, possibly in the top 5, and definitely in the top 10. By several measures, Kavanaugh is more conservative than both Scalia and Gorsuch.
2. The people making these arguments are contradicting themselves.
These are the same people who whined about recent Republican nominees being “stealth candidates.” The argument is that it’s simply too risky to give so much power to someone who doesn’t have an established record. It’s a strong argument. The problem comes in when the same people making this argument are also against Kavanaugh, who has a long record after years of service on the DC circuit. It gets worse: there was a “stealth candidate” on the list of finalists, and it’s the candidate all these complainers supported: Amy Barrett. Personally, I’m not opposed to stealth candidates in principle, but I get why other people are. But come on! You can’t have it both ways. It’s almost like these people were going to complain no matter who the nominee was…
3. The other finalists were far riskier, especially Barrett.
I’ll focus on Barrett, since she’s the favorite, but both Hardiman and Kethledge had a much higher chance of being an Anthony Kennedy than Kavanaugh does, because he has a record and they don’t. On Barrett, it would have been extraordinarily difficult to get her through the Senate, because there are 51 pro-abortion Senators, and she has already written that she has a much lower view of precedent than most judges (she’s right to have that view). Given that real conservatives only make it onto the court by talking vaguely about precedent in response to the 368 abortion questions they get from hysterical Democrats, you can’t blame Trump for assuming she would have gotten Borked. Susan Collins has already publicly stated that she wouldn’t vote for a candidate who doesn’t respect Roe v. Wade as precedent. So Barrett’s whole candidacy might have come down to flipping one of the vulnerable Democrats into voting for a nominee who didn’t even get support from all the Republicans! Further, if Barrett had gotten Borked, there wouldn’t be enough time to push through another nominee before the election. And if Democrats win the Senate in November (possible), then Kennedy’s seat just stays open until Republicans win it back or a Democrat wins the Presidency. That would have been a disaster.