How will Court, Senate fare after hearings?

Justice Brett Kavanaugh takes his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court today for his first hearing since his contentious confirmation. He will no doubt be getting more attention than any other new justice in recent memory. He will likely face a phalanx of protestors calling for his impeachment beore he even hears a case. Court watchers will be scrutinizing him closely — his demeanor, the questions he asks and his votes on the cases the Supreme Court hears.

The U.S. Senate will be facing scrutiny as well. The bruising battle over Kavanaugh’s confirmation has brought the partisan divide in the Senate to what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called “a low point” on Sunday. But he said the Senate is not broken. We don’t see how it could be any more broken than it already is. Senators didn’t get along before the confirmation.

The Kavanaugh confirmation is already being used for political purposes. President Donald Trump is seeking to rev up GOP voters for the mid-term elections, while Democratic candidates are making similar appeals to their base. The politics of anger will be prominent — vote for us to punish them for what they did to Kavanaugh, Republicans will say, or to punish them for what they did to us by confirming Kavanaugh, Democrats will say.

We suspect the Supreme Court will find it easier to function smoothly with Justice Kavanaugh than the Senate will in the months ahead.