It's Time for Judiciary Democrats to Condemn with Their Votes

The September 13th protest by liberals in front of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home was too much even for Senate Democrats. 

Senate Judiciary Committee members from both parties denounced a protest targeting the Maryland home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saying the families and homes of government officials are not fair game.  . . .

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) similarly criticized protests targeting public figures’ homes.

“We all know that you have to have a tough mental hide to be in this business,” Durbin said. But “it is absolutely unacceptable from my point of view to involve and major public figure’s family or their home, or to involve yourself in criminal trespass in the name of political freedom of speech.”

“There are proper venues to express yourself and I don’t believe a person’s home or their family should be fair game in this business,” he added.

That is all fine and good, but what about the rhetoric that inspires these “criminal trespasses?” How about when a judicial candidate is guilty of inflammatory rhetoric? That was the issue in the hearing of Jennifer Sing to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. 

Jennifer Sung is actually the second Biden circuit nominee to have worked at the Brennan Center, a left-wing dark-money organization, where she spent two years as a Skadden Fellow. (I previously covered the other nominee, Myrna Pérez, who was picked for the Second Circuit after spending most of her career at the Brennan Center.) During Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Sung signed an incendiary letter to the Yale Law School administration with a number of outrageous statements. Chief among them: calling Kavanaugh, based on his rulings as a D.C. Circuit judge, “an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideologue” and asserting that “people will die if he is confirmed.”

RNLA is formally opposing the other Brennan Center nominee, Myrna Pérez. The only judicial nominee that we have opposed so far. Sung is similarly extreme but is at least attempting to apologize for her “overheated rhetoric.” 

When Senator Tom Cotton asked Sung why she thought Kavanaugh was a “morally bankrupt” man, she described the letter’s statements as “overheated rhetoric, but they were rhetorical advocacy,” and she apologized if they “created the impression that I would fail to respect Justice Kavanaugh’s authority as a Supreme Court justice.”

“Has anyone died as a direct result of Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed to the Supreme Court?” Cotton asked pointedly.

Sung repeated her “rhetorical advocacy only” line. That she was giving a canned response was clear after she repeated that line over and over again as she dodged one Republican senator after another — Ted Cruz, John Kennedy, and Mike Lee — asking her specifically whether she believed what she signed.

Senator Kennedy laid it out in the strongest terms.

If Democrats like Senator Durbin really mean what they say about the protests at Kavanaugh’s home, they will oppose judicial candidates like Jennifer Sung for their rhetoric that inspires such attacks. We are not holding our breath.