Last week they found a second strategy. Shortly after the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted, Dems called to postpone Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. On what grounds? “A president, identified as an unindicted co-conspirator of a federal crime—an accusation made not by a political enemy but by the closest of his own confidants—is on the verge of making a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. A court that may someday soon determine the extent of the president’s legal jeopardy,” Schumer said Wednesday. “It is unseemly for the president of the United States to be picking a Supreme Court Justice who could soon be, effectively, a juror in a case involving the president himself.” Committee Democrats used the same argument in a sanctimonious letter to Grassley last week.
Beyond being obviously disingenuous, the argument is bogus. As Grassley pointed out, Bill Clinton was under investigation for the Whitewater scandal when he nominated Stephen Breyer, but Breyer was confirmed 87-9. It’s also dangerous. The Democrats are arguing that they can block any president’s judicial nominees simply by alluding to a scandal and calling into question his legitimacy. If they think that tactic won’t be used against them when there’s a Democrat in the White House, they should ask Harry Reid about the hazards of breaking precedents.