Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court leaves us with more questions than answers. For starters, what effect will it have on the upcoming midterm elections—or, for that matter, on 2020? How will this alter political discourse and party tactics, especially where the court is concerned? And, perhaps overlooked during the last few weeks, how will Kavanaugh, and the Roberts Court he is now part of, rule?
My suspicion, and my worry, is that he will have a smaller direct impact than many seem to think, but that the partisan entrenchment surrounding his nomination will shake the Court to its core.
The answer to the first question seems to be that the Kavanaugh fight will boost Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House, probably dividing control of Congress in the process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that Kavanaugh’s confirmation will fuel Republican enthusiasm in November. “This has energized our base like nothing we’ve been able” to do, he told Bloomberg.