At some point this weekend, Brett Kavanaugh will very likely be confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, but tonight he would like you to know that he is sorry — not for any wrongdoing toward the multiple women who accuse him of sexual assault — but for being a partisan hack during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday.
Here’s an op-ed Kavanaugh published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday night. It starts with an exhaustive retelling of Kavanaugh’s journey as a nominee, his career, and features several reminders that he is a person who is related to other people — like parents, and also children.
The point of this op-ed, it appears, is to address the main thing that all of Kavanugh’s peers are mad at him for: his overtly partisan comments in his unhinged opening statement that painted the allegations against him as a Clintonite plot in retaliation for the 2016 election.
He doesn’t actually say he’s sorry, but it’s implied.
From the piece, emphasis mine:
I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.
He mention what those things he should not have said are, but I’m willing to bet this quote from his hearing is part of it:
“This whole two week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit. Fear that has been unfairly stoked on my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons...this is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination...I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You have tried hard, you’ve given it your all, no one can question your effort. But your coordinated effort to destroy my good name and family will not win out.”
This quote, and his demeanor overall during the hearings, seems to have alienated a core group of his peers.
Here’s longtime Kavanaugh character defender Ben Wittes, writing in the Atlantic earlier this week:
The Brett Kavanaugh who showed up to Thursday’s hearing is a man I have never met, whom I have never even caught a glimpse of in 20 years of knowing the person who showed up to the first hearing. ... In all of our interactions, he has been a consummate professional. The allegations against him shocked me very deeply, but not quite so deeply as did his presentation. It was not just an angry and aggressive version of the person I have known. It seemed like a different person altogether.
Two of Kavanaugh’s Yale Law classmates, who previously supported Kavanaugh, in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee:
In our view that testimony was partisan, and not judicious, and inconsistent with what we expect of a from a Justice of the Supreme Court, particularly when dealing with a co-equal branch of government.
And finally, today, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who previously supported Kavanaugh, also said he had changed his mind on the nominee.
The Senate is expected to vote for cloture Kavanaugh’s confirmation as early as 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, which means a final vote could happen over the weekend.