Now, that Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the United States seem deeply hurt by a bitter process, distant from the transparency that the serious accusations against the candidate and the consequent people´s indignation required.
It is regrettable that one of the most important processes of North American democracy - the confirmation of an Associate Justice in the highest court of the US - has been clouded by the extreme politicization that the US suffers. A malady that also Puerto Rico suffers.
With Kavanaugh´s confirmation, President Donald Trump and the most conservative wing of the Republican Party, score a historic victory: to reformulate the Supreme Court of the United States. This will have a dramatic impact on the rights and freedoms achieved in recent years. Thanks to such rights and freedoms, historically marginalized populations are today recognized as equal before the law.
In order to achieve a Court that represents its ideology, the Republican wing went as far as kidnaping this important seat until the change of government. Thus, they denied the right to President Barack Obama´s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, to have the opportunity later claimed for Kavanaugh: to be fairly evaluated for his merits.
Kavanaugh is questioned, both regarding his judicial temperament - or lack of it -, his capacity to transcend political positions to be impartial, and his own judicial vision. It will be up to this Judge to prove that his detractors are wrong.
Kavanaugh will be involved in fundamental decisions about the right to privacy, reproductive rights, right to healthcare, claims from minority groups, such as those of the LBTGQ community and immigrants. There are also determinations on environmental protection, the Second Amendment and, specially, the authority to criminally prosecute the President. It will depend on the judge to live up to his position or stay in the political arena with backward positions.
Such decisions will reconfigure the life and coexistence of citizens in the coming decades. Respect for judicial decisions depends on the credibility of those who make them. Hence the importance of the Senate´s evaluation and that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the nominee to be exhaustive, careful and transparent.
Senator Lisa Murkowski´s courage appears as a light amid the shadows of the confirmation. With a conciliatory tone, the Republican from Alaska broke with the toxic partisanship ties. She reshaped the discussion about Kavanaugh merits to put first the substantive issues that led her to conclude that the Judge "is not the right man for the Court at thistime." This contrasted with the flawed rhetoric of her usual ally, body and party colleague, Susan Collins.
Kavanaugh is not the first Judge subjected to a litmus test in the legislative process. History is full of pages about famous cases, such as current Associate Judges Clarence Thomas and Robert Borg, who did not pass the Senate. Puerto Rican Judge Sonia Sotomayor overcame vicious attacks without allowing them to affect her temple.
Now, the nation shows serious signs of division a month before the midterm elections. We trust that respect for dignity and people´s rights will bring society back to peace. May respect prevail, from the highest levels of political, economic and governmental powers, to grass roots organizations. And that it will be firmly exercised by the now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Regardless of November results, Democrats, Republicans and independents; conservatives and liberals; men and women have before them the same great challenge: to assert with concrete acts the prestige of the United States as a society that values and equally protects the rights of everyone.
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