Brett Kavanaugh Isn’t Clarence Thomas, but It’s Still About Race

OPINION — Orrin G. Hatch, the Republican senator from Utah, is nothing if not consistent.

His words about distinguished lawyer and professor Anita Hill in 1991 — when she testified in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee on which he sat — were clear. He said there was “no question” in his mind that she was “coached” by special interest groups. “Her story’s too contrived. It’s so slick it doesn’t compute.” Hatch mused she may have cribbed some of her testimony from the novel “The Exorcist” — the horror!

And when considering current nominee Brett Kavanaugh — sitting, as Thomas was, on the verge of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court — Hatch had this to say about professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when she was 15 and he 17: “I think she’s mistaking something. But I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know her.”

Kavanaugh’s Accuser Wants FBI Investigation Before Testifying

CHARLOTTE, NC — The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault isn’t ready to testify just yet. Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team says their client won’t testify in a public hearing offered by Republicans unless the FBI first investigates her allegations. Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were at a high school party in the 80’s. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The allegations brought against Kavanaugh echo a similar incident in 1991, when Anita Hillaccused then SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and was called to publicly testify.

Opinion: Dems to African-American Women: This Time We Mean It

So why was Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, making an appearance at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, an event known for its high-powered mix of music, culture and empowerment, geared to engage black women globally? Did he see and enjoy “Girls Trip,” the 2017 mega-hit about the reunion of four black female buddies, set against the backdrop of the festival, and decide to get in on the fun, maybe take in a Janet Jackson concert?

Or was he connecting with his party’s most loyal base, which has carried the electoral load for years, and has also expressed dissatisfaction when that contribution was downplayed or overlooked?

A Contentious Fight over a Supreme Court Vacancy

If you thought it was going to be a slow summer in Washington, think again. When Justice Anthony Kennedy resigned, it meant the justice who was most considered a swing and unpredictable voter could be replaced with someone who leaned even more to the right. Democrats, who saw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stall President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, want to delay President Trump’s pick (the second vacancy he has filled) until after the midterms.

A simple majority vote is all that is needed in the Senate. A key to activity from the both parties could hinge on the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and whether its fate hangs in the court’s balance.

Supreme Court examines voting districts

CHARLOTTE, NC — States must draw new election maps every 10 years. Dozens of North Carolina legislative maps were thrown out over illegal gerrymandering because judges said they violated the rights of black voters. Federal judges will consider new maps October 12th. The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned lawyers in a similar redistricting case in Wisconsin.

What happened Tuesday at the court?

Will Supreme Court Redistricting Case Change Elections – and North Carolina?

Can redistricting ever be fair?

Is nonpartisan redistricting possible?

Roll Call Columnists on SCOTUS Abortion, McDonnell Decisions

Every presidential election, one side or other has tried, mostly in vain, to make appointments to the Supreme Court a major issue. With the present court’s rulings on controversial issues announced to a divided country — to reactions of shock and celebration, depending on which side you’re on — 2016 may be different.

The Supreme Court’s post-racial fantasy

That was then, this is now. The reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s ruling this week striking down key parts of the Voting Rights Act uses considerably more words, but that simple phrase pretty much says it all. To accept that conclusion, though, one has to accept that America is as post-racial as some have insisted since the election of President Obama.

A ‘military spouse of the year’ closely watches the Supreme Court

This week, Ashley Broadway is paying close attention to the Supreme Court as it hears two cases on the politically charged issue of same-sex marriage. For her, it’s about family: her spouse, Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, their son, two weeks’ shy of 3 years, and two-month-old daughter.

“Regardless of how someone feels about same-sex marriage or their religious convictions, we can’t have second-class citizens, especially people defending our country and our constitution,” she said.

Kamala Harris: Focused on Job, Not SCOTUS

From advocating for health care reform to helping broker a settlement in the foreclosure crisis, California attorney general Kamala Harris has been as out-front on issues as she has in her vocal backing of Barack Obama. “I’ve been supporting the president for a long time; he’s been supporting me for a long time.”

A pioneer in her current position as well as in her previous post as district attorney of San Francisco, the Howard University graduate is the daughter of an Asian-Indian mother, a breast cancer specialist, and a Jamaican-American father, a Stanford economics professor. Harris said she grew up “surrounded by a bunch of adults who spent full time marching and shouting about this thing called justice.”

Harris spoke with The Root about issues, from prison reform to marriage equality.