Flake, Collins, Murkowski: The Gatekeepers of American Conservatism — But Are They Poised to Fail Today?

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Will Senator Flake see that what he is to “conserve” is the apolitical gravity of the Supreme Court? Or, will he give in to peer-pressure to the “conservatives” who are dazed and confused by trumpism?

In a few hours, United States Senators from across the nation will be casting their votes for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Three Republicans hold the fate of American Republicanism in their hands.

Votes from Senators Collins, Flake and Murkowski will be dictating Whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh will become Supreme Court Justice, Kavanaugh.

Sadly, in defending himself from allegations of sexual misconduct, Judge Kavanaugh demonstrated how susceptible he is to anger and bitter partisanship.

He managed to destroy over 20 years of his own reputation as an impartial judge in one day.

Not to mention, the way in which the Senate judiciary committee handled the investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegations leaves significant doubt as to who is actually right in this “He said, she said” quagmire.

So, the decisions of these three Republican representatives will speak volumes about who they are as Americans and as Conservatives.

We should acknowledge that it is very difficult to stray from one’s political party, peers and tribe — especially when it comes to intensely partisan issues when emotions run rampant. No one should envy these senators’ positions.

That said, there is only one correct choice for them to make — for the sake of their own integrity and for America’s future.

Let me explain.

The reality is that appointing a supreme court justice is an imperfect process where political agents (i.e., The president of the United States and the United States Congress) are charged with creating as apolitical and impartial a court as is possible.

Of course, the reality is that this is NOT a fully realistic goal. And so it is that in the year 2018, the Republican party favors conservative judges with a strong focus on originalism and textualism in their legal decisions — whereas, the Democratic party favors liberal judges with a strong focus on reconciling the law with the universal principles of justice.

A balanced mix of these types of judges makes the court as a whole relatively impartial — but the balance is critical.

The interaction between politics and judicial philosophy is clearly an unavoidable and somewhat uncontrollable variable in the equation.

But what is not an unavoidable variable and what must be controlled as an apolitical entity is the intrinsic character of a nominee.

Setting aside, Kavanaugh’s allegations of sexual misconduct as a young adult, political self-defense does NOT justify a SCOTUS nominee losing sight of his responsibility to exercise judicial prudence and temperament.

Tragically, last week Kavanaugh lost sight of prudence and showed himself to be a political entity susceptible to low-level political winds.

He cracked under pressure — and painted a radically unprecedented picture of himself as a politician. The wheels literally came off his judicial prudence and restraint. And the memory of his behavior is one that threatens to destroy the apolitical posture the SCOTUS must retain in our Democratic Republic.

So, here now are three Republican United States senators making a decision — as CONSERVATIVES.

What to conserve?

The atrocious allegations of sexual assault aside, these senators’ choice is actually a fundamental one: Do they stand firm and conserve the SCOTUS’ apolitical center of gravity, or do they buy into the idea that this nomination process is about fairness to Judge Kavanaugh?

To be clear Kavanaugh is not on criminal trial — and it will likely be impossible to determine whether he is guilty of the charges leveled against him. So, we ought to go with the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” in viewing Kavanaugh, the man.

But, appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States is about so much more than fairness to the candidate. Certainly it is not an entitlement for any nominee to expect. But it is NOT and SHOULD NEVER BE about fairness to the nominee. That notion is absurd!

Rather, appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States is about rendering an intrinsically political and charged process into as apolitical and neutral a process as is humanly possible — in order to sustain the faith of as large a majority of the American people as could be achieved.

In Kavanaugh’s case, it goes without saying that it is a terrible error to blow by the political implications of his appointment for the women who are victims of sexual assault and their advocates.

But even more critically, given the judge’s own behavior and performance, it is an unprincipled and unconservative act to ignore the vast number of Americans who saw the judge’s defense of himself as bitter, partisan and unbecoming of the Supreme Court.

Senators, Collins, Flake and Murkowski literally hold the power to conserve the apolitical posture of the Supreme Court — the only relevant question, as we move towards their votes today, is if they have the courage to overcome peer-pressure from so-called “conservatives” who no longer remember what conservatism must conserve in America.

Collins, Flake and Murkowski very literally will make a choice today that could shatter or preserve the apolitical heart of the Supreme Court — Let’s hope they remember what being a conservative means.

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD is a physician-scientist. He is an advocate for ethics, patient safety and women’s health. He and his 6 children live in Pennsylvania.

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