Why Black People Should Fear The Pro-Cops Can Do Anything Judge Kavanaugh

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Payback? Kavanaugh--the angry judge is now on the bench. Photo: local10.com

On Saturday, the Republican Party “rammed through,” as promised by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, amid credible claims of sexual assault, by multiple accusers, including Dr. Christine Blasey Floyd, Debra Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

With this vote, the Republican Party gave American women the middle finger.

Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court ascension is confirmation of the partisan hypocrisy of Republicans—who obstructed President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, while refusing to allow a full FBI investigation into the sex allegation against Kavanaugh. The legitimacy of the Supreme Court will now be seriously questioned. Friday, Justice Elana Kagan echoed her concern for “how precious the court’s legitimacy is.” Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh’s comments, in front of the Senate Judiciary “demonstrated a potential bias” that made him unfit for the Supreme Court

For Black America, Kavanaugh’s confirmation could potentially have disastrously deadly effects, especially as it relates to issues of criminal justice and racial policing.

Black Americans already knew adherence to the “rule of law” isn’t taken seriously by politicians, particularly when police are killing Blacks. Here we have another example of conservative duplicity: where Republicans selectively shut their ears; closed their eyes; while stifling the voices of Judge Kavanaugh’s accusers, by refusing to pursue an impartial FBI investigation—instead of this historic partisan orchestrated sham.

Republicans confirmed Judge Kavanaugh in spite of the grave accusations made by Dr. Blasey Forde, Ramirez and Swetnick. Republicans ignored the voices of these women, by prevented the FBI from doing an in-depth investigation, and gave ridiculous rhetoric in justification. They then, added insult to injury, by using Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins to make their closing statements for the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, to secure a Supreme Court victory for conservative bigots and religious fanatics.

What does it say when a woman allows herself to be used as an instrument to protect the patriarchal power of White male privilege? Let’s not forget this: 53 percent of White women voted for Donald Trump, even after his pussy-grabbing boasts.

The Trump Republicans disregarded the claims of Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick. They made it crystal-clear they couldn’t care less if Judge Kavanaugh committed multiple acts of sexual assault. They also discounted all the instances of evasion—and obvious outright lying.

Republicans cared about one thing only: stacking the court with another partisan judge so they can legally legitimize their control over the lives of all Americans, and thereby impose their warped ideology over the country. Republicans, falsely, claim they’re for “small government.” But they are the ultimate big government party that intends to dictate what other people can do with their bodies.

If Republicans were really for “small government,” shouldn’t that mean they would be against legislating laws that tell women what they can, and can’t do, with their bodies?

Supreme Court judges receive lifetime appointments. Judge Kavanaugh, at 53, will now be on The Court for the next several decades deciding crucial life-changing issues. Kavanaugh’s confirmation will likely have disastrous consequences on the lives of women and ethnic minorities.

Over the last year, some promising signs have happened, regarding holding racist killer-cops accountable for their crimes. Last Friday, former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, 40, was convicted of second-degree murder—and of 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, for the cold-blooded murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was murdered on Oct. 20, 2014. Officer Van Dyke claimed self-defense, even though a police video showed him repeatedly shooting McDonald, 16 times—even as he had fallen down dead.

Van Dyke’s sentencing is pending.

On August 29, 2018, Texas Officer Roy Oliver, 38, was sentenced to 15 years for killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards on April 29, 2017. Oliver, with reckless regard for Black life, fired into a car Edwards was riding in, with his brothers, as they tried to leave a party where Officer Oliver, and other police, were called because of a reportedly rowdy party.

And last December, former Officer Michael Slager was sentenced to 20 years for the cold-blooded back shooting of Coast Guard veteran Walter Scott, on April 4, 2015. Slager now has the temerity to be asking for a sentence reduction. Slager was given a gift of 20 years—as he faced a life-sentence.

These cases don’t signal a total turnaround from the typical response of prosecutors, and the courts: which is usually to find a way of exonerating killer-cops. Yet, these cases represent hard-fought victories for those seeking to hold police accountable for their crimes against Black Americans.

Will Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation mean for racial policing?

Judge Kavanaugh’s positions on the legal concept of qualified immunity; the Fourth Amendment rights of citizens; and on racial profiling all come into play here.

Qualified immunity is a legal concept, in federal law, that shields government officials from being sued unless their conduct violates “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Not surprisingly, this concept is used to protect police who violate the human rights of Black people.

In an op-ed, after Officer Caesar Goodson was found not guilty in the killing of Freddie Gray, Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jon O. Newman wrote “the defense of qualified immunity should be abolished,” because it makes it “more difficult to hold a police officer accountable.”

In 2016, in the District of Columbia v. Wesby case, Judge Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion, after the U.S. Court of Appeals, for the D.C. Circuit, ruled officers shouldn’t be granted immunity for wrongly arresting 21 partygoers at a D.C. home. In March 2008, police had been called to the residence because of noise complaints. In his dissenting opinion, Judge Kavanaugh wrote that because “the officers were not ‘plainly incompetent’ and did not ‘knowingly violate’ clearly established law when they made these arrests. The officers are entitled to qualified immunity.”

This argument is reminiscent of what Judge Arthur Cooperman said in excusing the killer-cops who ended Sean Bell’s life, in a hail of 50 shots. Judge Cooperman gave this inexplicable reasoning to justify acquittal "It was necessary to consider the mind-set of each defendant at the time and place of the occurrence and not the mind-set of the victims… carelessness and incompetence are not standards to be applied here..."

In other words, police can recklessly take the lives of people—especially, Black people.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has criticized the Supreme Court’s fondness for wrongly affording “officers the benefit of qualified immunity." With Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court won’t it be harder for Blacks to sue police officers directly for the daily brutality they inflict on us?

Judge Kavanaugh, apparently, also often agrees with police, and the government, when it comes to them violating people’s Fourth Amendment rights.

In a July 20, 2018 article, University of Southern California law Professor Orin Kerr wrote “In tough Fourth Amendment cases that divide the Supreme Court, a Justice Kavanaugh would likely be on the government’s side… And he often sees the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of reasonableness as giving the government significant latitude.”

Judge Kavanaugh’s penchant for siding with the police on qualified immunity and Fourth Amendment issues have a direct bearing on racial policing. Due to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s brave stance, in revealing concealed comments regarding race by Judge Kavanaugh, we have an idea of where Kavanaugh would stand on racial issues.

In one of these documents, that Republicans tried to keep secret, Judge Kavanaugh said “The desire to remedy societal discrimination is not a compelling interest.” Kavanaugh has also criticized “special legislation” for minorities. And Senator Booker pointed out that said Kavanaugh has already argued racial profiling is permissible for law enforcement.

Black America must consider what Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation now means for criminal justice reform and for Black people who’re being brutalized and killed by racial policing.

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