The tenure of Justice Brett Kavanaugh is officially underway as of today, and a number of his allies are noting that he's already making a mark on the professional culture of the high court. Throughout his exceptionally turbulent confirmation process, Kavanaugh touted his long history of empowering women in the workplace, pointing out how he's actually practiced what so many others preach. After weeks of being painted as an existential threat to women's rights and, indeed, a serial predator, the newly-minuted justice made history by bringing on SCOTUS' first ever all-female slate of law clerks. Even the New York Times couldn't help but notice:
Justice Kavanaugh was at work on Sunday in Justice Alito’s old chambers, preparing for the week’s arguments with his four law clerks, all women (a record) https://t.co/xVhbp1oqZL— Adam Liptak (@adamliptak) October 8, 2018
Justice Kavanaugh met with his four law clerks, all women — a first for the Supreme Court — in chambers that had until recently been occupied by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who has moved to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s old chambers...Justice Kavanaugh’s critics said his efforts were laudable, given that a Supreme Court clerkship is perhaps the most coveted credential in American law...New justices often hire their former clerks when they start at the court, but only one of Justice Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court clerks, Kim Jackson, worked for him on the appeals court. The other three — Shannon Grammel, Megan Lacy and Sara Nommensen — worked for appeals court judges appointed by Republican presidents.
Congratulations, ladies. Conservatives generally -- and quite rightly -- eschew identity politics, but it's nevertheless striking to watch the Left's poster child for misogyny set a pro-women record with his very first batch of hires. And that's not the only factoid that may baffle and confound the identity obsessives:
This term, Justice Brett Kavanaugh has already hired as many African-American law clerks as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has in her entire 25-year tenure. https://t.co/0xOQ9tmTGI— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) October 7, 2018
That's right, over the course of her decades-long career as a jurist, Justice Ginsburg has seen fit to hire exactly one African American. Keeping score on this sort of thing may feel unseemly and irrelevant, but if a right-wing justice had amassed a similar record over a similar period of time, I suspect we'd hear a lot more about it -- and not the context of a flurry of swooning films, either. Alas, The Notorious RBG thinks and votes the 'correct' way, so all is forgiven. By the way, given the volume and shrillness of anti-Kavanaugh protests -- from his original hearings all the way through to his delayed confirmation -- this is an interesting detail, isn't it?
"There were people who were paid by organizations like UltraViolet to try to harness that energy in a way that would make the 'viral' moments that we ended up seeing," this journalist conveyed, after spending a great deal of time covering the protests. That doesn't mean that much of the anger and passion was inorganic, mind you, but the Professional Left clearly had a hand in shaping the optics -- knowing exactly what sort of made-for-TV displays their allies in the mainstream media would eat up. Elements of academia joined the left-wing effort along the way, as well:
It is dumb to say ALL protesters were paid by Soros.— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) October 8, 2018
Conservetives rightly hated when the left dismissed them by saying they were paid by Koch to come to DC.
But I don’t recall anyone getting college credit for attending tea party rallies. pic.twitter.com/5pGrS0Ggy2
Yale Law Professors Cancel 31 Classes So Students Can Protest Kavanaugh https://t.co/7CDboCChy6— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) September 24, 2018
And because we live in age of backlash politics, this partisan activism has prompted...a backlash:
Hearing multiple reports of alums withdrawing support from law schools with multiple faculty on anti-Kavanaugh letter. It's unfortunate, but predictable. Calls for boycotts, etc. feed this sort of thing.— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) October 6, 2018
I'll leave you with this wild headline, in which leaders of a party that just attempted the most hysterical, demagogic, cynical, unhinged, reactionary and ruthless character assassination in recent political memory -- never, ever forget this -- are described as agonizing over whether they've just been too nice, or something:
After failing to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation, Democrats wonder if it's time to be more ruthless https://t.co/NyserWzlvR— POLITICO (@politico) October 7, 2018