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Tillis, Burr should reconsider support of Kavanaugh

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Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool Image via AP)

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

North Carolina’s two senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, have been strong supporters of President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court — Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

But last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, particularly Kavanaugh’s rambling and tumultuous testimony, have provided new information and insight as to the nominee’s fitness to serve on the nation’s highest court.

We’d hope, amid clear indication that Kavanaugh was less-than-truthful in his testimony and exhibited behavior that revealed over-the-top partisanship and a bellicose temperament, Burr and Tillis will be more skeptical and inquisitive concerning Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“Allegation of misconduct must be taken seriously,” Tillis, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a Sept. 17 statement and who later voted to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate. Those words need to be more than lip service.

Tillis, who is up for re-election in two years, doesn’t want to do anything that might have North Carolina’s GOP base voters turn on him. That shouldn’t be a concern for Burr who pledged two years ago this would be his last term.

The scrutiny that Kavanaugh’s faced in his confirmation has been intense. But that’s just the way things are and given his experience — as a lawyer working with Ken Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton, working in the White House and as a federal judge — shouldn’t have been a surprise or anything he’d be unprepared for.

When that scrutiny reached its height and put him to the test, Kavanaugh failed to exhibit the kind of behavior appropriate of a justice on the highest court in the land.

He revealed that he hasn’t left his past — as a political operative — behind. The pettiness boiled over.

When questions about his behavior toward women were at the heart of the hearing, Kavanaugh sought to badger and bully Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, rather than respond to her question about the nature of his alcohol consumption.

While Kavanaugh later apologized to Klobuchar, the earlier exchange was a revelatory demonstration.

Kavanaugh has cast legitimate doubt among those who might appear before him in court as to whether he’d be open, objective and fair to all. Would they get deliberative justice or a prejudiced reaction?

Regardless of what this latest FBI investigation might reveal, Kavanaugh’s behavior in the Senate Judiciary Committee is enough to disqualify him from a Supreme Court slot.

Tillis and Burr (who pledged the during 2016 campaign he wouldn’t run again and be above partisanship) should reject Kavanagh’s nomination. That would give the president the opportunity to appoint someone else more suited to the grave responsibilities of a Supreme Court justice.

Capitol Broadcasting Corporation

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