UPDATE: Since the article below was written, Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He now sits on the Supreme Court despite the huge protests which erupted across the country against his nomination. Women and men were outraged by the descriptions of Kavanaugh’s criminal behavior and the thought that someone like him could be on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is a symbol of the corporate takeover of America. As a lower-court judge, Kavanaugh’s rulings were anti-women, anti-labor, anti-environment, and pro-corporate. His elevation to the Supreme Court is a tactical victory for a ruling class of billionaires that wants to destroy democracy, hard-won rights, social programs, and the environment while they rob the public treasury blind. Fascism advances bit by bit, winning one battle after another. Having Kavanaugh on the Supreme does give the billlionaires one more weapon in their fight to destroy democracy – but that fight is not over yet. While the heroic effort to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation was unsuccessful, it brought huge numbers of people into political activity for the first time. It inspired many people to speak out – and they will never be silent again.
“Clear the room or start caning them when they open their yaps!”
Those chilling words were tweeted by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee while denouncing protesters who interrupted confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Huckabee’s sick statement was a backhanded reference to the 1856 surprise attack in the U.S. Capitol on anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner. Sumner was beaten bloody and almost killed by a pro-slavery Congressman wielding a cane, a man who struck blow after blow, stopping only when his weapon finally broke.
No one should have any illusions about what the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh means. The brutal assault on Charles Sumner forced many Northerners to finally realize that this country could no longer exist half slave and half free. Today, we too have to face a bitter truth: The ruling class no longer needs democracy and is moving to eliminate it. In his 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, then-Judge Kavanaugh wrote more than 300 opinions. There is no doubt about where he stands. His elevation to the Supreme Court marks a giant step toward open, outright fascism in this country.
The situation today is grim. In Charles Sumner’s time, the situation was also dire. Back then, our ancestors refused to accept the slaveocracy’s attacks on freedom of speech and the press. They defended what democracy existed at that time, as limited as it was. Today we too have to defend every democratic right that still exists. We will never accept a return to the days of the caning of a Congressman or the back-alley abortion or the total lack of any affordable health care whatsoever (however limited) or the trade union forced to meet in secret because it’s been declared illegal. If the Supreme Court issues rulings on our rights which are the equivalent of the infamous pro-slavery Dred Scott decision, we’ll simply have to do what our brave ancestors did: Defy them.