Justice Anthony Kennedy slipped out of the Supreme Court building on June 27, 2018, and traveled incognito to the White House to inform President Donald Trump that he was retiring, setting in motion a political process that his successor, Brett Kavanaugh, would denounce three months later as a “national disgrace” and a “circus.”
Justice on Trial, the definitive insider’s account of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, is based on extraordinary access to more than one hundred key figures—including the president, justices, and senators—in that ferocious political drama.
The Trump presidency opened with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. But the following year, when Trump drew from the same list of candidates for his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the justice being replaced was the swing vote on abortion, and all hell broke loose.
The judicial confirmation process, on the point of breakdown for thirty years, now proved utterly dysfunctional. Unverified accusations of sexual assault became weapons in a ruthless campaign of personal destruction, culminating in the melodramatic hearings in which Kavanaugh’s impassioned defense resuscitated a nomination that seemed beyond saving.
The Supreme Court has become the arbiter of our nation’s most vexing and divisive disputes. With the stakes of each vacancy incalculably high, the incentive to destroy a nominee is nearly irresistible. The next time a nomination promises to change the balance of the Court, Hemingway and Severino warn, the confirmation fight will be even uglier than Kavanaugh’s.
A good person might accept that nomination in the naïve belief that what happened to Kavanaugh won’t happen to him because he is a good person. But it can happen, it does happen, and it just happened. The question is whether America will let it happen again.
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About the Author
CARRIE SEVERINO is chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Primary 1
Chapter 2 The List 27
Chapter 3 Complicit in Evil 63
Chapter 4 Mootings, Meetings, and Mobs 85
Chapter 5 All Hell Breaks Loose 117
Chapter 6 Delay, Delay, Delay 135
Chapter 7 Too Big To Fail 159
Chapter 8 Fear of Flying 193
Chapter 9 Miracle 217
Chapter 10 The Anteroom Where It Happened 237
Chapter 11 Mrs. Collins Goes to Washington 261
Chapter 12 Legitimacy 283
Note to readers 307
About the Authors 376
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
required reading. America as we know it is on the brink of extinction.
Unbiased and in depth account of Kavanaugh hearing. A must read for anyone on the left, right or straight down the middle!
...taken us behind the scenes, and showed us the details of the disgusting democrat display we had forced upon us. As TV spectators, we knew their motivations, but didn't always realize how low they were really stooping. Very thorough....an excellent read.
Compelling. Clear and concise, the authors did their homework. This is not like some books you have to put away because they make you feel tawdry by just reading. There are no long drawn out sentences and paragraphs trying to make a big deal out of a small tidbit. I had a hard time putting it down and started coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't attend a family birthday celebration. I went to the birthday dinner but rushed home and sat up to finish the book last night. An important and "read worthy" book. Excellent!
An outstanding book that describes the vicious smear of a good, decent man. The actions of Democratic members and the mainstream media were truly unconscionable. This book deserves to be in the running for a Pulitzer Prize. One is left asking after reading it: what of those victims who like Kavanaugh are falsely accused of crimes, but lack his resources and eloquence? Where will people without these advantages find justice in an America that is abandoning due process and other fundamental rights?
Thank you to these 2 authors for this book. A great learning experience despite watching the hearings.
Excellent review and analysis of the events before, during and after the Kavanaugh hearings. The machinations used to try and destroy this man's reputation and livelihood in the pursuit of political gain is sobering and disgusting. I highly recommend this book.
rapist and a liar