Justice Brett Kavanaugh, one of the Left’s favorite punching bags (and assassination targets), is facing criticism for attending a private holiday party hosted by Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the Conservative Political Action Coalition. That Kavanaugh might want to see and spend time with other conservatives is, apparently, an unforgivable offense. Bloomberg Law even claimed Kavanaugh’s attendance could raise ethical questions “about when a justice’s personal relationships cross a line and become problematic.”
Attending a party with people who “live, eat, and breathe conservative political action,” such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, either reflects Kavanaugh’s “insensitivity” to the demands of his position or his “indifference” toward them, according to Charles Geyh, an Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor.
This is nonsense. Kavanaugh is allowed to meet and be friends with other like-minded individuals. In fact, to do so is the most natural thing in the world. His job as a Supreme Court justice in no way precludes him from friendship and socialization.
Indeed, I don’t remember anyone on the Left complaining when Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave what ABC News described as a “pep talk to progressives” during an event hosted by the American Constitution Society this summer. But why would they? The problem with Kavanaugh isn’t that he went to a holiday party — it’s that he went to a holiday party with the wrong people. If he had attended a party hosted by the ACLU or any other leftist activist organization, this wouldn’t even be up for debate.
And that’s the problem. This kind of criticism is always directed at one side of the bench. It’s the same mean-spirited attitude behind the demands for Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from a case involving a Christian web designer simply because she’s a part of a religious group that happens to believe religious things; the same attitude behind the outcry over the fact that Justice Clarence Thomas is married to a woman, who, God forbid, has her own political opinions.
That’s why the complaints about Kavanaugh are as predictable as they are tiring, and why he, along with everyone else, should ignore them.