No matter what?

Rev. Stephen Tillett

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

I am compelled to express my disgust at the determination of the US Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House to ramrod through a Supreme Court nomination no matter what. While Brett Kavanaugh might meet some standards for a justice, as far as his legal training and experience, there are other factors which weigh heavily with this nomination.

I am well aware that “elections have consequences”, so whomever the president is when a Supreme Court vacancy occurs has earned the right, by virtue of the votes of his/her fellow citizens, to nominate a person to fill the vacancy — unless you are President Barack Obama in the winter of 2016.

There are so many things being done out of order now WHICH undermine any façade of comity or cooperation that we find ourselves in a constant state of toxic politics. I am concerned that our democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and ideological purity. I am especially troubled that some women would dismiss, out of hand, a complaint about sexual assault or harassment from other women just because it is ideologically inconvenient. While I expect, but don't excuse, that cognitive dissonance from men in positions of power, I expect better from women. For some senators to earnestly assert their “sympathy” that Dr Christine Blasey Ford was assaulted, but to also claim that she has mis-remembered who assaulted her is insulting and laughable.

This is not about ideology nor the usual bloviations about “right” and “left”. This is fundamentally about human decency and respecting the claims of women about the abuses they have faced, whether there were eyewitnesses to it or not (such as with the accusers of jailed comedian Bill Cosby. I'm just sayin'...) One has to wonder what the daughters and granddaughters of some US Senators think about their father/grandfather's politically dismissive attitudes toward sexual assault.

This obsession over abortion overlooks a few realities. First, less than two per cent of all the cases the Supreme Court hears will involve abortion. Second, even with the White House, both houses of Congress, and a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, they will probably never end all access to legal abortion, because that would deprive some candidates of their go-to campaign issue every election season.

I know and believe that all life is precious, but not just pre-born life! Some of the same people who are obsessed with ending abortion are also the people who oppose programmes that would enhance the standard of living for the children once they have been born. How can one insist a child be born but then oppose Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, Head Start programmes, health care for said children, and free or affordable college or vocational education? If we made the world more child (and parent) friendly, there would likely be a lot less abortions.

Third, most of the political leadership, while manipulating the abortion issue to their own advantage, are really more concerned with the other 98 to 99 per cent of rulings the Supreme Court makes. And many of those rulings from a “conservative” (ie, corporate and pro-business) court will lead to negative outcomes for most Americans, such as rulings made asserting that corporations deserve the same rights as people.

The court makes many more rulings that damage our nation concerning the burgeoning security and police state in America, the environment, workers' rights, voter suppression and gerrymandering, and any number of other matters that affect the daily lives of many Americans.

This is about a lifetime appointment to our highest court. Irrespective of how long it may take, we have to get this right — no matter what!


Rev Stephen A Tillett is pastor of Asbury Broadneck UMC, Annapolis, MD; president of the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and; author of Stop Falling for the Okeydoke: How the Lie of Race Continues to Undermine Our Country .




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon