Let me be clear about my political leanings on Judge Kavanaugh. I have no idea what he did or didn’t do as a high school or college student. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important. What’s more important is what he does in this moment. And seeing and evaluating that will require time.
I am a parliamentarian, and have spent over forty years advising organizations to which I belonged. The most important lesson I have learned in that role is to make sure that the deliberative process has integrity. This work requires balancing my policy goals as a member and leader with my duty as a parliamentarian to give advice fairly and without favor.
From the Senate that had no problem leaving the court with eight members for a year, the argument that haste is important now is simply laughable. The majority’s work of reducing the rights of workers, minorities, and women while strengthening those of billionaires and gun owners needs to wait while all Americans witness a process that they can believe in.
What Alan Simpson said about integrity applies to organizations as well as to individuals: “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” Senators who, to achieve their policy goals, insist on an unrealistic timetable, forgoing an honest and thorough procedure, diminish the integrity of themselves, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. And if they don’t have integrity, then nothing else matters.