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Michael Gerson: This is not politics as usual – it is political pyromania

One of the dubious advantages of a Supreme Court nomination battle is how it brings into the open some of the vicious, ideological arguments that are normally hidden by shame and discretion. That has certainly been true on the right, with some figures demonstrating a callousness toward the charge of attempted rape that would presumably change if their own children were even remotely threatened. On different issues, this has been a revealing moment on the left as well. Asked this past weekend by CNN’s Jake Tapper if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh deserves a presumption of innocence, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, offered a curious response. She argued that Kavanaugh’s denial of sexual misconduct is less credible because “he has an ideological agenda that’s very outcome-driven, and I can sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplify his, in my view, inability to be fair in the cases that come before him.” Hirono added: “He very much is against women’s reproductive choice. ... So there are so many indications of his own lack of credibility.”

Republicans launch full-scale save-Kavanaugh campaign

Republicans thundered into an all-out campaign to save Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination Monday as a second woman accused him of a long-ago sexual assault. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of a “smear campaign,” Kavanaugh himself complained of “smears, pure and simple” and President Donald Trump dismissed allegations against his nominee as “totally political.”

Michael Gerson: The Senate has become a factory of suspicion and contempt

Americans can be forgiven for thinking that everything involved in Supreme Court nominations – all the institutions, traditions, principles, procedures, solemn oaths and columned buildings – are merely a cover, a disguise for the will to power. Where there is no authority, all that remains is a contest of power.

Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday, source says

Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault from decades ago, according to two people briefed on the matter.

David Von Drehle: How will McConnell play this hand?

Every chip in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pile has been shoved into the center of the table. His high-stakes gamble for conservative control of the Supreme Court may be decided in the coming week.

Rudy Mehrbani: I directed White House nominations; of course, the FBI can check Kavanaugh again

I served as director of President Barack Obama’s presidential personnel office and oversaw hundreds of appointments across the U.S. government. So I know firsthand that Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley’s claim that “it is not the FBI’s role to investigate” the allegations that Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted a woman when they were in high school is downright false. The FBI, which would already have performed an extensive background check on Kavanaugh in connection with his nomination to the Supreme Court, can pick up its investigation and check into the issues that the woman accusing Kavanaugh of assault has raised more quickly, more effectively and more sensitively than untrained Senate committee staffers can. Such an FBI investigation should certainly come before Christine Ford Blasey is subjected to questioning from the Senate or its staff members – not only because that’s what Ford has requested but because it’s only fair for senators to question her (or Kavanaugh) with the additional information that the FBI’s work would surely yield, and because it gets us closer to the truth.

Analysis: Trump upends GOP strategy on assault claim

Republicans for days have been trying, with some success, not to blame the accuser in the high-stakes he-said-she-said roiling the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. They calibrated their comments to avoid openly antagonizing Christine Blasey Ford, and by extension the women voters ahead of the November election.

Michael Gerson: Kavanaugh nomination now hangs by thinnest of strings

It is difficult to comment on an unfolding news story, but this one demands it. It is hard to write about someone you know and like, especially concerning matters of character. But sometimes there is little choice. In the case of Brett Kavanaugh vs. Christine Blasey Ford, the moral issues are not fuzzy or unclear. It is seriously wrong even for a teenager to force himself on a woman in a drunken stupor – if it happened. It is seriously wrong for a Supreme Court nominee to lie about his past failures – if he did. It is seriously wrong to make false, inflammatory accusations – if she has.

Win or lose, Kavanaugh confirmation fight defines Democrats

Democrats don’t have the votes to block Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But that didn’t stop them from putting up a rowdy, leave-nothing-on-the-table fight during four days of Senate confirmation hearings that marked a new stage in the party’s resistance to President Donald Trump.

Senate concludes Kavanaugh hearing; confirmation likely

After two marathon days questioning Brett Kavanaugh, senators concluded his Supreme Court confirmation hearing Friday by hearing from friends, foes and legal experts making their cases for and against the judge who is likely to push the high court further to the right.

Kathleen Parker: Advise and dissent

If you missed Day One of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing, just try to imagine a mud-wrestling contest attended by banshees howling at the referee.