Nyhan in Washington Post: Kavanaugh's confirmation could ‘dent’ SCOTUS legitimacy

October 5, 2018

In his Washington Post op-ed on October 5, 2018, the Ford School’s Brendan Nyhan states that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court could seriously damage the Court’s legitimacy amongst the American people.

Nyhan enumerates three reasons that he fears confirming Kavanaugh “could dent the court’s image” in a Monkey Cage analysis.  

Through the use of data, alongside a chart, Professor Nyhan points out that since 1981 no Supreme Court nominee “has been put forward by a president who lost the popular vote and confirmed by votes from senators representing a minority of the American public.”
The potential Kavanaugh confirmation would further solidify ideological and partisan divides despite immense social pressure and only a slim majoritarian approval. Doing so, Nyhan says, “could disrupt or politicize the otherwise largely stable approval of the court and even threaten its legitimacy.”

Click here to read Professor Nyhan's full op-ed.

Brendan Nyhan is a professor of public policy at the Ford School. Nyhan also serves as the co-founder of Bright Line Watch and is a 2018 Carnegie Fellow.