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Justice on Trial

The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court
Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: History, Americas
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Justice Anthony Kennedy slipped out of the Supreme Court building on June 27, 2018, and traveled incognito to the White House to inform President Donald Trump that he was retiring, setting in motion a political process that his successor, Brett Kavanaugh, would denounce three months later as a "national disgrace" and a "circus".

Justice on Trial, the definitive insider's account of Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court, is based on extraordinary access to more than 100 key figures - including the president, justices, and senators - in that ferocious political drama.

The Trump presidency opened with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. But the following year, when Trump drew from the same list of candidates for his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the justice being replaced was the swing vote on abortion, and all hell broke loose.

The judicial confirmation process, on the point of breakdown for 30 years, now proved utterly dysfunctional. Unverified accusations of sexual assault became weapons in a ruthless campaign of personal destruction, culminating in the melodramatic hearings in which Kavanaugh's impassioned defense resuscitated a nomination that seemed beyond saving.

The Supreme Court has become the arbiter of our nation's most vexing and divisive disputes. With the stakes of each vacancy incalculably high, the incentive to destroy a nominee is nearly irresistible. The next time a nomination promises to change the balance of the Court, Hemingway and Severino warn, the confirmation fight will be even uglier than Kavanaugh's.

A good person might accept that nomination in the naive belief that what happened to Kavanaugh won't happen to him because he is a good person. But it can happen, it does happen, and it just happened. The question is whether America will let it happen again.

©2019 Molly Hemingway and Carrie Severino (P)2019 Random House Audio

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Seen it before!

When I left my old shit hole country, I thought I had left behind communism with all tactics of intimidation, repression, shutting down intellect and glorifying of ignorance. Grossly mistaken! It is alive and well in the most advanced country ever. I left my country as soon as I had a chance; but where to go when USA falls? I am terrified at the thought that we are witnessing a socialist revolution, and Trump is just a speed-bump to be overcome in two or (god willing) in six years!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Really shines a light on the confirmation of Kavanaugh. Easy to follow and captivating. I would listen to this again for sure.

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  • YG
  • 2019-07-23

Fantastic!

I absolutely loved this book. Great content, lots of thoughts. Watched the Cavanagh confirmation on TV and was really astonished how common sense values which Americans are proud of can be destroyed in no time. Mollie and Carrie take us through the whole process with some interesting not covered on TV episodes. Well done! Would definitely recommend.

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 2019-07-13

Politicians behaving badly!

It's easy to forget that the US Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court began only 10 months ago and that Kavanaugh has been on this country's highest court for only 9 months. JUSTICE ON TRIAL is nevertheless a historical document. Like the Clarence Thomas 1991 hearing before it, the Kavanaugh hearing demonstrates there are no limits to the depths of indecency politicians will sink to achieve their political aims.

Ms. Hemingway and Ms. Severino did a great job writing and narrating JUSTICE ON TRIAL.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 2019-09-03

Engrossing

Mollie Hemingway is the senior editor at the Federalist. The Federalist is a conservative web magazine and podcast. Carrie Severino is Chief Counsel and Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network. The JCN is a conservative activist political campaign organization. Severino also was a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.

The book is well written and researched. The authors attempted to be neutral in their presentation, but the conservative leaning comes through. I like to study a situation from all view points before I develop an opinion. Accordingly, I have been reading a variety of books including books about the Supreme Court confirmation process. The authors provided a history of the confirmation process to the Supreme Court and then a detailed account of the Kavanaugh hearing. They also spent a chapter discussing originalism vs activism. They did not cover the role of Senator Mitch McConnell in accelerating polarization in the confirmation process. I was already familiar with the majority of the information, but I did discover some new information that had not been previously covered. I found the information about the Supreme Court’s law clerks most interesting.

The book is eleven hours and fifteen minutes. Mollie Hemingway does a good job narrating the book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicholas S.
  • 2019-07-10

A Must Listen!

What an amazing story! Mollie's voice is perfect to explain it all! Highly recommended to everyone that wants to know what really happened. The insider access that Mollie and Carrie got is unprecedented. This book sets the stage for all future Supreme Court confirmations.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue
  • 2019-08-05

Riveting

I followed the Kavanaugh hearings pretty closely, I thought. But the authors did a great job of taking me behind the scenes to the fascinating machinations and the often ugly and brutal parts of this confirmation. Well done, Ms. Hemingway and Ms. Severino!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Quinn MacPherson
  • 2019-08-08

Conservative view

Was clearly (and openly) presented from the conservative view point. Presents a couter to the left wing view presented by many new outlets. I enjoyed and leared new details (particularly historical context).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Smalls
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 2019-07-21

Lots of new background info

The authors did a great job collecting all this information and putting it all together. There is so much more that didn't see the light of day when all these events were taking place. The book adds to what was known about the maneuvering of the interest groups, how the nominee coped with the process and especially the behind the scenes Senate activities. Well worth a listen.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Chip Atkinson
  • Greensboro, NC, United States
  • 2019-07-11

A good man is hard to find.

This is an important story about a good man whose reputation was destroyed for no good reason. Hemingway and Severino deliver a detailed account of both the history of Supreme Court nominations and the Kavanaugh confirmation process.

Senators from both parties acted shamefully, breaking long-standing rules and out right lying, presumably to deny President Trump his right to choose a qualified nominee. Nevertheless it was the lazy and careless media that did the most damage to Justice Kavanaugh’s once sterling reputation.

Elections have consequences. Unfortunately it appears that most media outlets operate with no accountability.

It’s well read by both authors.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • debra Beemer
  • 2019-07-11

I wanted to love this but I just liked it a lot.

I followed this story very closely so very little of the information was new. I love Molly Hemingway. I agree with everything written in this book. I wanted to see another side of the story but still feel that this was a grave injustice to Brett Kavanaugh. I realize this would not be a logical source for that information. I thought there was some interesting insight into Susan Collins and Jeff Flake.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • rosemary
  • 2019-08-05

very well done

this was certainly an eye-opener. I appreciate the work that has been done on this book and congratulate everyone that had a part in it because this was a very good work. So many things I did not know thank you for bringing it out into the open.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • June Swatzell
  • 2019-08-04

Great listen

Well done well documented. I enjoyed learning about the politics behind the vote. Politics have lost civility and good conscience.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful