A Warning to Trump’s Supreme Court Choice

By Christopher Manion Published on July 1, 2018

Dear Judge ____,


And now, brace yourself. And pray hard. There are malevolent forces at large in the land who want to ruin you.

You might remember 1987, when Robert Bork’s surname became a verb.

A classmate of mine ran the campaign to destroy Judge Bork. His assault proved so effective that Ted Kennedy called him “the 101st senator.” No holds barred — the Senate Judiciary Committee was a free-fire zone. Shoot to kill.

Yes, there were vulgarities then, too — especially when Sen. Kennedy tried to sink Robert Bork in ”the muck of Watergate.” Fake news? Sure — the media hacks celebrated that smear without ever bringing up Kennedy’s abandoning Mary Jo Kopechne to the muck of Chappaquiddick.

Public Enemy Number One: You

For now you are the Left’s Public Enemy Number One. The vulgar vampires of the media will go to your hometown, interview childhood neighbors, always looking for slime.

They will analyze your high school yearbook. Finding your classmates on social media will be a cinch. And because your enemies are lazy, they will let Facebook do their dirty work for them. Which classmates have pages bragging about their abortions? Which ones abound in cesspool language regarding the president? Sooner rather than later faux recollections of your youthful “rigidity,” your “lack of inclusiveness,” and your “racism” will be front page news.

They might pay someone to steal your transcripts, hack your computer, surround your house, and harass your children. For them, this is war.

Undoubtedly you had to suffer through college classes from left-wing professors. Rest assured, they will suddenly remember you vividly, not for your stellar academic performance but for your “subtle but endemic” homophobia, your “unwillingness to consider other points of view,” and, of course, your “rude and peremptory treatment of those with whom you disagree.”

Wait for the Lies

Did you have a roommate in college? The New York Times will be glad to send a reporter to sleep with him or her (hey, this is war!!!) in order to gather unsavory information about your personal habits. The Washington Post will prove happy to gather lies – confirmed by two sources! – that they will not retract when exposed, of course.

Don’t forget to pray – and ask your friends to pray. I recall one judicial nominee who was ultimately confirmed by one vote in the Senate. He was amazed when he learned, years later, that a group of women in a faraway state had been fasting and praying for him every Monday for months.

Did you work in a law firm? Undoubtedly some of your colleagues were Democrats. Did you serve on an appeals court? Rest assured, some left-wingers who clerked for your colleagues appointed by Clinton and Obama would be willing to share sordid fabrications with the Fake News magnates.

And that’s only the first wave of the Sewer Tsunami. The second will come when you begin to make the rounds in the Senate.

You Will Be Grilled

Many Senate staffers are lazy too. They will rely on information that zealous radicals in the field dig up about you. Don’t you remember how Robert Bork was confronted with an unpaid parking ticket he had received while teaching at Yale? And how Ted Kennedy mocked him for going to work as a lawyer so he could pay the medical bills of his wife, who was dying of cancer?

“Greedy money-grubber! How can we expect such a swine to care about justice for the little people?”

The opposition will pore over every word you wrote on the public record. They will also try to procure confidential internal memos from friendly clerks and staff (who will also attest that you are “pompous” and “rude,” of course). And then they will watch you like hawks – no, like vultures.

Every night, opposition staffers will huddle in an obscure Senate conference room and compare what you said today with what you said yesterday. They will then use your own words to try to trip you up, or even to make you contradict yourself, tomorrow.

Guard Your Tongue

You must be wary even of staffers working for senators who support you. Rest assured, many of them consider their positions to be merely a stepping stone to a great career. They know where their bread is buttered – on the left side. They will feign confidential support and encourage you to relax and have an actual friendly discussion – and then walk across the hall in the Senate Dirksen Building to feed the vipers on the other side of the aisle.

You must watch every word. Consider the Senators: that’s what they do, isn’t it? Remember Mitt Romney in 2012? Some left-wing twit complained that he wasn’t answering her questions. He said (more or less), “You get to ask your questions, I get to give my answers.”

Commit that to memory.

They’ll Try to Break You

Then comes the hearing. Or, rather, the hearings. Like the Stasi in East Germany, they will try to tire you out, badger you, surprise you, confuse you, lie to you. They will even smile as they attempt to insert the poisoned stiletto. They will scour the countryside for another third-rate staffer like Anita Hill to slander you. Be prepared.

I speak, alas, from experience. Because I staffed Senate confirmation hearings for hundreds of nominees during the Reagan years. I served on “kill-boards” at Justice, prepping judicial nominees for their hearings. Virtually every respectable nominee comes to these hearings somewhat nervous, even awed. (Yes, a few are contemptuous, as Rosenstein was last week. But he didn’t face confirmation).

How to Stay Strong

Your enemies on that dais will use every wicked wile to invent an Achilles heel. Remember, they are pirouetting for the biggest audience they’ve ever had – millions will be watching. They are there for themselves, not for you. You have got to be there for yourself, not for them.

Surprise question from left field? There’s a pitcher of water in front of you. Use it. Pour it into your glass (tell the committee clerk to make sure there’s always an extra one that’s empty). Slowly. Take a sip. Those ten seconds of silence will seem like an eternity, but it will put you in charge and give you time to give a considered answer, rather than a stunned reaction to their slur.

The pressure will rise. Democrats will move to postpone a vote in the Judiciary Committee. They will try to talk it to death. That will go on for weeks.

They Will Follow You Home

Be careful! Just because your hearings are over doesn’t mean they’ve stopped watching and listening. They will follow your every move. Screaming viragoes in pink hats will confront you on the street. Democratic staffers will shout vulgarities at you in the Senate corridors. Some harridan will try to stick her face in yours and scream.

It’s all a setup. Their cameras will be rolling. One false move, one unstudied word, and they’ve “gotcha!”

Keep your cool. Keep your cool. Their hatred is hot – your cool will douse it like a waterfall. Remember what took out the Wicked Witch.

Escape the Swamp

This harassment will happen wherever you are. I advise you to return to your hometown as soon as your hearings are over. The support of your family and your friends is more comforting than that of a thousand fawning DC wannabees. But beware: your hometown media folks might feign friendliness to a “favorite son (or daughter),” but too many of them are looking for a first-class ticket out of the sticks into the big time.

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And pray. Don’t forget to pray – and ask your friends to pray. I recall one judicial nominee who was ultimately confirmed by one vote in the Senate. He was amazed when he learned, years later, that a group of women in a faraway state had been fasting and praying for him every Monday for months.

You will ultimately be confirmed. Congratulations! But remember – a new monster will confront you. The lust for power – the libido dominandi, the ancients called it.

That temptation will last a lifetime. Never stop praying!

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