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What about Brett?

Issue: "MS-13: Criminals next door," June 18, 2005

Brett Kavanaugh is a name you should remember.

He is first and foremost a tremendous public servant, having dedicated most of his professional life to serious jobs in Washington, D.C., including his present position as a senior aide to George W. Bush-the job, called "staff secretary," is a pivotal post in the West Wing.

He's been a clerk to three federal judges, a staff attorney in the office of the solicitor general, senior associate counsel in the White House, and-by the account of everyone who knows him-an extraordinarily talented legal mind of the highest personal and professional character.

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President Bush thinks so highly of Mr. Kavanaugh that he nominated him to become a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The Democrats have blocked him.

In the big judges "deal" orchestrated by the McCain caucus, no mention was made of Brett Kavanaugh, and no consensus seems to have emerged on what will happen to his nomination.

Since he was not called out as a candidate for filibuster by the terms of the agreement, it seems unreasonable for Democratic senators to argue that Mr. Kavanaugh presents the "extraordinary circumstances" required to trigger a return Democratic obstruction.

On the other hand, Mr. Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr in the Clinton investigations, and by so doing earned the unending hostility of key Democrats, including the junior senator from New York. They still blame Mr. Starr and staff rather than Mr. Clinton for the ex-president's deeply tarnished "legacy."

Did Lindsey Graham, Mike DeWine, and other GOP senators agree to sacrifice Mr. Kavanaugh, but not publicly? If that happens, those senators' reputations will be severely damaged, as will that of Majority Leader Frist.

You can't throw talented and loyal Republicans under the bus for personal convenience, just because they appear to be obscure. Too many writers and pundits are watching, ready to post the real final score on the judges deal. And the future of Brett Kavanaugh and a handful of other nominees will determine who truly won, and who lost big, in all the deal-making.


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