Justice on Trial

The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court
Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.8 out of 5 stars (1,680 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

What listeners say about Justice on Trial

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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.

37 people found this helpful

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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!

14 people found this helpful

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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.

28 people found this helpful

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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).

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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.

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Great listen

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

7 people found this helpful

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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.

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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.

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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 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 07-14-19

An indictment of the media

This book tells the story of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, as well as some relevant history surrounding it. It tells the story of how unsubstantiated accusations were breathlessly and uncritically echoed by a biased media that was eager to sink the nomination. Destroying the life of an innocent man who had shown nothing but exemplary character throughout his life is a small price to pay. It's scary that one day, someone can accuse you of a serious crime 36 years ago, not knowing where it was, not knowing when it was, not knowing how she left that place, with all witnesses denying, with no corroborating evidence, while being caught in several lies in the process - and still convince the elite classes that you are completely guilty, and that these are 'credible' accusations, simply because they want to believe it regardless of the evidence. The audio quality is not the best, but it's still good. There are two narrators (the authors) who take turns narrating chapters, which worked surprisingly well. The two authors are conservatives, and the book is written from a conservative perspective, but they limit their bias to their opinions.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-15-19

Too Biased

I found this to be very difficult listening material. When we have watched, and continue to watch the American courts being taken over by a criminal government who are influencing courts decisions, not based on legal merits; and we watch a potential rapist getting one of the highest jobs in the land, it’s difficult to listen to someone try to admire and justify those actions.

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  • sarah reid
  • 11-13-19

Great Book HIghly Recommend

This book was such an interesting read / listening to a lot of things I did not know about Kavanagh and the awful Dems investigation so called to ruin him . Trump stood by him as did many others. Bravo.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-21-19

Fast paced and informative

Very entertaining, fast paced, and informative record of the whole debacle from start to finish. Really enjoyed it.