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Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover
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Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Republicans began plotting their takeover of the Supreme Court thirty years ago. Brett Kavanaugh set his sights on the court right out of law school. Washington Post journalist and legal expert Ruth Marcus goes behind the scenes to document the inside story of how their supreme ambition triumphed.

The Kavanaugh drama unfolded so fast in the summer of 2018 it seemed to
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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I recently read Molly Hemingway’s book “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court” which provided the conservative viewpoint of the Confirmation Hearings. I was curious how Marcus would handle the Confirmation Hearings.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. The book is based on the enormous amount of material including thousands of pages of Kavanaugh’s emails and also includes over three hundred interviews. The author points out, among other
Jill Meyer
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There were many issues in the 2016 Presidential election, but perhaps the most important was over control of the United States Supreme Court. Both sides had reason to count on the results of the election to determine who would be nominated to the high court after the death of Antonin Scalia a few months previous. President Obama had nominated liberal Merrick Garland to the seat but his nomination was held up in the Republican-controlled Senate. Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell, was able to ...more
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the definitive book to read on the Kavanaugh hearing for the Supreme Court. It is highly critical, highly unbiased and comes down with a reasonable explanation of what happened during the hearing, what Republicans got by with in shutting down witnesses that supported Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, and what the future will likely be based on what transpired.

My takeaways: Ford was clearly telling the truth. Kavanaugh was so drunk in his high school and college days that he was likely
Jeff Berman
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The current President calls Ruth Marcus’ book about the Kavanaugh debacle and the right wing crusade to takeover SCOTUS “a badly written & researched disaster....”
So of course it’s brilliantly written & researched. Highly recommend.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I already knew how depressing the ending was, I don't know why I tortured myself reading how Brett Kavanaugh, beer drinking virgin, worked so hard to join his lying and lecherous buddy Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, but I guess it's because I admire Ruth Marcus so much. Her recounting of the machinations of those who were working for "the deconstruction of the administrative state" (p 63) takes us as close to the Hamilton musical's "Room Where It Happened" as we're likely to get. ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to see how the Brett Kavanaugh affair, a month-long exercise in nihilism and despair, will get a more even-handed summary than the one Ruth Marcus offers here. Going over the specifics is futile at this point; everyone's too dug in.

I'll just add that my feeling on Kavanaugh never wavered: I thought he was a empty suit from the get-go, a lifetime party hack, the assault allegation being merely the cherry on a general shit sundae. I suspect that many Republicans felt the same way, going
Stephen Morrissey
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh is likely to go down in history, in Chuck Schumer's words, as one of the most sordid episodes in modern political history. Ruth Marcus's "Supreme Ambition" excellently uncovers the facts, as best we know them now, behind Kavanaugh, Blasey Ford, and the politicking in-between it all.

One take-away from the book is clear: there are few, if any, profiles in courage here. The Republicans come off as obsessively-focused on getting another
Sherry Wilmes
I am very pleased to have read this book and thank Ruth for her work to write this. Few public servants or public figures come out of this in high esteem. There are in addition to further lost respect for Kavanaugh, the usuals of the last few years, including Lindsey Graham, Don McGahn, Chuck Grassley, dozens of unnamed staffers, etc., but the Democrats don’t deserve our respect much either. And given what McGahn did to limit the FBI investigation in the late stages of this process of approval, ...more
Mary Miller
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well researched and written, I learned quite a bit about behind the scenes of Washington politics. Kavanaugh was not even on the list for Supreme Court Justice until he asked Justice Kennedy to intercede for him with Trump. Kennedy had a private meeting with Trump and he was added to the list. Also learned he worked on Bush's staff and married his secretary. Lots of visits to Texas and clearing brush with the president. Two supreme court justices, Thomas and Kavanaugh, both accused of sexual ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author shows the development of the conservative takeover of the Supreme Court in response to the failed nomination of Robert Bork. What became clear to me is that the Republicans used tactics to get Anthony Kennedy to retire during the middle of Trump's first term so that the judge could received ego-enhancing accolades while still alive. Meanwhile, Ruth Bader Ginsburg rebuffed Democratic suggestions that she retire while Obama was in the middle of his presidency in order to keep a liberal ...more
Kristi Richardson
Excellent book on the nomination and subsequent rise of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Ruth Marcus gives us new insights on how Mr. Kavanaugh got the nomination and Christine Blasey Ford's decision to testify against him.
This is a factual story and I came away with some interesting insights.
Brett Kavanaugh was known as a "Bush" lawyer, and Justice Kennedy recommended him to Trump. Trump desperately wanted to appoint two Supreme Court Justices in his first term. The inference is that
We still need an investigation of his dicey finances. Her thesis falls off some when we get to his confirmation - it was a book about an ambitious dude of average intelligence; it turns into a story about Senators.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5; an excellent analysis and behind-the-scenes look at the nomination process.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenally well written and reported. A must read.
Terry Earley
Jan 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
Ordered ebook on overdrive 1-18-2020
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“necessarily would be true of this particular nominee.”23 Even from a retired justice, it was an amazing public rebuke.” 0 likes
“reached out to his golf club friend to say that both families had gone through a hard time and that he was glad Kavanaugh had been confirmed.” 0 likes
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