The intensity of the anger against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh can be explained by a combination of several factors.
First, as I show in this chart, Republican Senators represent less than 44% of the population of the fifty states. And, of course, those senators represent an even lower percentage of the U.S. population since neither Puerto Rico, with a population greater than twenty-one of those states, nor the District of Columbia, with a population greater than two of those states, have a vote in the U.S. Senate. Thus, Senators representing well less than half of the U.S. population have denied to the Senate all of the relevant documents bearing on the nominee’s fitness for the Court, and, in addition, documents which may show that he lied under oath. And, of course, their votes will be sufficient to confirm his nomination.
Second, as the most famous Op-Ed in history shows, the president who nominated Kavanaugh is incompetent.
Third, the president who nominated Kavanaugh has, in effect, been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in one federal criminal action and is the subject of at least one other criminal investigation.
Fourth, as Michael O’Hare shows in great detail, if Kavanaugh is confirmed:
[H]e will forever be “the guy Trump nominated to fend off his impeachment”; one of his senate interlocutors wisely said “you will always have an asterisk next to your name”, which is right except that the asterisk will be an indelible and devastating blot. No respectable judge or lawyer will be comfortable citing his decisions; his influence will be restricted to hacks and stooges, and he’s smart enough that he will eventually realize this, but alas, too late.
Finally, Kavanaugh is a threat to our most modern of liberties rooted in the decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US 479 (1965). That case held that while the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy, the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones, that establish a right to privacy. The decision overturned a Connecticut law that banned the use of any drug, medical device, or other instrument in furthering contraception. From Griswold spring Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges.
Now, you might think that, at the least, the precise holding of Griswold, namely that the right to contraception is Constitutionally protected, will never be attacked. You would be wrong. Certain forms of contraception such as the so-called “morning after” pill and the IUD, are already under attack. A Justice Kavanaugh would surely allow such attacks to succeed since he doesn’t believe in the “penumbra” theory that underlies Griswold.
Let me be clear: It is not the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth item on the list that stokes the anger against Kavanaugh’s nomination, even though any one of the five should be sufficient to deny him a seat on the Court. The anger is a product of the outrage stemming from the cumulative effect of all five.