The US Senate approval of Brett Kavanaugh for the ninth Supreme Court position is not just another win for Donald Trump, who has seen more victories than setbacks as he approaches two years in the Oval Office. This narrow confirmation vote is a new high-water mark for Trump and his ultra-right backers as they gut the traditional “checks and balances” designed to prevent full state power from being gathered in the hands of one person, i.e. so that the President of the new capitalist state could not become an “elected” version of European feudal monarchs.
As the Kavanaugh vote shows, a key element of the strategy is to pack the courts with judges who are eager to help push the Trump agenda, stripping legal, civil and democratic freedoms from tens of millions of people, and accelerating the shift of wealth into the bank accounts of the economic elite. Equality gains and labour rights won through centuries of struggle are threatened by politicians and judges who are openly determined to restore the hegemony of the propertied, slave-owning white male patriarchs who became the US ruling class.
But the blatant misogyny and racism of the President and his inner circle has sparked a massive fightback by women and racialized communities, and by an embattled trade union movement. In fact, the open embrace of fascist policies by sections of the capitalist ruling class has encouraged many Americans to turn towards radical and socialist alternatives (even if these are not are far-reaching and fundamental as we would advocate). The Kavanaugh debacle is not the end of this story, nor would a mid-term elections win for the Democrats eliminate the danger. The struggle to push back the ultra-right will be a crucial fight for years to come, in Canada and the rest of the world, not just in the USA.