The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion I am an independent, impartial judge

This one is Judge Me! (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

How to say this?

So last week I feel like we got off on the wrong foot a little bit. Like Justice John Paul Stevens, you may have seen the guy shouting about beer and “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” and thought, “Yeeeegh, I don’t love this. Can someone else be lifetime-appointed to the Supreme Court?”

I just want to say: That wasn’t me. I mean, technically, it was me, but in a broader, representational sense, it wasn’t.

I was only throwing a temper tantrum as a father, a son and a husband. As a judge, I am a mind of pure light floating in a vat. The person you saw will cease to exist when he is appointed to the highest court of the land. He will just vanish, poof, like the contents of a keg consumed by someone else, a total stranger to me.

Everything that has seemed bad about this confirmation process is just because you have been trying to judge me as a person. But Person Me and Judge Me are so completely different that that’s really unfair. Hashtag #NotAllMes. Don’t judge me as a person, whom you have seen. Judge me as a judge, whom you have not. (Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe, as I think Jesus said, or whoever was deciding how much of my record needed to be reviewed.)

When most of my papers from my service under President George W. Bush were withheld, that was just my understandable shyness as an uncle. When I snapped at Sen. Amy Klobuchar, I was just angry as a neighbor, mentor and friend. As a judge, I would have said nothing. When I refused to recuse myself from any cases involving the executive, that was my natural indignation as a guy who once had his Lexus RUINED by a wayward seagull dropping. (As a judge, I will still refuse to recuse myself, but it will be because I am so impartial, not still livid about the Lexus.) And when immediately after the hearing I went to the Columbia Country Club golf course, burrowed into the sand hazard up to my waist and hissed like a crab at anyone who approached until I had to be removed by staff, that was just me being a person.

After a cathartic year of painful revelations, opinion writer Alyssa Rosenberg says, the movement must tackle questions about what's next. (Video: Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

But I am mostly not a person. I believe personhood begins at conception and ends the second you join the Supreme Court.

I should not have been yelling in that room. I was just there as a husband, father and son, like a full Cat Stevens song and then a bonus person. It was like when I yelled, “That doesn’t LOOK like medium rare” at the country club waiter and began to pelt him with potatoes and deservedly unpopular UB40 B-sides; I was just angry as a husband, father and son. As a judge, I would have eaten the whole steak, and I would have tipped.

I can’t wait for you to meet Judge Me. He is fair and balanced, like Fox News. He’s much better, as we’ll get to discover over the course of our lives together. You’d better hope.

Follow Alexandra Petri's opinionsFollow
Marc Thiessen

counterpointAs the March for Life returns, we owe Brett Kavanaugh a debt of gratitude

I understand that one of the exciting things about this process has been that people have shown up on doorsteps saying, “Tell me MORE about the times when you used to party at Yale,” a thing that, regrettably, rarely happens in adult life and probably brought those Yale guys a lot of joy. But you should not believe them. You should believe me.

It may seem to you that the behavior they detail was not judge-like, but that was because I was not wearing my judge hat. I was wearing another hat — my baseball cap or my coach hat or my hat with a funnel for beer on either side, which was a novelty gift from someone who did not know me (Judge Me).

Or maybe it was judge-like behavior. MARK Judge! All right! I will be here all week. I will be here your entire life. It’s a lifetime appointment, baby!

Look, why would you judge people by how they behave when they are put unfairly on trial, which is, like, the most stressful point in their entire lives? That just doesn’t seem fair at all and — oh, my God, I am just now understanding how the justice system works and why people are always so upset about it.

I digress. If you knew the Brett Kavanaugh I knew, you would vote to confirm him/me. After what you have seen, I know it may surprise you to hear that he is a one-of-a-kind guy who deserves this lifetime appointment. But I know the real Brett Kavanaugh. I am not biased just because I happen to be Brett Kavanaugh. I am an independent, impartial judge.

Read more from Alexandra Petri:


Brett Kavanaugh was a model youngster. Bart O’Kavanaugh was not.

It is very difficult to get the train to stop

The FBI was very easy to reach, and the report has been quite easy to read