Listen, react later on judge decision

Reading tea leaves is a sport in Washington that surfaces every time a justice nominee is picked for the Supreme Court.

The sport of setting fire to the tea leaves is something on display heavily during the Trump administration, but not unheard of, even in recent history.

One needs only to go back to the era of George H.W. Bush to see that choosing justices has been a contentious battle, filled with partisan rhetoric and often delving into simple dirty politics — witness the Justice Clarence Thomas hearings.

So it isn’t anything new that a nominee with the judicial experience of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will face criticism.

Comments such as that of Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. Bob Casey Jr. that he would oppose any Trump nominee simply smack of a partisan divide so deep in Washington that a senator will avoid doing his job to follow an angry ideology.

If, and it’s a big if, the smoke can clear long enough for the Senate to hold legitimate confirmation hearings, with real questions about real experience by a sitting federal judge, a better picture of the Supreme Court with Kavanaugh as a justice might emerge.

Kavanaugh has praised very conservative opinions of a former chief justice, the late William Rehnquist. But that doesn’t mean he will parrot the late chief justice.

The issue for now is whether there is a willingness for a true hearing. With senators vowing not to approve any Trump nominee and refusing even to attend the announcement ceremony, the distortion of reality in Washington into pro-Trump and anti-Trump camps continues to flare.

Trump has, by the laws of the land, been given the opportunity to reshape the court for a generation to come.

Wouldn’t that generation be best served by honest, fair and tough questioning?

After that, stands could be taken on actual, factual statements instead of the hollow rhetoric of the ideologue which fills the air with its stench from Washington to the West Coast.

In other words, Washington needs to shut up, hear the judge and then decide. That’s how the system is supposed to work.