Tag Archives: Brett Kavanaugh

If you think the Kavanaugh battle is tough, just wait

The fight to seat Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court has turned into a donnybrook, with charges of sexual assault coming from two women who contend the high court nominee misbehaved seriously when he was a much younger individual.

The battle was joined actually before that, when Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court.

From a philosophical standpoint, though, I remain somewhat perplexed as to progressives’ angst over the thought of Kavanaugh joining the court. He is a conservative who would replace another conservative on the nine-member Supreme Court.

Yet the fight has been joined. Progressives don’t want Kavanaugh on the court because they fear he could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that in 1973 made abortion legal in this country.

If you think that this has been the Mother of Supreme Court Battles, just wait — heaven forbid — Trump gets a chance to nominate someone to replace one of the court’s four remaining liberal justices.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg keeps emerging as the next likely jurist to leave the court. She said she isn’t going anywhere as long as Trump is president. I’ll take her at her word, provided she can control her own destiny … if you get my drift.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonja Sotomayor and Elena Kagan? They aren’t leaving on their own while Trump is in the White House.

Fate does have a way of intervening, so it’s wise to keep your minds open to potential shock waves when any of the four progressive justices decide it’s time to go.

If you for a moment thought this fight over Brett Kavanaugh is as bad as it gets, then you need to take another look across the political landscape and anticipate the eruption that would occur if Donald Trump gets to find someone to replace one of the court’s liberals.

We’d all better hold on with both hands.

‘No doubt’ Ford would have filed charges? Seriously?

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump purports to know how women should react when they are attacked sexually.

They should go straight to the cops, file charges and then wait for justice to be done, he said in so many words in a Twitter message.

Sure thing, Mr. President. Except that’s not how too few of these cases play out.

The president is defending his U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh against charges brought by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh attacked her 30-plus years when they were teenagers. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of trying to tear her clothes off of her. Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred. They’re both going to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a few days.

But back to Trump’s statement.

As the Los Angeles Times has reported:

Trying to discredit her story, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he had “no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

But according to decades of social science, surveys of sexual assault victims and crime reporting data from federal government agencies, there is a lot of room for doubt.

Women have been fearful of recrimination, which is one reason many of them decline to report sexual assaults to the police.

More from the LA Times:

According to the Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, 310 out of 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to authorities. Two out of 3 go unreported. The numbers were culled from data collected from 2010 to 2014 and include assaults against men.

Data from the Department of Justice also show that 20 percent of survivors do not report their assaults out of fear of retaliation, while 13 percent do not report because they think police will not be helpful, 13 percent believe their experiences are personal matters and 7 percent do not want to get perpetrators in trouble. Those numbers were collected from 2005 to 2010.

I am one American who is waiting to hear from both of these individuals before I make up my mind. I wish partisans on either side would do the same. To be candid, I am inclined to want to give Professor Ford the benefit of the doubt. However, I am reserving any judgment until I get to watch her and Judge Kavanaugh make their respective cases.

As for there being “no doubt” a teenage girl would have called the cops and filed charges when an attack allegedly occurred, the president needs to do yet another reality check before he pops off.

What man wouldn’t face such an allegation?

U.S. Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican known to utter a bizarre statement on occasion, has done it again.

He has called Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers, a character assassin. King said Ford is out to destroy the reputation of a man nominated to the high court by Donald Trump.

He said the following: “You add all of that together and I’m thinking, is there any man in this room that wouldn’t be subjected to such an allegation? A false allegation?”

King paints with a broad brush

Hmm. Let me think about that. Even though I am not in the “room” King referenced, I believe I could avoid being “subjected to such an allegation.” Why? Because I’ve never done the thing that Ford has accused Kavanaugh of doing.

Ford is going to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, another Iowa Republican, has decided to postpone the committee’s vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until after the two principals testify before the panel.

Let’s hear them both out. Let us, moreover, allow ourselves the opportunity to determine who is telling the truth.

As for Rep. King’s weird assertion that implies that no man could avoid being “subjected to such an allegation,” he ought to quit generalizing about men — and certainly about women.

This accuser isn’t looking for publicity

Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Brett Kavanaugh is beginning to sound more believable, at least to me.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh, a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, of sexually assaulting her when the two of them were teenagers 36 years ago. She said Kavanaugh was drunk, he took her into a room, covered her mouth to keep her from screaming and then groped her, seeking to have sex with her.

Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred.

But the question keeps popping into my noggin: Why would this woman, a university professor, level a charge she knows is false?

She wants the FBI to investigate the case. Does someone with a phony accusation insist on an FBI probe? Ford says she wants a third person to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering whether to recommend Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court. Would a bogus accuser subject a third person to insult and possible emotional injury?

I still want to hear from Judge Kavanaugh and Professor Ford. I want them to speak to senators about the accusation that has been leveled against a man who wants to interpret the U.S. Constitution at the highest judicial level in the land.

Something tells me there might be more to this than we know.

FBI probe would answer many questions, right?

Christine Blasey Ford has leveled an accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; she wants the FBI to examine it thoroughly before she testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee that is considering whether to recommend Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court.

As a friend and former colleague of mine has asked on social media: One wants an FBI investigation. One doesn’t want an FBI investigation. Which one would you believe?

Ford wants the FBI to examine her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh doesn’t want the FBI to look into the allegation.

Hmm. My friend does pose a fair question.

The FBI took all of three days to conclude an investigation in 1991 when a University of Oklahoma law professor, Anita Hill, accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. She testified before the Judiciary Committee, as did Thomas. The committee recommended Thomas’s confirmation and the full Senate then confirmed him in a 52-48 vote.

Thus, if the FBI can help determine the veracity of the allegation made against the current high court nominee, why would the person accused of wrongdoing oppose it?

How does POTUS even discuss sexual abuse?

We are living in the wackiest of worlds.

Donald Trump got elected president of the United States after admitting to groping women, grabbing them by their private parts, saying he could have his way with women because of his “celebrity” status.

The president than nominates a fellow to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh was coasting to confirmation. Then trouble presented itself in the form of an allegation by a woman who says that when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers, the future judge attacked her, committing an act of sexual assault at a high school party.

Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred. Christine Ford, who has become a college professor, insists it did.

Meanwhile, the president — the guy with his overloaded baggage wagon — weighs in with comments questioning the veracity of Ford’s allegation. He is backing Brett Kavanaugh to the hilt.

My question? How does the president of the United States dare comment on anything at all relating to this kind of allegation?

He doesn’t seem to understand that the record is replete with his own involvement with women. Doesn’t the president grasp the idea that his own acknowledgement of such bad behavior can haunt him continually?

Were the judge to speak to the Judiciary panel, he could do so privately. He could speak from his gut. He can persuade those on the Judiciary Committee that he’s all grown up no.

As for the president, I want to offer him some unsolicited advice: Don’t talk about sexual assault out loud, in public, in front of reporters. Donald Trump is in enough trouble as it is without being buried under reminders of his own sexual misbehavior.

Wait for FBI probe: What’s wrong with that?

Christine Ford has leveled a serious accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

She intends to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but wants the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation before she talks about her allegation: that Kavanaugh assaulted her sexually when they were teenagers.

The FBI can pull together all the evidence it needs to presumably determine whether Ford’s allegation holds up. Or it could come up empty. Or it could produce a result with no definitive answer.

Ford is asking that the FBI do its investigation before she talks.

If it delays Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, so be it. If his confirmation — should it occur — come until after the court convenes its next judicial term, so be that, too.

The allegation is profoundly serious. Kavanaugh has denied categorically what the accuser has alleged. He is entitled to mount a vigorous defense. Ford, too, is entitled to get a fair and complete hearing of the allegation she has leveled against a man who wants to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh nomination on rocky ground, but not doomed

It’s pretty clear that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s road to the U.S. Supreme Court has hit a serious pot hole.

I’m not yet sure his nomination to join the nation’s highest court is doomed.

A woman has come forward with a 35-year-old claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee to the court, denies the event took place. The woman swears it did.

Speaking of “swearing” to the veracity of her allegation, Christine Ford is going to take an oath next Monday to tell the whole truth to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering whether to recommend Kavanaugh to the full Senate.

If she is proven to perjure herself before the court, then her allegations is toast.

Then again, Kavanaugh also will take an oath to tell the truth. If he lies under oath — or if it can be proven that he lied, which is a tall order — then his nomination is toast.

I’ve wrestled with this one. Can teenagers grow out of their youthful nastiness to become upstanding adults? Sure they can. If this event happened, does Kavanaugh’s status as a federal judge and a devoted husband and father negate what he might have done as a drunken teen?

Not exactly. He’s being considered for the highest judicial post in the United States of America. The post requires men and women to be of fine moral character. I mean, Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his high court nomination in 1987 after he admitted to smoking pot while in college. This allegation against Judge Kavanaugh in my mind rises to a higher level of misbehavior.

But still, the two principals are going to take an oath to tell the truth. One of them is lying. The Senate Judiciary Committee — deeply split already along partisan grounds — will have to decide whom to believe.

Good luck, ladies and gentlemen of the committee.

Astonishing: Trump sounds reasonable, measured!

An amazing thing occurred today that compels me to say something positive about Donald John Trump.

The president of the United States sounded reasonable, rational, measured and downright sensible in his response to a planned hearing involving a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers.

There was none of the usual crap that flies out of Trump’s mouth when women accuse powerful men of sexual misbehavior.

The president instead said the accuser, Christine Ford, needs to be heard. Yes, he complained that the accusation became known so late in the Kavanaugh confirmation process. But again, he refrained from the usual bellicosity one usually hears from the president.

Trump has been known to dismiss female accusers. There were those who have accused him of various acts of sexual misbehavior; he called the women who accused former Alabama judge Roy Moore of raping them “liars.”

So, you see, to hear the president speak in such measured tones today makes High Plains Blogger want to say something positive about the tone of voice he used.

Let’s hope there’s more measured tones in store.

Let the accuser — and the accused — make their case

I’ve been quiet about Brett Kavanaugh’s recent troubles and the allegation brought by a woman who has accused the U.S. Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers.

Until now.

Christine Ford is going to get to make her case next week in a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh, nominated by Donald Trump, has denied the accusation that when he was 17 and his accuser was 15 he forced himself on her and sought to rape her at a high school party.

Man, this is serious stuff. You know?

I want to hear both of them. I want them both to look nation in the eye and make their case. Do I believe Christine Ford? I cannot state yet whether I believe or disbelieve her. And do I believe Judge Kavanaugh’s denial? Same answer.

I need to watch their body language. I need to look into their eyes.

I also want the FBI to conduct a complete, thorough and meticulous background check to ascertain which of these people is telling the truth. If that’s possible.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican “swing vote,” has declared that any evidence that Kavanaugh has lied about this alleged encounter is a deal-breaker. He cannot serve on the nation’s highest court. No kidding?

Thus, the rush to confirm this individual can wait for as long as we need to determine the veracity of the complaint brought against him. If the FBI investigation goes past the date in October when the high court convenes its next judicial session, well, so be it. The court has functioned before without  all nine SCOTUS seats being occupied (isn’t that right, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who obstructed President Obama’s nominee to succeed the late Antonin Scalia?).

The hearing will be open. The public will get to see for itself. Let’s give this accuser her the opportunity she deserves to make her case … and let’s give the accused the chance he deserves to defend himself.

May the more credible person win the day.