Tag Archives: SCOTUS

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.

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.

A political ad for a SCOTUS nominee?

I thought I might have been the only American who found this strange. I was wrong.

A friend of mine posted a pithy question on Facebook that asks: Who the hell runs an ad backing a Supreme Court nominee?
What is he, soap? Fast food?

Maybe you’ve seen the political ad. A young law clerk who describes herself as a Democrat sings the praises of Brett Kavanaugh, who’s been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court; if he’s approved — and he will be — Kavanaugh will fill the spot held since 1988 by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

But my friend is correct. The ad touting Kavanaugh as if he’s a partisan politician seems to cheapen the entire endeavor of senatorial confirmation.

Very strange. In my humble view.

Sen. Collins: Your vote will matter more

I just heard a Republican U.S. senator from Maine make a preposterous declaration.

Susan Collins is going to be at Ground Zero in the debate over whether to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. The battle lines are being drawn.

It’s along abortion and whether Kavanaugh would uphold the Roe v. Wade decision that in 1973 made abortion legal in the United States.

Collins already has said that she cannot support a SCOTUS nominee who doesn’t believe Roe v. Wade is “settled law.”

Then today she said that her vote “doesn’t count any more than my 99 colleagues” in the Senate.

Wrong, senator! Given the stakes and the apparent lineup that’s taking shape in the Senate, your vote counts more.

It counts a lot more!

Lifetime job has this way of shaping opinions

I tend to interpret the U.S. Constitution the way I interpret the Bible.

That is, I take a more liberal view of what both documents say. That’s just my view. I am not a “strict constructionist” as it regards the Constitution; nor am I a “fundamentalist” as it regards the Bible.

But let’s consider what the future might hold for the body that interprets the former document, the Constitution.

Donald J. Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to join the U.S. Supreme Court. He comes to this nomination after being recommended highly by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, two staunchly conservative think tanks.

Now, what does this mean for Kavanaugh’s tenure on the high court?

I’ll give you my hope for what happens. I hope Kavanaugh proves to be as unpredictable as previous “conservative” justices who were nominated by “conservative” presidents.

The record going back more than six decades is full of how this has occurred.

  • President Eisenhower appointed two “conservatives” to the high court: Earl Warren as chief justice and William Brennan as an associate justice. They both proved to be progressive in the extreme.
  • President Nixon tapped Harry Blackmun to the high court, only to watch as Blackmun wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.
  • President Ford’s pick to the court, John Paul Stevens, turned out to be a reliably liberal vote.
  • President George H.W. Bush nominated David Souter, who then turned out to be a liberal justice as well.

President Reagan nominated two justices — Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy — who became quite a bit less reliably conservative than the president would have wanted.

No one really saw these justices’ service turning out as they did in advance.

Thus, it well might be that Judge Brett Kavanaugh could join the list of conservatives who take a more, um, expansive view of the Constitution.

That is my hope. But, hey, I’m just one guy — a blogger out here in Flyover Country — who wants history to repeat itself.

SCOTUS nominee needs to get set for big battle

Brett Kavanaugh is now headed for the fight of his life.

He stands nominated to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is 53 years of age. We know a good bit more about his personal history: only child of two two lawyers; father of two daughters, one of whom he said “likes to talk a lot”; married to a West Texan.

He also pledges to be faithful to the U.S. Constitution. But that’s what all Supreme Court justice nominees pledge to do.

What happens next? He’s going to make the rounds of senators who will vote up or down on his nomination.  He won’t answer questions about how he would vote on specific issues that come before the high court.

Kavanaugh won’t have to answer those questions for senators to get a good read on this man’s judicial philosophy. He has a lengthy paper trail of opinions he has written, of essays, a history of serving as a clerk for the justice he seeks to succeed on the court, Anthony Kennedy.

If I could ask him one question it would be this: Do you consider Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in this country to be “settled law”? I would prefer him to answer “yes.”

If he says “no” or refuses to answer because he might have to decide an abortion case, well, that’s troubling.

This nomination will proceed, despite protests from those — such as me — who think the Senate should await the results of the midterm election this fall before considering this nomination.

I won’t predict how it will turn out. I feel comfortable suggesting that this confirmation process is going to be a donnybrook.