September 17, 2018

Kavanaugh’s Accuser Comes Forward

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“A woman who had anonymously accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s went public on Sunday... In an interview with the Washington Post, Christine Blasey Ford said that as a high school student in suburban Maryland decades earlier, a ‘stumbling drunk’ Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and attempted to remove her clothing.” Reuters

Last Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that she “notified federal investigatorsabout information she received — and won’t disclose publicly — concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.” AP News

On Friday, 65 women penned a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, stating, “We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time.”

Both sides agree that Senator Feinstein should not have delayed disclosing the allegations.

What Dianne Feinstein has done to Brett Kavanaugh is unconscionable. She sat on a vague, anonymous accusation for months, refused to question Kavanaugh about it, refused to demand further substantiation, and then actually had the audacity to publicly refer it to law enforcement without providing a single shred of evidence that the referral was warranted.” National Review

“The way in which Ms. Ford’s allegations came to light was, to put it charitably, deeply unfortunate. These claims should have been thoroughly and discreetly investigated weeks ago, by nonpartisan F.B.I. agents and bipartisan Senate investigators, in a way that protected Christine Ford’s privacy and Brett Kavanaugh’s good name.” New York Times

See past issues

From the Left

The left is calling for the nomination to be delayed while the allegations are investigated.

“It is... imperative to do a more thorough background investigation to determine if this is an isolated accusation from decades ago or whether Kavanaugh has a record as a sexual predator. While egregious misconduct such as attempted rape should disqualify anyone from the nation’s highest court, we should be careful about interpreting a single ambiguous incident from high school in the worst possible light."

Washington Post

“If it is relevant that Kavanaugh is a committed girls’ basketball coach, someone who is good to have in the carpool, and has the support of his former professors and alma mater, then it should surely matter that he is being accused of sexual assault."

The Hill

Regarding the letter from Kavanaugh’s high school classmates, it “is not evidence that he didn’t do what one woman says he did. In fact, it’s a frankly strange defense to put forward... The false logic of their argument is best expressed by writer Emily Nunn on Twitter, who joked, ‘Ted Bundy was innocent. I know this because he never killed me.’"


Some point out that “the Kavanaugh nomination will... be assessed by people all of whom voted for the presidential candidate who confessed to grabbing women... It will be not be easy to ascertain what happened all those years ago... But we can judge the judges—and they are the wrong men in the wrong job at the wrong time."

The Atlantic

“If Mr. Kavanaugh is confirmed without further investigation... [he] will be dogged by these accusations throughout his entire, likely decades-long service on the court. And that will lead some to question the legitimacy not just of his appointment but of the court as an institution — especially when it decides knotty social and political issues by a 5-4 vote... Christine Blasey Ford deserves to be heard. And the judge deserves a chance to clear his name."

New York Times

Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right is critical of the timing of the allegations and does not believe the nomination should be delayed unless more evidence comes to light.

From the Right

The right is critical of the timing of the allegations and does not believe the nomination should be delayed unless more evidence comes to light.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) stated, “If... Committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full Committee’s attention much earlier. Instead, they said nothing during two joint phone calls with the nominee in August, four days of lengthy public hearings, a closed session for all committee members... [or] in more than 1,300 written questions.”


“Democrats will demand that the hearings be reopened so they can question Kavanaugh about Ford’s claim. But Democrats had a chance to question him about the claims and failed to do so. In any event, Kavanaugh has issued a blanket denial. We know his side and we know the woman’s side."

Power Line Blog

It’s impossible for Kavanaugh – or any of us – to prove that a wild allegation about something we supposedly did decades ago is not true. That’s why our justice system puts the burden of proof on a person who makes an accusation, rather than on the accused."

Fox News

“There seem to be precious few men who engage in serious sexual misconduct just once. If this was the kind of behavior that Kavanaugh engaged in, then look for more people to come forward. If no one does, however, we’re left with a sole claim, made by an opposing partisan... that Kavanaugh strenuously denies, that lacks any contemporaneous corroboration, and that is contradicted in material respects by her therapist’s own notes."

National Review

“The Senate Judiciary Committee was able to produce scores of women who went to school with Kavanaugh to attest to his character, literally overnight. While character witnesses alone would not exonerate evidence or corroborate witness accounts, in the absence of any independent verification, they prove a powerful defense."

Washington Examiner

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

“Feinstein gravely mishandled the matter. She did not grill Kavanaugh about Ford's allegation when she had the opportunity to do so. Instead, she waited until the last possible minute to inform the FBI about it. This delay was a travesty, and has invited charges of political gamesmanship... That's a shame, because the accusation itself—while still decidedly unproven—is not without supporting evidence...

“The decision to move forward with the nomination is ultimately a political one. On one hand, it's tough to say that Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court should be unilaterally derailed over an unconfirmed 35-year-old allegation made by a Democrat at the most politically opportune moment—this is the weaponization of #MeToo for partisan political purposes. I'm not naive, I see that. On the other hand, Republicans were taking advantage of political opportunity as well: the opportunity to find a replacement for Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections.”


On the bright side...

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