The increasingly messy US Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominations in the US have a history of being strongly contested and political, but the current nominee process for Brett Kavanaugh  is particularly messy, with multiple claims of historic sexual abuse that Kavanaugh denies.

If the accusations are true it would justify disqualifying Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court role, but if the accusations are false it would reflect very poorly on the complainants.

Kavanaugh has been put in an invidious and very difficult position if he is innocent, but if the accusations are true the complainants have put themselves into the public glare with extreme attacks leveled at them, including death threats.

And as this may amount to some people’s words against other from thirty years ago it may never be properly resolved.

Donald Trump stands by his nominee. NPR: Trump Calls Kavanaugh ‘Outstanding,’ Dismissing Latest Sexual Misconduct Allegation

Trump, speaking to reporters on his way into the United Nations on Monday morning, said Kavanaugh “is an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way.”

He said the charges “could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen for a candidate for anything.” The women making the allegations, Trump said, “were coming out of the woodwork,” and he said “in my opinion totally political.”

The accusations:

The latest accusation comes from Deborah Ramirez, who in a story published in The New Yorker, alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party at Yale when both attended college there in the 1980s.

This Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing into the allegation by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh groped her and tried to remove her clothes during a party when both were in high school in Bethesda, Md.

Ford and Kavanaugh have agreed to testify, although Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for the panel to postpone the hearing following the latest allegation.

Kavanaugh’s denial in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.”

It’s hard to see this ending up in anything but a contentious improperly resolved mess.

If the complainants are right it is another step forward in the #MeToo movement addressing widespread inappropriate sexual behaviour and habits.

If they are trumped up charges This would be one of the highest profile and most insidious political hit jobs.

The claims don”t sound particularly serious – “groped her and tried to remove her clothes during a party” and “exposed himself to her during a drunken party”.

The reality may be that some women did really feel that Kavanaugh acted inappropriately while at university (not an abnormal thing) and were genuinely offended, while Kavanaugh and his supporters think there was nothing out of the ordinary or offensive with anything he did.

What it may amount to is that what was not ‘out of the ordinary” thirty years ago is now deemed offensive – but does that justify declining Supreme Court nomination?

Leave a comment

57 Comments

  1. David

     /  September 25, 2018

    The Dems are dirty buggars but have played this well. The Ford allegations is full of inconsistencies and denied to have happened by the 3 other people that she said were there, will see what happens when she testifies but the story is full of holes. Ford has assembled a team of Democrat strategists including one who tried taking out Clarence Thomas.
    The Ramirez allegations are ridiculous and if anything one Dem has undermined the other one. Ramirez said she spent 6 days trying to remember with the help of a Democrat alligned lawyer and no one else including her bestie mates have any knowledge of any incident.
    The Republicans are in a terrible position and we are going to see half a dozen old white men question an alleged victim of sexual assault, the optics for the Dems are a fund raising dream ahead of the mid terms.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  September 25, 2018

      If Liberals can’t stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, they want to make sure they destroy his reputation. A judge who is a stickler for ruling by the constitution is of no use to the Democrats. And what’s with wanting Kavanaugh to testify first?

      The filthy Left at their filthy best.

      Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  September 25, 2018

      I see what you did there David.

      You dismissed the testimonies of Ford and Ramirez before they’ve testified

      That’s a tactic straight out of the misogynist playbooks

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 25, 2018

        They’ve testified all over their partisan media. They just haven’t been cross-examined.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  September 25, 2018

          typical lemming-for-trump bullshit Alan. They’ve been cross-examined all over the frothy right partisan media without an opportunity to present their cases… let them present their cases before you rush to judge

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 25, 2018

            Don’t b.s us, Joe. Cross examination involves asking the witness questions and getting answers. No-one other than partisan mates has cross examined these accusers.

            Reply
      • David

         /  September 25, 2018

        I think it was the witnesses and her friends who dismissed it. The NY Times refused to publish it and they never miss an opportunity to smack Trump in the chops.
        I dont dispute that something happened to Ford but her recollection has huge holes in it, lets see her testify under under oath. Ramirez is just a chancer as is Avanetti and these claims are just partisan mud slinging and will prove baseless so will undermine Fords allegations.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  September 25, 2018

          Ramirez’ story may be plausible but there are too many contextual issues that will muddy her testimony

          But Avenatti has repeatedly delivered, bucko… and there are other allegations as well – four at last count.

          Reply
  2. Patzcuaro

     /  September 25, 2018
    Reply
  3. Patzcuaro

     /  September 25, 2018
    Reply
  4. Patzcuaro

     /  September 25, 2018

    Lest we forget Garland wasn’t even given an interview.

    Reply
    • David

       /  September 25, 2018

      Lest we forget the Democrat candidate Ellison who,s ex has medical proof of the physical abuse he inflicted on her recently but that doesnt seem to be a problem. No consistency.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  September 25, 2018

        There is consistency abuse is unacceptable whoever commits it.

        Reply
        • David

           /  September 25, 2018

          Well if that is so why is the deputy chair of the DNC and candidate for AG on a Dem ticket accused with medical proof of a recent physical assault on his ex fine to go through and not an alleged severe fumble 36 years ago which is riddled with inconsistencies.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  September 25, 2018

            Can’t help you there I wasn’t involved in the selection process for Ellison.

            Reply
  5. Reply
    • David

       /  September 25, 2018

      It was the Democrats who first blocked a nomination because the appointment was within 12 months of an election and the Republicans repaid in kind with Garland, much the same as the Democrats appointing judges with a simple majority by Harry Reid is now the norm.
      Its a Supreme Court nomination which is a Presdential nomination so the mid terms arent relevant. There are elections every 2 years in the US it would be near impossible to fill the bench using that standard.

      Reply
  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  September 25, 2018

    For a start, kavanaugh has been being groomed for this moment since long before trump was even considered a “Republican”. This is Federalist Society craven shit, not Trumpian.

    Secondly, Ford came forward before kavanaugh was even named as nominee for SCOTUS

    There’s now four different accusers with some very serious allegations of targeting women with drugs and alcohol with the intent of gang rape.

    A culture of assault and predatory behavior appears to be taking shape, and as usual the same bullshit discourses come out: predatory behavior is normal, women can expect rape attempts, rape and sexual harassment, it’s part of growing up, and women should anticipate being maligned and attacked, should they ever speak of it or complain.

    And the WH occupant who nominated kavanaugh is the poster boy for sexual assault against women – remember he admitted & bragged in doing so.

    How the hell can a loving parent allow those messages to be drilled into their own children’s heads and be okay with it?

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  September 25, 2018

      With evidence as compelling as this it’s hard to see him getting through the confirmation process:

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  September 25, 2018

        this sure won’t help then…

        Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  September 25, 2018

        and this certainly won’t help kavanaugh’s cause either…

        Avenatti told POLITICO he represents a group of individuals who can corroborate allegations involving Kavanaugh and his longtime friend in the 1980s.

        Avenatti said he’d describe just one of the individuals as a victim.

        “She will testify,” he said. “But before she does, she will likely appear on camera for an interview.”

        He said the others were witnesses to the allegations. Avenatti would not elaborate on the number of clients but said he represents them alone.

        “I represent multiple clients, they are witnesses. I’m representing multiple individuals that have knowledge of this”

        https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/23/second-woman-assault-kavanaugh-837678

        Reply
        • David

           /  September 25, 2018

          Avenetti, give me a break.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 25, 2018

            It was decades ago when he was at high school and university – if it happened at all.

            Who hasn’t done anything in their youth that would look bad if it was broadcast now ? Who could prove that they DIDN’T do something that they were accused of 30 years later ?

            Misognyny is too serious a concept to be watered down and applied to things that are obviously NOT the result of this.

            Reply
    • Pink David

       /  September 25, 2018

      Joe, what happened to the baseball tickets?

      Reply
  7. Patzcuaro

     /  September 25, 2018

    The real problem is that the appointment of the judiciary in the US is done by politicians rather than an independent body basing appointments on merit.

    Reply
  8. Joe Bloggs

     /  September 25, 2018

    To understand the dynamics for women around these things, I’d recommend reading this reporting about a young woman in Arlington, Texas, who was gang raped, then attacked and ostracised by her community for coming forward:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/opinions/arlington-texas/

    Also illustrating the dynamics, a head of school FROM Arlington, Butch Groves, wrote to Avenatti about the coming info: “‘You are a f***ing douche bag. You lying piece of sh**.’”

    I’m glad to see that Avenatti claims there are witnesses, considering the uphill battle that women face in being believed – even when there is corroborating evidence.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 25, 2018

      That’s one case; too small a sample to prove anything.

      How many men end up in prison for rapes that they never committed ?

      I’d say that women are far more likely to be believed; it’s as if we are children who are deemed incapable of lying about such things. To accuse someone means to prove them guilty.

      Reply
  9. Joe Bloggs

     /  September 25, 2018

    At the risk of elevating yet more anonymous sourcing by MSM, Gabe Sherman at Vanity Fair writes that news of a Rosenstein resignation would distract from bad Kavanaugh news:

    ‘The strategy was to try and do something really big,’ the source said. The leak about Rosenstein’s resignation could have been the result, and it certainly had the desired effect of driving Kavanaugh out of the news for a few hours.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/09/trump-wanted-to-nuke-rosenstein-to-save-kavanaughs-bacon

    which explains both the agitprop from the white house dropping stink on Rosenstein through the NYT, and the subsequent fall-out

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/09/21/nyt-gives-trump-his-excuse-to-fire-rod-rosenstein/

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 25, 2018

      Hilarious to hear the Failing NYT is in Trumpy’s pocket. Your imagination has no bounds so long as it suits your politics, Joe.

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  September 25, 2018

        On the subject of trump, the New York Times is as reliable as rudy giuliani.

        Reply
    • David

       /  September 25, 2018

      You are off on the wrong track again Bloggs, Rosenstein is McCabe related and the grand jury indictment about to hit him for lying and leaking and the taking out a key prosecution witness.
      If Trump wanted rid of Rosenstein or Sessions he can just fire them and there would be absolutely no blowback electorally for him, would probably energise his base rightly or wrongly. That would take the judge off the front page.

      Reply
  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 25, 2018

    Let me see. We know nothing about this except vague historic allegations that have been promoted in the media by multiple highly politically motivated parties. So let’s all rush to judgement. Or not.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  September 25, 2018

      Don’t forget there is no evidence and no possible way to prove or disprove any of the claims.
      That’s why calling on the FBI to investigate is so laughable.
      No photo’s, no complaints at the time.
      Ford was not going to go public and wanted to keep it all hush hush so she got a polygraph test…
      It’s all sound and fury with no outdome. The Dems can just double down and hope weight of opinion knocks the nomination over. It’s disgraceful really.

      Reply
  11. Posted this this morning but it disappeared without showing; tried again but was told I had already posted it. So either the link did not go down well or I have been banned; no idea why. Anyway, here it is in plain text. I found the report very interesting, and also many of the comments. It linguistically analyses the woman’s letter to her Senator, in terms of the likely veracity of the various things she wrote. Stick an http:// in front of it:

    statement-analysis.blogspot.com/2018/09/judge-kavanagh-accuser-letter-for.html

    Reply
  12. wooden goat

     /  September 25, 2018

    The accusations have as much chance of being true as the chance of Elvis being found alive.

    In any case – I’ve seen a bit of the background of the woman who is “next cab on the rank” if Kavanaugh doesn’t make it. She is vastly *more* conservative than Kavanaugh is, so (yet again) the left will end up shooting themselves in the foot.

    Reply
  13. K should be judged on his current views instead of something he did nearly forty years ago when he was very drunk. People’s grow and change over the years.
    He has some strange views of the law but that is for another post and people can disagree on that., but

    Reply
  14. tobyasmith

     /  October 3, 2018
    Reply
  1. The increasingly messy US Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s