Bottom line: Is the allegation itself grounds for denying a seat on the court?

What if?

What if Judge Brett Kavanaugh were to sit down in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday and say he has searched his memory and now recalls groping a young woman at a party when he was 17 but she resisted and ran off? What if he were to apologize and say it was a rare indiscretion that he truly regrets?

Would that be grounds for disqualifying him from serving as a Supreme Court justice?

Never mind the shameful lateness of the allegation. Never mind the politics of the accuser or the accuracy or plausibility of her accusation.

Brett Kavanaugh

The question can be boiled down to: Should allegations of boorish behavior by a teenager forever doom the now mature adult with an impeccable reputation and outstanding character from any advancement in his career?

Townhall columnist Dennis Prager offers an apropos analogy:

Every one of us has a moral bank account. Our good deeds are deposits, and our bad deeds are withdrawals. We therefore assess a person the same way we assess our bank account. If our good actions outweigh our bad actions, we are morally in the black; if our bad actions greatly outweigh our good actions, we are morally in the red.

By all accounts — literally all — Brett Kavanaugh’s moral bank account is way in the black. He has led a life of decency, integrity, commitment to family and commitment to community few Americans can match. On these grounds alone, the charges against him as a teenager should be ignored.

How many presidents, members of Congress, businessmen can be so weighed and not found wanting?

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” — John 8:7

 

38 comments on “Bottom line: Is the allegation itself grounds for denying a seat on the court?

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    Innocent til PROVEN guilty! End of story.

  2. Kihuen was thrown under the bus by fellow Democrats. His usefulness to his constituents was nil.

  3. Deleted says:

    Innocent until proven guilty. May those without sin cast the first stone. Moral balance.

    Etc etc.

  4. Steve says:

    NVIndy:

    Responding to a Nevada NewsMakers interview with Kihuen last week where the former state senator did not rule out a potential bid for a future office, Titus said his history with women — and potentially more accusers — would undoubtedly be again in the spotlight.

    “I think if he does decide to run again, that will all come back out,” she said. “And I suspect there may be other women who may be willing to tell their stories if he does.”

    Thing is, Kavanaugh has one 36 year old (very questionable) incident to Kihuen’s very obvious multiple and (more importantly) very recent, easily documented, incidents.
    Dina Titus can’t support Kihuen but she surely strains the argument when trying to compare the two on the same scale. Kihuen “would not be able to work in my office” (said Titus)
    She goes on to apply the same to Kavanaugh, with his single (very questionable) incident.

    With those standards, she must have a really hard time finding employable people. After all any single incident at any time on anyone’s history is a disqualifier for employment in her office.

    And Aaron Ford. What gives him any right to run for any public office? His “youthful indiscretions” are open for all to see, he aired them himself on CH8 with Steve Sebelius interviewing. By Titus’s own rigorous requirements, Ford should be allowed only to “flip burgers” for a living. I have to wonder if she would push for a $15 wage in any of these cases…

    Kihuen wasn’t thrown under any bus. He dove under it himself. Ford is a good man with history, though I don’t agree with his politics.
    Kavanaugh is much more like Ford than he is to Kihuen.

  5. Rincon says:

    Although Kavanaugh appears in my eyes to be a shill for big money in this country, even I have to agree that taking this accusation seriously is a sign of just how ridiculous political correctness has become. In the long run, this will cost a lot of votes for liberals.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kavanaugh ought to be disqualified for many many reasons, not the least of which is that this administration, NOT the most transparent in history (strange how we hear no attacks on them for their lack of it though; I wonder if it’s because it’s such a “good” conservative” one) is hiding information from the Senate in order to get him a seat?

    Nah…that can’t be it right? Sunshine is the best disinfectant unless your republican anyway.

    Hypocrites and fools.

  7. Steve says:

    I find myself agreeing with both Rincon (well stated, you almost read my mind) and Patrick (Anonymous). Sunshine is the best political disinfectant we could ever ask for.

    As for his politics, as Barack Obama once said “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

  8. Anonymous says:

    Apparently NOT “by all accounts” and NOT “just” when he was a teenager.

    If he “forgot” about this, and….denied it, then acknowledged it, but said he was sorry that he forgot, and was sorry it happen, would THIS be enough to deny him a seat?

    Better yet, would it be enough for a republican with a long history of abusing woman, to see that his continued support of people that do such things, makes lots of people further doubt his fitness for office?

    We shall see.

    https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/408022-new-woman-accuses-kavanaugh-of-sexual-misconduct

  9. Deleted says:

    Apparently “a couple more” people who would disagree with the idea that “no one” has a bad word to say against Kavanaugh.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/408490-avenatti-releases-clients-identity-allegations-against-kavanaugh

  10. Bill says:

    The whole Kavanaugh controversy stinks. If we have come to the point in our history and jurisprudence that one uncorroborated allegation amounts to guilt, then we have thrown out the work of centuries of development of our common law concepts and the presumption of innocence and with it the foundation of our society and our law. We are already trashing the First Amendment on our college campuses and within our society. Ship of state? More like a Ship of Fools.

  11. Steve says:

    File this in the “be careful what you ask for” category.

    “Judiciary Committee Refers Potential False Statements for Criminal Investigation
    WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today referred for criminal investigation apparent false statements made to committee investigators alleging misconduct by Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Chris Wray, Chairman Chuck Grassley sought a criminal review of the actions by a named individual who provided Congress with the information, diverting Committee resources from an ongoing investigation.”

    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/press/rep/releases/judiciary-committee-refers-potential-false-statements-for-criminal-investigation

  12. Anonymous says:

    Who corroborated Monica Lewinskis allegation I wonder?

    Anyone witness the cigar in action? Anyone witness how the “stain” got on that infamous blue dress?

    What I do remember was a seemingly endless pursuit of all things Clinton related while republicans shrieked with self righteous indignation about claims that two people engaged in CONSENSUAL, sex and how this made the democratically elected president unfit for office due to his immorality.

    Funny I can’t remember republicans suggesting then, that to believe Ms Lewinski meant “throw(ing) out the work of centuries of development of our common law concepts and the presumption of innocence and with it the foundation of our society and our law.”

    Probably just me being forgetful in my old age.

    I also wonder whether, if those masses of PUBLIC documents, currently being hidden by republicans, from the people that pay for them, had they been disclosed, would have demonstrated conclusively that Kavanaugh has lied so often, and about such weighty subjects, that even the far right wing would have to turn somersaults to maintain he ought to be confirmed.

    Far bigger questions than whether he lied, repeatedly, about his sexual escapades, and his involvement in stripping Americans of their constitutional rights during his tenure with the bush administration exist however like:

    What deal did “Justice” Kennedy make with the electoral victor to get his former law clerk nominated to begin with? How did the fact that Mr. Kennedy’s son was in charge of proving billions of dollars to the nominal “president” while at Duesche Bank affect the selection?

    Those questions, in my eyes, are far more important thn whether Kavanaugh tried, repeatedly, to rape various women in his life, and certainly more important than whether he likes beer.

    Did he mention that he likes beer by the way, because I believe I heard him mention that he likes beer, and I do honestly believe at this point, that he likes beer.

  13. Steve says:

    “Who corroborated Monica Lewinskis allegation I wonder?”

    DNA, shammy, you dipshit.

    “According to the report, an analysis of the samples by an FBI laboratory concluded that the president was the source of the DNA found in a stain on the dress.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-happened-to-monicas-dress/

  14. Bill says:

    Glad to see that the Judiciary Committee is doing the right thing by referring false claims for possible prosecution. Too bad they can’t do the same to the politicians who, routinely, make false and libelous statements, always protected by being on the House or Senate Floor. Now if the Committee would just institute an investigation into who leaked the Ford accusation to the media, it might look like we are making some progress. Who leaked? It had to be Feinstein or her staff, the Congresswoman Forfd first made the allegation to or Ford herself and/or her attorneys or family. Those are the only possibilities.

    It has been interesting to read the hysterical and specious rants of some of the media talking heads and to some of the contributors to this blog. Their anti-Trump, anti-conservative, anti-Republican obsession borders on unthinking hysteria at times.

    I have learned that you cannot reason with the unreasonable. It is always tempting to get led into an argument with them based on their false statements and specious “loaded” rhetorical questions. To do so just encourages them to further obfuscate and fulminate. But, to dispose of just one inane comparison, we can look at the case of oppressive malice on the part of Hillary’s “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”.

    The “Right Wing” went after Bill Clinton, and caused him to be adjudicated a perjurer and dis-barred from the practice of law. We must forget that poor Bill, prior to the allegation of his having sex with a 19 year old female intern in the White House while he was the President of the United States, Clinton had been accused by females of serious allegations of sexual misconduct, including forcible rape. It is interesting to note that the the democrats, the left and the women’s advocates all ganged up on the somen accusers even though at least one, had contemporary evidence that she had reported the crime to a friend while still suffering from a bruised and bleeding lip.

    On the other hand, at the time that Kavanaugh was supposed to have groped Ms. Ford, he was a juvenile 17 year old. The claimed event happened almost 40 years prior to the accusation being made. Bill Clinton at the time he had sex with Monica, was the sitting President who had just been accused of sex with an intern in the White House and at the time of other sex allegations was the Governor of Arkansas.

    As for corroboration on Kavanaugh, Ms. Ford had none. As for Bill Clinton, a blue dress with Clinton’s semen and DNA t provided pretty solid corroboration and belied his looking at the TV camera and swearing to the American public, that he did not have sex with that woman. . And, of course, we must forget that Bill Clinton was found to have perjured himself and was disbarred from the practice of law.

    We don’t really know too much about Ms. Ford. She refused to turn over the records of her counselling that she claims led to her “recovered” memory. And, she can’t remember whether she gave those records to the media or just a summary. We know what she had been through counseling but we don’t really know for what. Some reports have indicated that she might have had a substance abuse (alcohol) problem. But, without records, no one can definitively say. We do know that reports say that contrary to her representation to the Committee, that she is a psychologist, she is not in fact a licensed psychologist. This may or may not be a material misrepresentation amounting to perjury before the Committee but does represent a violation of California licensing law.

    Ms. Ford said she didn’t remember when her sexual assault happened or even where it happened but she does believe it did was 15, that it probably happened while she was attending a drinking party somewhere, probably in Maryland. She doesn’t have a date, time or place of the alleged event. But she knows from her “recovered” memory, that Brett Kavanaugh did it. Not only does she not know when it was or where it was, she doesn’t remember how she got there or how she got home from this unidentified place at an unidentified time. As a former prosecutor, I could not even in good conscience cause a search warrant to be issued let alone find there was sufficient probable cause to take a complaint.

    The one thing that Ms, Ford clearly remembers now is that Brett Kavanaugh groped her and pawed at her clothes and did so with or in the presence of either one other boy or several others. It seems there is a disparity as to the numbers which Ms. Ford attributes to an error on the part of her therapist. She also clearly remembered the names of others at the party that she said could/would corroborate her story. Again, as a prosecutor, if any of those witnesses corroborated Ms. Ford, in any particular, further inquiry would be warranted but not an indictment or criminal complaint. Not one of her witnesses, including her best friend at the time, said they were never at such a party and have no corroboration to give to Ms. Ford. Any prosecutor who proceeded with a criminal complaint at this point would be derelict and potentially subject to a claim of abuse of process.

    Finally, there is what we do know. Brett Kavanaugh, by all accounts, is a bright, hard working individual and was at the time he was a youth. He has undergone numerous FBI background checks without a whisper. He has given years and years of high profile unblemished public service and is a devoted family man and a respected member of his community.

    In today’s climate, no man can really question an alleged female victim lest one be charged with being a racist and/or sexist It is sad to contemplate that we seem to be returning to the days of the Salem Witch Trials and the Intafada of the Inquisition where a mere accusation, without corroboration is enough to ruin someone’s life and denial is seen as proof of guilt.

    This has been a disgraceful episode in American history. Bringing a last minute sexual allegation against a then high school 17 year old without corroboration or accountability does a disservice to justice and in my view, a disservice even to the MeToo movement. Doing an injustice to Judge Kavanaugh does not amount to justice for anyone or any cause except tribalism and sex discrimination.

    To those who wish to fan the flames of tribalism and wish to destroy our long held beliefs of fairness and impartiality the recent events have served their purposes well.

    Be careful please, that we do not return to the old days and old ways where tribalism, prejudice, class hatred and distrust guide our actions. “Guilty until proven innocent” has an ominous ring.

  15. Rincon says:

    Keep in mind that this is not a situation where the evidence has to pass the high standard held by a prosecutor deciding whether or not to charge someone with a crime. As with other job interviews, it is up to the candidate to convince the interviewer that he is a superior, not just a qualified candidate, especially when said candidate is applying for a job of extreme responsibility.
    Potential justices have have had their nominations rejected for such things as lack of experience or a poorly defined track record. Kavanaugh’s hissy fit alone makes me question his suitability for such a high office, although I would never reject him for that alone. I wonder what Conservatives would have said about Blasey Ford is she had been the one with a meltdown.

    There is just a bit more, though.

    Blasey Ford passed a lie detector test. Kavanaugh has not offered to take one. I also understand that Blasey Ford’s accusation also shows up in the notes of her therapist predating Kavanaugh’s nomination or consideration. These two facts suggest that she at least genuinely believes her story.

    Kavanaugh’s yearbook entries support her version more than it does his of being a quiet, studious, well mannered fella. If I found a job candidate trying to hide the nature of his past behavior after my direct questions, I would reject him in most cases.

    There are multiple other accusers. It is best that the investigation hear them out.

    Although the alleged events happened several decades ago, if indeed criminal acts were perpetrated, which would also mean that Kavanaugh lied about them today, it would disqualify him as far as I’m concerned.

    The Democrats seem more reasonable than the Republicans to me. Investigating an accusation with a fair amount of ancillary evidence behind it makes far more sense than sweeping it under the rug. Let’s see where the investigation takes us.

  16. Steve says:

    Yes indeed. A new precedent has been set. Now, any allegation; however unsupported, is now enough to deny employment to any applicant.

    brave new world

  17. Rincon says:

    4 independent accusers, a clean lie detector test, yearbooks with incriminating messages by the accused, verification that one accuser made an accusation before Trump even became President. By your definition, that’s unsupported. Nevertheless, it’s only delaying the confirmation by a week if nothing else comes up. The Republicans delayed for 11 months just because they saw no reason to hurry. We have 10 months and three weeks to go before you have any right to complain.

  18. Steve says:

    Dr. Ford is a psychologist, no? Apparently selling a desired image is more important than her profession.

    “Lie detector tests have become a popular cultural icon — from crime dramas to comedies to advertisements — the picture of a polygraph pen wildly gyrating on a moving chart is readily recognized symbol. But, as psychologist Leonard Saxe, PhD, (1991) has argued, the idea that we can detect a person’s veracity by monitoring psychophysiological changes is more myth than reality. Even the term “lie detector,” used to refer to polygraph testing, is a misnomer. So-called “lie detection” involves inferring deception through analysis of physiological responses to a structured, but unstandardized, series of questions.”

    “For now, although the idea of a lie detector may be comforting, the most practical advice is to remain skeptical about any conclusion wrung from a polygraph.”

    https://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx

    The rest is only hype, kids love to “embellish” and prophesize in their yearbook comments.
    And, with yearbooks being scanned to the cloud her yearbook is; conveniently, nowhere to be found.

    If the D’s prevent this confirmation and take Congress (as many polls are predicting) You wanna lay odds they hold up any confirmations for THREE years?

  19. Rincon says:

    It is true that polygraphs aren’t terribly reliable. The accuracy has been estimated at 65-90%. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-human-beast/201303/do-lie-detectors-work

    By itself, as with most evidence, a polygraph test doesn’t mean a lot. Yearbook entries are sometimes exaggerated, but does assiduously ignoring them make sense? A quick look at my own yearbook reveals only a few generic “dirty jokes” and lewd “witticisms”, but not a single reference to implied sexual conquest or assault by the writer. I suspect the vast majority of yearbooks are likewise. To me, these entries are clearly unusual and could easily be based in fact. Either way, there’s something wrong with the writer. As with Trump’s so called locker room talk, even if untrue, it speaks volumes about the braggart.

    Multiple accusers are also not proof of guilt, but does that mean all evidence short of absolute proof should be ignored? Obviously, very few crimes would be solved if circumstantial evidence was considered insufficient to initiate an investigation. And in this case, the goal is not to decide guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It is to be sure that little doubt exists – a much smaller burden of proof.

    Besides, why is a one week delay such a problem? The Bill Clinton investigation took 5 Years.

    Don’t sweat it. The point of an investigation is to find the truth. This one probably will.

  20. Rincon says:

    One more detail. There appears to be little reason for Blasey Ford to lie. She’s being subjected to a great deal of disruption in her life along with a loss of many friends and a number of death threats with little discernible reward. Her therapist’s notes and willingness to take a lie detector test also make lying somewhat unlikely. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has a huge motivation to lie, if necessary.

    I would never convict an accused criminal on such shaky evidence, but to say that even looking into it is wrong is an insult to all victims of crime.

  21. Rincon says:

    From NBC News this AM: “More than 40 people with potential information for the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not been contacted for interviews by the FBI, according to multiple sources that include friends of both the nominee and his accusers.”

    Also, “But several people who know Kavanaugh from his time at Yale told NBC News that they have reached out to the FBI multiple times to provide either corroborating or circumstantial evidence into Ramirez’ allegations that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a gathering in a dorm room in 1983. The FBI has yet to respond to their outreach, they say.”

    Must be fake news, right?

  22. Steve says:

    Yeah, now it’s all a conspiracy by the FBI

  23. Rincon says:

    Probably not, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to find that the FBI was hamstrung by the administration. Just for fun, I decided to search Kavanaugh FBI probe. From the Washington Post: “But the probe’s limited scope — which was dictated by the White House, along with a Friday deadline — is likely to exacerbate the partisan tensions surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination.” Quite a contrast to the 5 year Kenneth Starr investigation of Clinton, which never found sufficient evidence to support its original purpose.

    Mostly, I just wanted to break through the echo chamber.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with that Rincon.

    There are just too many reasons why Kavanaugh should never have been a judge, much less a nominee to the nations highest court and those hundreds of thousands of documents that detail all his opinions about the law, that the right is keeping secret, from the people that paid for those opinions, is just the start.

    I would have thought that Thomas, of all people that decry all secrecy in government, at least the democratic kind, would have voiced just some objection, but instead of principle, he seems to be going along with tribalism. Makes all claims of such principle seem less credible though.

    I remember so many wails and whines on these pages, what seems now like so long ago, about our “beloved” republic and now that the far right wing is in charge of the many, many, many, many violations….nothing.

    I have to be honest though…it doesn’t surprise me.

  25. Rincon says:

    I suppose it is apples and oranges to some extent. Starr was given 5 years while the FBI gets one week and the burden of proof needed for Clinton was far greater. And yes, the question about Clinton was whether to fire him. The Kavanaugh investigation is only about whether to hire him.

    The Supreme Court hearings are not about presuming someone innocent until proven guilty. They are supposed to be about making sure that the candidate is eminently qualified for a position of extreme responsibility. This essay convincingly (to my apparently blasphemous liberal eye) shows that Kavanaugh demonstrated so many characteristics of a liar that, in a court, most judges and juries would dismiss his testimony as likely false. Although I don’t expect you to read it, it starts out slowly. The most damning information begins about a third of the way through. Media Bias Factcheck finds the source to be moderately biased to the left, but rates its factual reporting as high.

    A job candidate that is likely a liar is not a good candidate. Absolute proof is not necessary.
    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/09/how-we-know-kavanaugh-is-lying

  26. “those hundreds of thousands of documents that detail all his opinions about the law” … his opinions are secret?

  27. Deleted says:

    Should the documents be withheld Thomas?

  28. Sure

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  29. Deleted says:

    Why?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Even the relatively few documents disclosed reveal a pattern of lying under oath. Ought this be grounds for prosecution I wonder?

    If not, Bill Clinton would like a word.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-story-behind-the-withheld-documents-of-the-kavanaugh-hearing/2018/09/04/55336a2a-b05c-11e8-a20b-5f4f84429666_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ac46d65c1502

  31. Anonymous says:

    I fear for our beloved republic.

  32. Steve says:

    wow, makes one wonder just how the hell this despicable disgrace of human chemical flesh animated with polluted H2O ever made the cut getting appointed to the appellate court.

    just wow

    And, what the fuck were you peeps thinking by NOT stopping this horrendous embarrassment sooner? Say, maybe 6 freaking years ago?

  33. Steve says:

    Dammit!
    I just reread my post.

    That f’ing snark font just failed to function again.

    Hope y’all got the message.

  34. Rincon says:

    If Trump doesn’t have to reveal many of his potential conflicts of interest, then why should we expect that the Senate should receive any but cherry picked documents regarding Kavanaugh? We also got what we expected regarding the FBI’s so called investigation. The autocrats continue to run the government, and I don’t mean Trump or Kavanaugh.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2018/05/16/heres-what-trumps-financial-disclosure-doesnt-tell-you/#3772708e1c63

  35. Anonymous says:

    I fear for our believed republic.

  36. Steve says:

    Yeah the uniparty has us all by the gonads.

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