The Editors: It is time for the Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn

 (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, pool via Reuters)

Editors' note (Oct. 2, 6:00 pm): Our editor in chief, Father Matt Malone, S.J., has responded, in his regular column, to many of our readers’ reactions to and questions about this editorial.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today clearly demonstrated both the seriousness of her allegation of assault by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and the stakes of this question for the whole country. Judge Kavanaugh denied the accusation and emphasized in his testimony that the opposition of Democratic senators to his nomination and their consequent willingness to attack him was established long before Dr. Blasey’s allegation was known.

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Evaluating the credibility of these competing accounts is a question about which people of good will can and do disagree. The editors of this review have no special insight into who is telling the truth. If Dr. Blasey’s allegation is true, the assault and Judge Kavanaugh’s denial of it mean that he should not be seated on the U.S. Supreme Court. But even if the credibility of the allegation has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt and even if further investigation is warranted to determine its validity or clear Judge Kavanaugh’s name, we recognize that this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country. While we previously endorsed the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh on the basis of his legal credentials and his reputation as a committed textualist, it is now clear that the nomination should be withdrawn.

The nomination of Judge Kavanaugh has become a referendum on how to address allegations of sexual assault.

If this were a question of establishing Judge Kavanaugh’s legal or moral responsibility for the assault described by Dr. Blasey, then far more stringent standards of proof would apply. His presumption of innocence might settle the matter in his favor, absent further investigation and new evidence. But the question is not solely about Judge Kavanaugh’s responsibility, nor is it any longer primarily about his qualifications. Rather it is about the prudence of his nomination and potential confirmation. In addition to being a fight over policy issues, which it already was, his nomination has also become a referendum on how to address allegations of sexual assault.

Somewhere in the distant past, at least before the word “Borked” was coined to describe a Supreme Court nomination defeated by ideological opposition, Senate confirmation hearings might have focused on evaluating a nominee’s judicial character or qualifications as a legal thinker. But that time is long past. Many cases decided by the Supreme Court itself and thus also presidential nominations to that body (and the Senate hearings that follow) are now thoroughly engaged in deciding “policy by other means.” Neither the country nor the court is well served by this arrangement, but refusing to recognize it does nothing to help reverse it.

When Republican leaders in the Senate refused even to hold hearings on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, they were not objecting to his qualifications or character but to the likely outcome of his vote on the court were he to be confirmed. When Senate Democrats were mostly united in opposition to Judge Kavanaugh well in advance of any hearings (and before any rumor of Dr. Blasey’s accusation was known), they were using the same calculus. While regrettable in both cases, such results are, as we have said before, the predictable outcome of the fact that “fundamental questions of social policy are increasingly referred to the court for adjudication as constitutional issues.”

What is different this time is that this nomination battle is no longer purely about predicting the likely outcome of Judge Kavanaugh’s vote on the court. It now involves the symbolic meaning of his nomination and confirmation in the #MeToo era. The hearings and the committee’s deliberations are now also a bellwether of the way the country treats women when their reports of harassment, assault and abuse threaten to derail the careers of powerful men.

This nomination battle is no longer purely about predicting the likely outcome of Judge Kavanaugh’s vote on the court.

While nomination hearings are far from the best venue to deal with such issues, the question is sufficiently important that it is prudent to recognize it as determinative at this point. Dr. Blasey's accusations have neither been fully investigated nor been proven to a legal standard, but neither have they been conclusively disproved or shown to be less than credible. Judge Kavanaugh continues to enjoy a legal presumption of innocence, but the standard for a nominee to the Supreme Court is far higher; there is no presumption of confirmability. The best of the bad resolutions available in this dilemma is for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.

If Senate Republicans proceed with his nomination, they will be prioritizing policy aims over a woman’s report of an assault. Were he to be confirmed without this allegation being firmly disproved, it would hang over his future decisions on the Supreme Court for decades and further divide the country. Even if one thinks that Dr. Blasey's allegations are not credible, demonstrating them not to be would require further investigations and testimony. This would include calling additional witnesses and assessing further allegations against Judge Kavanaugh from other women, to which Republicans on the committee have been unwilling to commit and which would be divisive in any case.

The best of the bad resolutions available in this dilemma is for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.

There are many good reasons to support the nomination of a qualified judge who is committed to a textualist interpretation of the Constitution to the Supreme Court. Over time, such an approach may return the question of abortion to the states, where it belongs given the Constitution’s silence on the matter, and where a more just and moral outcome than is currently possible under Roe v. Wade may be achieved. Restoring such a morally complex question to the deliberation of legislators rather than judges may also bring the country closer to a time when confirmation hearings can truly focus on the character and qualifications of the nominee rather than serving as proxy battles over every contentious issue in U.S. politics.

We continue to support the nomination of judges according to such principles—but Judge Kavanaugh is not the only such nominee available. For the good of the country and the future credibility of the Supreme Court in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson.

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Anthony Mazza
2 months 3 weeks ago

Where is the "abundant evidence" casting doubt on her claim? Where is Mark Judge? Oh that's right, the Republicans hid him out on a beach reading comic books? Why did the Republcians NOT want Judge to testify? Tell us, Mr. Cosgrove. Tell us why Kavanaugh denied being a drunk? Oh that's right, we're so supposed to believe him, right - because he didn't record it in his planner! Where was that "altar boy" image that he kept trying to portray when he finally testified and was shown to be nothing more that a bully and having a pitiful "drunk character" when he drank excessively! But, oh that's right, the people who said he drank too much were all liars! I doubt it! His wife knows and so does his mother - he drank excessively but was not honest enough to admit it - and he WAS DRUNK on several occasions although he LIED in not admitting it - straight out of the TRUMP LIAR BOOK of always denying the truth or saying "FAKE NEWS when you have said anything that was not true but you could not refute the truth - a TRUE TRUMPIE!

Deb Harris
2 months 3 weeks ago

Anthony, Mark Judge has sent signed affidavits and most recent, sent a letter saying he is available to cooperate with any investigation. Your ranting and creepy accusations are just that.

JOHN GRONDELSKI
2 months 3 weeks ago

Character assassination, cut and run. Confirmation is not a separate standard: what is being determined here is whether or not this man has a good name, to which he has a right, which once upon a time Jesuits would have realized was a requirement in justice. Nothing that Blasey Ford said yesterday established her claim; the presumption of a good name (and not just innocence) remains with Kavanaugh. America's position would destroy that. To say that "it's a new era and we need to recognize harassment of women" by kneecapping Kavanaugh is simply to put a nice spin on the kangaroo court presumption of the #MeToo crowd that guilt or innocence is a matter of faith (I "believe" women), not proof.

Danny Collins
2 months 3 weeks ago

Having no evidence won't stop America from convicting Kavanaugh in the court of public opinion, but having plentiful reliable testimony did nothing to prevent America Magazine from treating McCarrick like a king and inviting him to be an honored speaker at their centennial celebration. Nobody at America has resigned, including folks like James Martin who admit to hearing about McCarrick being a serial predator.

The leadership of America Magazine is just the Democrat party at prayer: partisan hacks whose standards of justice depend more on whose being accused than anything else.

Mike Macrie
2 months 3 weeks ago

The American Catholic Church has been over run for years by Republican Hacks under the flag of family values. By siding with political Conservatives they now find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. A Racist Republican President and a large portion of Catholic Latinos that he characterizes as Rapists and Murderers.

Karen Davis
2 months 2 weeks ago

You're correct, and I'm surprised they published your comment.

Kelly Link
2 months 3 weeks ago

Consistent with this rationale, will the editors of America call upon Pope Francis to step down as head of the Church? I do not believe that this is warranted, but that demand is consistent with, and in fact mandated by, the reasoning applied to Judge Kavanaugh in their call for the withdrawal of his nomination.

Pope Francis is facing allegations (by sworn affidavit) that he knew of Cardinal McCarrick's abusive behavior, but reinstated him nonetheless. Allegations like these in the Church continue to erode the confidence of American Catholics that the Church is honest and active in its efforts to eradicate clergy abuse. This is the intersection of the Church and #MeToo. There is nothing more essential to the continued existence of the Church in the United States than restoring confidence that its leaders are not engaging in, or protecting those who have committed, sexual abuse. In the interest of ensuring that all abuse victims feel protected and empowered, must we accept the allegations against the Pope on their face? Or are we able to question the claims, and discern the facts and motives belying those allegations?

A seat on the Supreme Court is one of the most important and influential positions in our government, and nominees must be undergo the most rigorous review. Based on alleged misconduct, Judge Kavanaugh has undergone intensive scrutiny. But if at the end of the process, his evidence outweighs that of his accusers, should he not be vindicated and allowed to serve in a role he is otherwise qualified for? Or do the allegations disqualify him from further service in the judiciary as a matter of right? If we are to take allegations at their face value, and assume they are true, then how should we treat allegations against the head of our Church?

Mike Bendon
2 months 3 weeks ago

You have raised a question that came to my mind as well. I am also wondering if the Jesuits at Georgetown will take steps against the student wearing the "Men are Trash" shirt at the Capitol today.

Frank T
2 months 3 weeks ago

I am not aware that the Pope has molested anyone. Seems to me that you need to draw a distinction between what the two men have been accused of. I would give this Pope credit for attempting to wade through the Curial complacency that perpetuated the mess. To his credit, this Pope is trying to dismantle and come to terms with all of it. I prefer that he stay and fix things.

beka economopoulos
2 months 3 weeks ago

1. There is plenty of corroboration: Ford spoke about the alleged assault in therapy, to friends and to her husband, this is documented back to 2009. Twice in therapist's notes Kavanaugh's name is mentioned.
2. The way trauma memories are encoded in the brain accounts for gaps in her memory.
3. Kavanaugh's July 1st calendar entry says he went for "skis" (brewskis) to a friends house with Mark Judge, PJ, "squi" (a boy Ford dated briefly that summer and who introduced her to Kavanaugh and Judge), and a couple of other boys. Three of these boys are boys Ford places in her account of the evening. Prosecutor Mitchell neglected to ask follow-up questions to Kavanaugh about this journal entry.
4. I believe Kavanaugh. I also believe Ford. I believe Kavanaugh is a good man. And I believe he went to an all-boys school, was somewhat shy and as a single child at a single-sex school not accustomed to hanging out with girls and used alcohol to bolster his confidence. He drank to excess frequently--this is well documented. I believe he got drunk enough many times to have grey-outs or black-outs--which does not mean passing out but rather means having gaps in short-term memory. What this looks like: asking your friends what the heck happened the night before and laughing about it. Kavanaugh's testimony was heart-wrenching, I feel his pain and believe he has zero recollection of the alleged incident(s). I also believe he did them.
5. As a graduate of Holton-Arms School around the time of Kavanaugh and Ford, I can attest to the social scene of the time: heavy drinking, parties without parental supervision, and countless accounts of disrespecting women and assaults of the kind we would now term "date rape" but back then wrote off as a guy being a jerk and a woman being loose. As Kavanaugh said in the hearing: these were the days of Caddyshack, Animal House, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This was the culture. Ford's story is so familiar. I lived it too. So did so many women I know. This needs to change--men cannot get a pass any longer, no matter how powerful.
6. Lastly, Kavanaugh did not comport himself in a manner that suggests he can be an impartial and even-keeled arbiter of morality in the highest court in the land. Color me unimpressed. I feel very badly for him, and send love to him and his family, and to Ford and hers. May they all find peace.

Scholastica Cooney
2 months 3 weeks ago

Beka, you expressed exactly my thoughts in a way I could not articulate as well.

Stanley Kopacz
2 months 3 weeks ago

"And let incivility, character assassination and bad faith win. No!"
Why not? It sure as heck won the presidency.

Robert Klahn
2 months 3 weeks ago

In a criminal trial the prosecution has to prove guilt.

In a Senate confirmation the advocates must prove fitness for the office.

Kavanaugh has been reported by his fellow male Yale classmates, and high school buddies, as a sloppy to nasty drunk. The fact that he drinks to the point of losing his self control, and has to invent explanations to defend himself by themselves disqualify him. Incivility is not serious enough to fight by confirming a clearly unsuitable candidate to the US Supreme court.

Brian Searls
2 months 3 weeks ago

Well said Cosgrove - I ask too, so how do we find another "nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate... the support of moral principles"? Really!? Are the editors so naive as to believe that another nominee wont be persecuted as Kavanaugh has been. This process has been disgusting, and rather than cave to the nefarious tactics of the opposition, we Catholics should rally around men of good character who are willing to bear the standard! A 35 year record of good character! How can you bail on him after an unblemished record of service to this country AND our church? Because of unsubstantiated allegations from when he was 16years old?! Shame on you Editors of America! At a time of assault on our church, you surrender too easily. Its time to fight those who would destroy her from within and from without. This controversy is not about abuse, abortion is its root. I will do my fighting on my knees, and pray that you will think better of position.

Judith Jordan
2 months 3 weeks ago

Brian, if the Dems wanted to persecute any nominee, why didn’t they do that with Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, or John Roberts? These justices did not have accusations of sexual assaults. Kavanaugh has been accused of that. He may be innocent, but the people have a right to know one way or the other. Therefore, there are demands for an FBI investigation. Frankly, if I were Kavanaugh, I would request an FBI investigation to show my innocence.

I am stunned that you talk about good character and then you are so dismissive of any accusations because Kavanaugh was 16. Talk to a woman who was assaulted when she was 16 by a guy who was 16 and ask her if her or his age makes her attack meaningless. Sadly, your statement contributes to the fantasy and callousness that some sexual attacks don’t matter or are excusable. (Actually Kavanaugh was older than 16 with some accusers)

Brian Searls
2 months 2 weeks ago

Judith- I did not say, suggest, not condone "that sexual attacks don't matter or are excusable." Don't put those vile words in my mouth. Sexual attacks are not only inexcusable, but should be among the most vigorously prosecuted criminal behavior. As I understand it, there is no stature of limitations in Maryland for them. If that is true, then Judge Kavanaugh is subject to prosecution if charged and found guilty.

You missed my point, this past week's circus was unnecessary, but perpetrated by the left in order to 'do whatever it takes' to stop his nomination. Ms Ford is indeed a victim here. Her sincere account of the events was compelling and she presented as a credible witness. Like many who have been sexually assaulted and for good reasons, she was afraid to come forward sooner with her accusations. When she ultimately mustered the courage to share her story, she told Sen. Feinstein and requested confidentiality; she did not want to testify publicly. It is also clear that there was a procedure that would have allowed Dr. Ford’s accusations to have been investigated and brought before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a confidential manner. Sen. Feinstein referred Dr. Ford to Debra Katz, a lawyer who is part of the Trump resistance. In reference to any agenda by Trump to limit reproductive rights or the right to fair pay – issues that could very well come before the Supreme Court – Katz, on behalf of the resistance, has said, “We are determined to resist – fiercely and strategically.” Despite Dr. Ford’s desire for her accusations to remain confidential, they were leaked shortly after she approached Sen. Feinstein and retained Ms. Katz. Contrary to her wishes, Dr. Ford was then thrown into the national spotlight where she has been both praised and vilified, defended and threatened. Would you want your mother, daughters or sisters to be treated that way? I wouldn't.

On the other hand, you have Judge Kavanaugh. His testimony also was compelling and credible. He vehemently denies the accusations and notes that they are not substantiated by the statements of witnesses who Dr. Ford identifies as being present at the party, including Leland Keyser, Dr. Ford’s friend. Judge Kavanaugh also notes that he has undergone 6 FBI investigations since 1993 without a whisper of an allegation of sexual assault or being a serial gang rapist. He has also presented a long list of character witnesses consisting of friends and co-workers, both male and female, who have known him since the age of 14 and who have written letters and appeared in television interviews to defend his reputation and say in no uncertain terms that he could not and would not have done what it is claimed he has done.

While one could point to examples of men who have committed sexual assault but were able to produce similar evidence, one could also point to examples where men have been accused of sexual assault who did not commit such acts – just ask the UVA students or the Duke lacrosse team members who were falsely accused by female students of gang rape. Let me be clear, I don’t believe that Dr. Ford is lying when she says she was assaulted. Although she was not subject to robust cross examination at the hearing that may have raised questions about her ability to properly see, remember or otherwise perceive the events and identify her attacker, she seemed credible. But so did Kavanaugh. However, Judge Kavanaugh has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion – a court that affords no due process. Would you want your father, sons or brothers to be treated that way?

We may never know the “truth” of what happened more than 35 years ago. Either one of them is "mis-remembering" a critical detail or lying. Or they are both telling the truth and this is a case of mistaken identity. But, one thing is certain, this did not have to play out this way. It could have been done in private without the grandstanding by the Democrats. Whether you stand with Dr. Ford or stand with Judge Kavanaugh, I hope we can all agree on that and we can agree that there has to be a better way. A way in which we don't destroy the lives of both the victims and the accused.

Stephen French
2 months 3 weeks ago

How the editors expect things to change without teaching those who are using the advise and consent system improperly is not addressed: I suggest that until it fails to have the improper but desired result, the behavior will continue to escelate. Borking, Thomasing, Kavanaughing; soon, no intelligent amd qualified jurist will be willing to risk becoming a SCOTUS justice.

Judith Jordan
2 months 3 weeks ago

The Republicans are playing a shell game. They want to proceed with confirming Kavanaugh because they claim there is no corroborating evidence for Dr. Ford’s claims. Then they refuse to permit the FBI to investigate to determine if there is any corroborating evidence. Perhaps Kavanaugh will be found to be completely innocent, but the country must have an investigation to determine that.

The nuns used to teach us that not only must we seek the truth, but in seeking of the truth, we may not have a willful disregard for the truth. The Republicans have a deliberate, willful disregard for seeking the truth.

D Bosch
2 months 2 weeks ago

"Credibility of the allegation" does not establish reasonable doubt. Credibility of evidence does. A shame the Editors do not know basic civics.

Elizabeth Dreicer
2 months 2 weeks ago

Shame on the Catholic Church. As a lifelong Catholic I am disgusted with the way the uneducated masses are jumping to conclusions on this issue and hanging this Honorable Judge out to dry. First, a forensic interview was never done on Dr. Ford which is the standard of care to assess the validity of her claim. In fact, that is exactly what the attorney of Arizona was attempting to do. The only and affective way to determine if her claims are valid and make any sense or have any value. Not only did Dr. Ford's attorney know this, they purposely did not have it done. Shame on all of these individuals. I am ashamed to be a Catholic if these are the current values of the Catholic Church. Shame, Shame, Shame on them.

Hiram Weldon
2 months 2 weeks ago

men or women innocent until proven to be guilty? Who told that where Mark Judge and Bret Kavanaugh party? Who were her friends there? Who brought her there and brought her home? Why didn't her parents know about it? At the approximately 15-year-old girl? How many people in America allow their children to go anywhere without having no knowledge of their present? If in China, every high school teachers tough their students that American are stupid people, how many American parents are willing to send their children there? If people are willing to believe Ford's accusation, do you know that men either both in political parties will be removed from their position by merely simply paid young girls to accuse anyone of their opposition party?

Rosemari Zagarri Prof
2 months 3 weeks ago

You are referring to the Republicans, I presume.

Stephen Shore
2 months 3 weeks ago

This is a text book political plan hatched by the Democrats. And it will be successful.

Dionys Murphy
2 months 3 weeks ago

This is a text book example of someone who was assaulted speaking out about her assault and then being attacked for doing so.

Tatiana Durbak
2 months 3 weeks ago

Yes, it is a textbook example of someone who has been assaulted. The defense of Kavanaugh is also a textbook example of how privileged white males are given every excuse in the book.

Mark Wordsworth
2 months 3 weeks ago

So you can prove she was assaulted? This magazine's position is that Cavanaugh should have to prove his innocence. To disregard a fundamental part of our Constitution is as shameful as the Senate Democrats theatrics on the document dump and the deliberate withholding of Dr. Ford's allegations until it best suited them politically. I wonder if this publication's outlook would be different if somebody suggested that in addition to scrapping due process protections under the Constitution we also scrap the First Amendment and impose prior restraint.

Ellen B
2 months 3 weeks ago

It's a job interview Mark. That's on the person being interviewed. He already had "inconsistencies" in his statements. Stolen documents from the Democrats? Lying about his drinking (to the point where his college roommate & friends who signed statements of support said he wasn't being honest). When you have questions about a job applicant, you don't ignore them. You don't refuse to release documents. You don't refuse to authorize an investigation. You do that only if you are politically motivated and don't care.

As for Prof Ford, I believe her & I can't believe that anyone watched her testimony and thought she was lying.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 months 3 weeks ago

Ellen
If there was a sincere desire to have an FBI investigation Senator Feinstein had every opportunity to have asked for that during the Some 40 days she withheld the information in Ms Ford's letter. She did not have to breach the confidentiality of Ms Ford's letter for this purpose since the Committee has an in place process for CONFIDENTIAL INVESTIGATION. To suggest that Senator Feinstein was withholding this information for anything other than an attempt to delay past the November election is to ignore the incredible circus that the original Committee hearing devolved into, replete as it was with timed outbursts by audience members, and the miraculous resurrection of Spartacus!
As to your reference to the "stolen memos of Pat Leahy" I suggest you look into what happened :
"Jumping" Jim Jeffers switched parties and that resulted in the computer files of the republican and democrats being openly available to both sides. Importantly Pat Leahy is very troubled because of the extraordinarily embarrassing statements made by him and others in those memos respecting judges nominated by President Clinton and President Bush and a full blown game plan to oppose any nomination of Miguel Estrada because he is an Hispanic who is Republican...... See Washington Examiner, Sept 5, 2018 , T P Carney.

Judith Jordan
2 months 3 weeks ago

Stuart, sorry, but the Committee’s “CONFIDENTIAL INVESTIGATION” is not composed of people who are trained investigators and it is vulnerable to partisanship. An authentic investigation requires the FBI.

Senator Feinstein was withholding the information because Dr. Ford had asked her to do so. This was confirmed by both Dr. Ford and Feinstein at the hearings.

I agree the Committee hearing devolved, but the chair of the committee is Sen. Grassley, a Republican. He was in charge and the one expected to maintain control.

lurline jennings
2 months 3 weeks ago

It will not be successful. Judge Kavanaugh will be the new judge on the bench.

Todd P Powell
2 months 3 weeks ago

Yes, this is textbook political plan, but it was actually hatched in 2016 when Republicans refused to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee and at that time said they had to do whatever they could to prevent any hearings. And....we are where we are today because of it. Pretty sad.

Citizen Charles
2 months 3 weeks ago

Yes, and the refusal of lame duck appointments happened first when Democrats lead by Senator Joe Biden refused Bush. Indeed the majority vs supermajority confirmation which has resulted in this circus was because of Democrat Harry Reed's discarding of the usual order of business for the nuclear option. "Borking" and unsupported sexual allegations (Anita Hill) were the weapons of Democrats. Kavanaugh is correct in saying "what goes around comes around." This entire process was first subverted by Democrats. Period.

thebeerlady@gmail.com
2 months 3 weeks ago

"Yes, and the refusal of lame duck appointments happened first when Democrats lead by Senator Joe Biden refused Bush."

Unfortunately for your argument, that never actually happened.

Biden gave a speech in which he suggested that a lame duck president should not make an appointment to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. It was a purely hypothetical statement - there was no opening on the Court at the time. In fact, no such opening occurred, so no, Bush was not "refused." And you seem to have missed something else that Biden said in that same speech. He said that if an opening occurred and Bush nominated someone to fill it, the Senate should give the candidate a full hearing and vote.

So much for the "Biden rule" that people keep blathering about.

John Sharpe
2 months 3 weeks ago

You can not equate refusal to hold a hearing vs having a hearing and accuse someone of rape in front of their family and country on national tv as the same thing, especially in light of the fact that the only reason the rape accusations were not investigated in the manner you request is because you delay making the request so you can filibuster the hearings.

Let’s be honest, Obama could have fought harder for his candidate and he didn’t, but nobody dragged his name through the mud.

Neal Mcelroy
2 months 3 weeks ago

Garland Garland Garland The Senate Didn't Have to Act on Merrick Garland's Nomination
The Constitution doesn’t require the chamber to hold hearings or a vote.
The Constitution says that unless the Senate gives advice and consent Garland cannot be appointed, but it does not require the Senate to do anything in response to the nomination.
- A Republican was president, Supreme Court opening came up, and Joe Biden (who was at the time a senator and he might have been chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time) said (summarized), “You can’t! A lame-duck president in the last year of his term can’t nominate Supreme Court nominees. That’s not right. That’s not right, because the people can’t vote on the president that’s gonna nominate him.”
Mitch McConnell and the boys said, “Hey, we’re simply invoked the Biden Rule here on Merrick Garland. Obama’s in his swan’s song year, and Joe Biden said way back when that you shouldn’t have a Supreme Court nomination and a confirmation battle during a presidential election year, and so the Republicans didn’t. The Democrats are fit to be tied. They think Merrick Garland was savaged and cheated out of a seat. They think they were cheated out of a seat.
Republicans just used the Biden Rule, as in Joe Biden (nicknamed Joe Bite Me), the vice president for Obama. But the Democrats… This is another thing. They’re running around acting like all of this is to get even for what was done to Merrick Garland. “He was really savagely treated, unfairly treated. It was mean what the Republicans did. He was a decent guy, would have been great on the court, but the Republicans said no; so this is payback.” Well, I’m just telling you.
If Obama had a chance and nominated somebody when it was not an election year, he would not have picked Merrick Garland. Merrick Garland was never gonna be on the Supreme Court. Obama would have picked somebody very young, very “progressive,” very liberal, very communist who was gonna be on that court for 40 years. It was never gonna be Merrick Garland. So don’t buy this crying over spilt milk over the savage, unfair deal that Merrick Garland got.

*There will be backlash - November is looking better and better.
Liberals must be defeated not convinced

Judith Jordan
2 months 3 weeks ago

Neal, could you please provide credible evidence for your statements? Facts, not opinions.

Ellen B
2 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you.

Mr Kavanaugh had a job interview. During his interview he showed that he does not have the temperament to be a Supreme Court justice. He panicked and lied about his drinking when he was young. Even his college roommate & friends from college who had signed letters of support have said bull. In his self-written high school yearbook entry he described himself as "Treasurer" of the 1000 Keg club & lied & slandered a woman who thought they were friends bragging that he slept with her.

It's not about winning/ losing. It's about this person does not belong on the Supreme Court.

Dionys Murphy
2 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you, yes. That is what he has demonstrated.

Joe McKenney
2 months 3 weeks ago

Every named witness could not confirm her story.

Ellen B
2 months 3 weeks ago

The guy who was in the room (Mark Judge) refused to testify and went into hiding. He could have been subpoenaed. The Republicans who run the committee chose not to. Just as they chose not to have an FBI investigation (the Clarence Thomas FBI investigation took a whopping 3 days). Another woman was found from his Yale days. She wasn't called either.

Believe the charges or not, but when he was under pressure he lied. According to his friends. That disqualifies people from jobs.

Mary Mylett
2 months 3 weeks ago

"The guy who was in the room"? Were you there to see who was in "the room?" Could you please let the rest of the world know what room that was and where it was and when Mark Judge was in it because nobody else in the world, including Ms. Ford, seems to know that.

Lynn Smith
2 months 3 weeks ago

Actually you are incorrect. Mark Judge voluntarily submitted and affidavit to the Senate, under felony penalty of perjury.
And btw, her best female friend refuted Ford's claim as well...now I thought we are to believe all women.
Also the FBI investigation in Clarence Thomas was due to a perceived crime under Federal jurisdiction ! Both Thomas and Hill were Federal employees and she was claiming sexual harassment in the workplace (Federal Agency). The FBI claim is nothing more than another delay tactic.

Ellen B
2 months 3 weeks ago

Mr Judge said he had "no memory of this alleged incident", refused to testify & went into hiding. That's hardly "refuting" what happened. The committee could have subpoenaed him. In his book he remembered "Bart O'Kavanaugh" getting so drunk he puked in the car & hiring a stripper for a bachelor party in high school... which sounds a lot like Mr Kavanaugh drank more than he claims. But the FBI could investigate these claims & investigate them quickly if they were requested by the Republican committee. But for goodness sake, don't slow things down to make sure that someone isn't guilt of sexual assault.

He should already be disqualified for the lies he's told during this job interview.

Ellen B
2 months 3 weeks ago

Mr Judge said he had "no memory of this alleged incident", refused to testify & went into hiding. That's hardly "refuting" what happened. The committee could have subpoenaed him. In his book he remembered "Bart O'Kavanaugh" getting so drunk he puked in the car & hiring a stripper for a bachelor party in high school... which sounds a lot like Mr Kavanaugh drank more than he claims. But the FBI could investigate these claims & investigate them quickly if they were requested by the Republican committee. But for goodness sake, don't slow things down to make sure that someone isn't guilt of sexual assault.

He should already be disqualified for the lies he's told during this job interview.

Deb Harris
2 months 2 weeks ago

Lynn, you're absolutely right!

thstonebooks@gmail.com
2 months 3 weeks ago

Regardless he couldn’t keep his cool. Let’s be clear this is a job interview not a criminal investigation

Carol Witmer
2 months 3 weeks ago

I have been a long time subscriber to America. Yes, I do see a liberal bias, but have always so much enjoyed the book, theater, and movie reviews, the reader responses and other enlightening and inspiring articles. However, I am about ready to cancel my subscription because of your increasingly
leftward lean, and I am appalled that you are not supporting a Jesuit educated, good, and very intelligent man I would describe as "squeaky clean."

J Brookbank
2 months 3 weeks ago

I agree with you. The guy completely lost his cool. THAT turned out to be the most important information revealed today as far as fitness goes.

Beth M
2 months 3 weeks ago

Because if you were accused of attempted rape and had your character assassinated, you would remain "cool". What a joke! Your bias is really showing :/

Ellen B
2 months 2 weeks ago

Beth M. No. Because he is being interviewed for a job on the top court in the country. And in his response he blamed Democrats, liberals, the Clintons for goodness sakes. As a member of the SC, it would be his job to be un-biased. To give people a fair hearing regardless of their political background. He comments made it seem as if he is incapable of that. He is a BAD prospect for the job. Political hatchet job? Did anyone make any similar claims for Neil Gorsuch? No. Because those claims don't exist.

Regardless, the man lied. He lied about a silly thing like his drinking in HS & college - even people from college who signed letters of support & his college roommate say so. He lied about the meaning of Renate alumni.

At a minimum, Mr Kavanaugh should welcome an investigation by the FBI to clear up the accusations. The FBI is certainly in a position to find out if there was coordination to attack Mr Kavanaugh's character. What are Republicans so afraid of being found? And if you don't want an investigation, YOUR bias is really showing.

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