Kavanaugh Nomination At An Impasse Over Hearing On Sexual Assault Charges

The status of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation remains up in the air, as does the question of whether or not Christine Blasey Ford will appear for a hearing on Monday morning.

The status of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and the accusations that have been made against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford regarding an incident that took place thirty-six years ago, remains at an impasse and it’s entirely unclear if there will actually be a hearing to address the charges that Dr. Blasey Ford has made:

WASHINGTON — The confrontation between Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and his accuser devolved into a polarizing stalemate on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans advanced competing narratives to convince voters that the other side has been unfair in the Supreme Court confirmation battle.

Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who alleged that Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, said a Senate hearing set for Monday to hear her allegation would not be fair and Democrats insisted that an F.B.I. investigation take place first. Backed by President Trump, Senate Republicans rejected any F.B.I. inquiry, and said that Monday was her chance to be heard.

Dr. Blasey’s resistance to appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday seemed to galvanize Republicans and drew wavering Republican senators back into Judge Kavanaugh’s camp. Barring new information or an agreement by Dr. Blasey to testify after all, Judge Kavanaugh may now have enough momentum to be confirmed as early as next week. Republicans set a committee meeting for Wednesday for a possible vote to move the nomination to the floor.

Hanging over the impasse were the midterm elections, now less than seven weeks away. Republicans were determined to confirm Judge Kavanaugh before then, knowing that if Democrats managed to win control of the Senate, it would be exponentially harder to approve any nominees sent by Mr. Trump. Conversely, for Democrats, a delay in voting on Judge Kavanaugh would increase the chances of blocking his confirmation and enhance the influence Democrats would have over who eventually fills the vacant seat.

In a statement, Lisa J. Banks, a lawyer for Dr. Blasey, said on Wednesday that her client was still willing to work with the Judiciary Committee, but was not convinced that a hearing featuring just her and Judge Kavanaugh would be adequate.

“The committee’s stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding,” Ms. Banks said. “The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth.”

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and the committee chairman, said he was flexible on how to handle the questioning of Dr. Blasey but not on the date. He offered to hold a public hearing or to conduct the interview behind closed doors, whichever she preferred. He said she could be questioned by staff members rather than senators, and that he would even send lawyers to California to interview her, if she liked.

But he rejected Dr. Blasey’s request that the F.B.I. investigate her charges before any hearing and made clear that he would not postpone it past Monday. “It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this committee and the American people to delay this hearing any further,” he wrote in a letter to committee Democrats.

The mood at the White House improved on Wednesday, and Mr. Trump referred to Judge Kavanaugh as “Justice Kavanaugh” three times during a seven-minute exchange with reporters. He again avoided directly attacking Dr. Blasey, but said he found her charges hard to believe.

“I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on,” the president said.

Still, he seemed to leave open the possibility that he might have to find another nominee if Dr. Blasey proved persuasive.

“Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision,” Mr. Trump said. “But I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man. Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”

Democrats acknowledged that Republicans seemed to have reassured the members of their conference uneasy over the allegation and could confirm Judge Kavanaugh on the strength of their razor-thin 51-to-49 majority.

“Clearly, the Senate Republicans have decided to tough it out, and they are worried about one constituency at this point,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said in an interview. “It is not the American public; it is the six or seven Senate Republicans who objected last week to a hurry-up hearing. They think they have them back in their corner.”

Still, the emergence of Dr. Blasey’s allegation may have cost Republicans the chance of winning support from any of the red-state Democrats they were hoping to enlist. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat facing a competitive re-election in Missouri, announced Wednesday that she will vote against confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh.

Ms. McCaskill said she was concerned about the accusation against the judge, but based her decision on campaign finance law. “He has revealed his bias against limits on campaign donations, which places him completely out of the mainstream of this nation,” she said in a statement.

(…)

While Dr. Blasey and Democrats have called for an F.B.I. investigation before a hearing, it is unlikely the bureau would open a criminal investigation of Judge Kavanaugh because Dr. Blasey’s accusations do not involve a potential federal crime. Sexual assault would typically be a state crime, and the passage of more than three decades would make any prosecution problematic, according to legal experts.

Democrats pointed out on Wednesday that the F.B.I. was asked to investigate Anita F. Hill’s sexual harassment claims against Clarence Thomas when he was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1991. But Mr. Grassley said that happened when Ms. Hill’s allegations were still confidential and pointed out that she testified at a hearing only five days after her charges became public, much as Dr. Blasey is being asked to do.

The F.B.I. does conduct background checks on Supreme Court nominees and passes along information to officials running the confirmation process, but it does not make judgments on the credibility of the claims, according to Justice Department guidelines.

“The F.B.I.’s role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers,” according to background check guidelines issued in 2010 during the Obama administration.

More from The Washington Post, which reports that Senate Republicans appear united in their intention to move forward with the Kavanaugh nomination if, as threatened, Dr. Blasey Ford does not appear for the scheduled hearing on Monday:

Senate Republicans strongly signaled on Wednesday that they will forge ahead with embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation as his accuser called the rush for a public hearing next week unfair.

GOP senators who fretted earlier this week about the prospects for President Trump’s pick are now largely pushing for a vote on Kavanaugh, who is accused of sexually assaulting now-professor Christine Blasey Ford when they were teenagers, amid signs that she may decline to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. And Trump is more convinced he should stand by Kavanaugh than he was two days ago, people close to the White House say.

Publicly, Trump has become more vocal in defending Kavanaugh, telling reporters on Wednesday that it was “very hard for me to imagine anything happened” with Ford, who detailed her allegation extensively with The Washington Post in a report published Sunday.

Ford, through her lawyers, has requested that the FBI conduct an investigation into the alleged incident before she speaks to the committee, and Senate Democrats have lined up behind her. But Republicans have not budged from their view that the FBI does not need to intervene, or from their plan to hear testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford on Monday.

Ford’s attorneys have not officially declined the committee’s invitation. But they reiterated Wednesday that while Ford is willing to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee, there needs to be a ”full, nonpartisan investigation.” Her lawyers also said that having just two witnesses — Kavanaugh and Ford — was neither fair nor in good faith when, they said, there are multiple witnesses who should testify.

“Dr. Ford was reluctantly thrust into the public spotlight only two days ago,” attorney Lisa Banks said. “She is currently unable to go home, and is receiving ongoing threats to her and her family’s safety. Fairness and respect for her situation dictate that she should have time to deal with this.”

But Republicans were increasingly determined to confirm Kavanaugh before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, which would check off a major conservative goal and finish a nomination battle that has been bitterly contentious from the start.

“Requiring an FBI investigation of a 36-year-old allegation (without specific references to time or location) before Professor Ford will appear before the Judiciary Committee is not about finding the truth, but delaying the process till after the midterm elections,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the committee who pushed for a vote “as soon as possible.”

Anger grew Wednesday among Democrats, who have not forgotten about the GOP’s treatment of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s third Supreme Court nominee, who was summarily blocked by Republicans two years ago.

“It’s pretty mind-bending hypocrisy that Republicans are all of a sudden interested in expediting Supreme Court nominations,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said. ”Listen, I get why they’re nervous. They were already in trouble electorally, and the way they’re handling this matter doesn’t help for November’s purposes.”

(…)

Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has asked Ford’s attorneys to respond by Friday at 10 a.m. on whether she plans to appear before his panel. His staff has tried to set up interviews with Ford, as well as with Mark Judge — a Kavanaugh friend who is alleged to have witnessed the incident — and two other potential witnesses, according to a letter Grassley sent Wednesday to Democrats on the committee.

“I have reopened the hearing because I believe that anyone who comes forward with allegations of sexual assault has a right to be heard, and because it is the committee’s responsibility to fully evaluate the fitness of a nominee to the Supreme Court,” Grassley wrote to Banks and Debra Katz, another lawyer for Ford. “I therefore want to give Dr. Ford an opportunity to tell her story to the Senate and, if she chooses, to the American people.”

Grassley is also willing to send his staff to California to speak to Ford if she prefers, committee spokesman Garrett Ventry said. Ford is a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, which is northwest of San Jose in northern California.

Grassley’s letter to Blasey Ford’s attorneys, which I have embedded below, also set a deadline that is fast approaching for Kavanaugh’s accuser and her attorneys to decide whether or not she will participate in the hearing notwithstanding the fact that they are demanding an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That deadline is 10:00 am Eastern time on Friday for Blasey Ford, or her attorneys to provide Senators with certain documents including their client’s biography and a summary of her expected testimony, which would basically amount to whatever opening statement she would give to the Committee on Monday. This deadline is set pursuant to the prevailing rules of the Committee. While it’s probable that Grassley may agree to receive the documents a few hours later tomorrow, it’s also clear that if nothing is provided then it is entirely likely that the Monday hearing will be canceled and the Committee will move forward toward a vote on the nomination later next week, probably as early as next Wednesday.

This is a position that the Republican Caucus appears to be united on notwithstanding the fact that many of the Republicans who had initially called for a hearing after Blasey Ford came forward. This list includes Senators such as Bob Corker, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham, all of whom have said that the Senate should move forward with the nomination if Blasey Ford does not appear on Monday. Most importantly, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who sits on the Judiciary Committee and previously said that he would not vote for the nomination without a further committee investigation of the charges, has said that he would most likely vote to approve the nomination in committee if Blasey Ford declines to appear before the committee as scheduled. Given this, and given the fact that neither the White House nor the Judiciary Committee appear to be likely to support the call for an investigation by the F.B.I., the ball is clearly in Blasey Ford’s court. Either she shows up on Monday or she doesn’t.. If it’s the second option, and absent the unlikelihood that this matter does get referred to the Bureau for an investigation that seems to be entirely pointless, then Kavanaugh will be confirmed, although it’s likely to occur on a strict party-line vote since these latest allegations make it far more difficult for red-state Democrats such as Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, and Heidi Heitkamp, all of whom voted for the nomination of Neil Gorsuch last year, to break with their party notwithstanding the price they may pay for it in November.

As I said yesterday, I honestly don’t see what an F.B.I. investigation can accomplish in this case that a hearing will not other than to delay the proceedings and Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which is, it’s fair to say, something that Senate Democrats are no doubt in favor of in any case. Dr. Blasey Ford has made an allegation about what she says happened to her at a party in the summer of 1982, although she cannot state with certainty exactly when or where it happened nor can she name anyone other than Kavanaugh himself and Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, who was present in the room. Both Kavanaugh and Judge have said that they have no recollection of any such incident, and Kavanaugh himself has specifically denied that he ever attacked Blasey Ford as she alleged and appears to have also said that he has no recollection of having been at a party such as the one Blasey Ford described, although it’s obviously hard to be certain about that given the fact that Blasey Ford herself has been so unclear in the details of what allegedly happened. Given this, it’s entirely unclear what the Bureau can investigate beyond talking to the three people involved, which the Senate Judiciary Committee can do on its own. In any case, we’ll likely know by tomorrow morning where this stands. Either there will be a hearing or there won’t and, if it’s the second, then Republicans will move forward toward confirmation.

Here is Senator Grassley’s letter:

Chuck Grassley Letter by on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Congress, Law and the Courts, Supreme Court, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Modulo Myself says:

    Given this, it’s entirely unclear what the Bureau can investigate beyond talking to the three people involved, which the Senate Judiciary Committee can do on its own.

    And yet they only want to talk to two of them. I strongly believe Ford should testify regardless, but it’s clear that the GOP wants this to be as wretched as possible. I can’t blame her for not wanting to be appear in front of people who still think that Anita Hill was lying, despite there being numerous witnesses who were not called by the same committee.

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  2. Modulo Myself says:

    And there’s a great deal the third witness has entered into the public record about this type of situation. I mean it’s truly odd that the GOP doesn’t feel that he’s necessary.

  3. NW Steve says:

    How is this an “impasse”? The Republican dominated committee has the power to move forward unilaterally, and gives every appearance that they will. Neither the Democrats on the committee nor Ms Ford possess any means to stop that.

    Not an impasse in my dictionary.

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  4. MBunge says:

    Exactly who else is supposed to testify? If it’s Judge or someone else Dr. Ford specifically names? Fine. They may not enjoy being badgered and their character publicly assassinated but them’s the breaks.

    But enough with this FBI investigation garbage. If Dr. Ford can’t say when or where it supposedly happened, what is the FBI to do? Interview everyone who either attended or worked at a high school within a 100-mile radius of Kavanaugh when he was 17?

    Mike

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  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    Tactically I think the demand for an FBI investigation would have been better made after Dr. Blasey Ford testified. If she reads as a credible witness I think that would have worked better.

    But the haste of Republicans is not justifiable in the least. They are clearly frantic to push this guy through and that in itself suggests we should slow down. There is no tick tock here. The FBI is perfectly capable of investigating, and it is wrong to assume that they would uncover nothing new. We don’t know.

    I think she should testify and in her testimony demand an FBI investigation. She should point out the obvious fact that people who lie in testimony are not people who demand an FBI investigation. People who fear an FBI investigation are the ones whose motives are in doubt.

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  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    What is the FBI to do? Speak to Mr. Judge. Speak to the woman who self-identified on Twitter as having heard contemporaneous accounts. Speak to Dr. Blasey Ford’s classmates at the time. Speak to members of Judge Kavanaugh’s class. This is investigation 101, not rocket science. So cut the bullsht cultie boy, the FBI does this all the time. Indeed it’s why we have an FBI – to investigate crimes and to do background investigations.

    You know who fears investigation? Guilty people.

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  7. Jen says:

    This whole situation makes me wonder about the FBI background check process. I know they do a very in-depth examination, but how do they identify who they will speak with? I presume they talk to people who have known whomever they are investigating for a long time, which would of course include friends–who would be truthful, one assumes, but would anyone expect a friend to say “we were irresponsibly drunk often during high school” or would they say “we drank at parties,” which would be telling the truth but would not get to potentially difficult underlying issues? Asking “does he have a drinking problem” implies now–and the answer to that could truthfully be “no.”

    I guess what I’m asking is, should we have expected this type of behavior to have been uncovered by the FBI, or are there holes in that process that need to be addressed going forward?

  8. Leonard says:

    @Jen: Do you want an FBI that can account for every 5-minute interval of your life? Do yo uwant only elected or appointed officials who can pass that kind of scrutiny?

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  9. Kathy says:

    This is completely f***d up. I won’t go into the “if this was a Democratic nomination” counterfactual bit, because we already know the answer to that: it’s only wrong when the other party does it.

    Both parties play politics with such nominations. They are, after all, a political process. But there’s only so far one can go. Right now, the GOP is coming across as the party of violence against women.

    Whether this will hurt them more int he midterms remains to be seen. But if they lose the Senate, pundits will point to the Kavanaugh matter as one cause.

    But in the first place, a serious, credible allegation had been made, and it should be investigated.

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  10. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There is no tick tock here.

    Sure there is, it’s just not for you! Specifically, 47 days are left on the clock and the GOP is hearing every tick.

    They are going to get a conservative on the court. Even with the blue wave at it’s theoretical highest, that’s just a fact of life. But Kavanaugh has a short shelf life that’s rapidly dwindling – he’ll never survive if the Dems take back even a bit of power and they know it. They clearly want HIM despite the fact their overall victory of a conservative court is all but inevitable so the race is on to beat the clock. This one’s bought and paid for already, even if the packaging is damaged so why settle for a lesser model with less features?

    Tick tock, tick tock. Even when they’re winning, they’re losing. Republicans can see the writing on the wall and NEED to get him in NOW. They’re willing to alienate women voters in the #MeToo era a month before elections just to preserve this last chance at power. There’s no way they do this without essentially calling her a liar or saying sexual assault doesn’t matter when you’re running for SC (thanks Franklin Graham for that wonderful Evangelical perspective!). That’s damage their brand doesn’t need right now but damnit, they’re going to push this guy through come hell or high water because all they can see is the clock.

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  11. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    People who fear an FBI investigation are the ones whose motives are in doubt.

    What is up with this embrace of the FBI? From its inception, the FBI has been abusing American citizens and its authority. When they were bugging MLK’s phones and going through John Lennon’s trash, whose motives were in doubt? When they were investigating Hillary Clinton over her e-mail server back in 16, whose motives were in doubt?

    You know who fears investigation from a law enforcement agency? Everyone in America.

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  12. JKB says:

    @Kathy: But in the first place, a serious, credible allegation had been made,

    Not officially. The committee chair, and Republican members, have not been provided a copy of the unredacted letter. Feinstein and her staff have refused to provide it. All the committee has is the redacted copy added to the file when the FBI conducted its supplemental background investigation when they received the letter. Kavanaugh, Judge, and the individual who believes they may be the PJ, Ford later mentioned in media responses have all responded on the record and at legal risk for perjury. The accuser has not provided an on the record statement to the committee.

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  13. Andy says:

    I think the FBI should do an addendum background investigation on this, even if it turns out to be pro forma.

    However, Ms. Ford’s demand that the investigation must be done before she will testify is unreasonable for these reasons:
    – The Senate does not command the FBI. They simply do not have the authority to order the FBI to do this. The Senate cannot and should not agree to a demand that they cannot fulfill. At most the Senate should agree to a compromise – they will make a formal request to the FBI for an investigation in exchange for her appearing on Monday.
    – There is no logical reason that an FBI investigation must come before her testimony. These are two things that do not need to be sequenced.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Ms. Ford’s position. Whoever advised that she change her initial offer to testify and make this conditional demand does not, I feel, have her best interests in mind.

    She was outed by Democrats at the 11th hour and forced to go public with something she wanted to remain confidential. Now the predictable backlash from the right has commenced. But the left is no friend of hers either. She is in a very difficult position – if she refuses to testify and Kavanaugh is confirmed, then she’ll be hated by Democrats as well.

    As much as it sucks to be part of this broken political process, I think her best course of action is to testify behind closed doors on Monday and I also think that’s the most legitimate option from a process standpoint.

  14. KM says:

    @Leonard:
    Remember that when someone bad happens to you or your family and the accused bitches the police want them to account for all the details of their lives. “Oh Officer I can’t remember all of it! Can’t we just let this go because human memory is fallible and being blackout drunk is some kind of excuse?”

    You know how you don’t remember trapping a young girl in a room and pinning her down? (a) You drink too damn much, meaning you did it to yourself by removing your own alibi or (b) it doesn’t stick in your memory because you don’t think it’s a big deal. Most people remember assaults because they don’t happen often. They tend to stick in your brain – the fact that they happened, if not all the details. That’s why they’re called trauma. But for it to be completely gone for a perpetrator? Means it wasn’t worth remembering. Maybe because it happens so often it’s was just another Tues for you. Maybe because you thought it was no big deal and not worth a thought.

    Either’s not a good look on someone we’re entrusting the SC to. What else went down the blackout memory hole? Could this have happened more then once and he’ll never know because he wiped his memory with whiskey? How many times did he do something questionable and leave himself open to no alibi? Or is he the kind of arrogant douchebag who dateraped his way through college and this incident wasn’t worth standing out? Frat boy attitudes and behavior doesn’t just go away you know and he’s done nothing to reassure the public he’s not that guy anymore. So which is it – drinks his memory bye-bye frequently or entitled asshat and why should either not disqualify him for such a distinguished position of power?

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  15. Andy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You know who fears investigation? Guilty people.

    The thousands of Americans wrongly convicted and incarcerated (and even executed) for crimes they did not commit would probably disagree with you.

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    You know who fears investigation from a law enforcement agency? Everyone in America.

    You’ve been watching too many crime shows.

    Dude, I’m a former criminal, and I’m not afraid of the FBI. And if I’d been accused of something I didn’t do I’d be demanding an FBI investigation. Any innocent person wrongly accused of a crime welcomes competent criminal investigation because there’s no other/better way to clear yourself.

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  17. CSK says:

    Cristina Miranda told NPR that she has no idea if Christine Blasey Ford was sexually assaulted, and has added that she is not willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will not give further media interviews.

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  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Andy:
    How many of those were investigated by the FBI? Yokel cops are one thing, the FBI is a whole ‘nother deal.

    And let’s say you were accused of rape but you’re innocent. You think the next words out of your mouth would be, “Jesus, I hope the FBI doesn’t investigate?” Not unless you’re an idiot. The next words out of your mouth would be, “I demand a full investigation!” How else do you ever clear yourself?

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  19. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Eh, @Andy does have a valid concern in that law enforcement in the USA isn’t exactly stellar.
    Even knowing I’m 100% innocent I’d still be concerned if an investigation is taking place and I’m a blonde little white girl who definitely doesn’t take advantage of the fact that she’s innocent-looking to get out of tickets *cough*. That’s just the nature of the beast here in America and we’d be foolish to not acknowledge it. The FBI is just as capable of hiring and retaining yokels and bigots because they have regional offices too.

    On the other hand, if I’m 100% innocent I want a way to prove it or all I’m going to hear for the rest of my life is innuendo and gossip. You are right that an investigation is the best way to get that proof since it takes “he said, she said” out of it. Not seeking an investigation has suspicious written all over it – what are you afraid they’ll find? Cost-benefit analysis kicks in and makes you ask what’s liable to be dug up vs what can exonerate you….

  20. Andy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You have a great deal more confidence in the FBI than I do. They are not magically immune to abuses of power, incompetence or bias. Their prior abuses are well-chronicled and plenty of people have been wrongly convicted of federal crimes.

    But, as I stated before, I think the FBI should look into this, but I don’t think Ms. Ford’s refusal to testify until they do is a reasonable demand.

    Also, AFAIK, Judge Kavanaugh has not given his opinion on a supplemental FBI investigation, so I don’t think we know if he would be for it or against it.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    In fact, let’s run the numbers. The best guess seems to be that about 4% of guys on death row (across all jurisdictions, state as well as fed) were wrongly convicted. That’s using advocacy group numbers. Let’s pretend that the feds are just as incompetent and corrupt and understaffed as the Chicago or New Orleans PD and apply that 4% rate. I’d bet a dollar the fed error rate is far lower than that of Crackerville Alabama, but let’s stick with 4%

    Now, you have been accused by a citizen of murder but you know – 100% certain – you didn’t do it. There is only a 4% chance that the federal system will wrongly convict you, and a 96% chance that they will correctly exonerate you. So your next move is to impede an FBI investigation? Um, no. Not unless you’re a moron or you know, actually guilty.

  22. Guarneri says:

    Heh. Looks like Ford’s friend who claimed knowledge of the incident has now recanted. “I have no recollection.”

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That’s just dumb, Michael. There is no way to adjudicate it. An FBI probe will have no tangible basis, and they know it. Just conjecture. It just plays into the stalling goal.

    The Dems have stepped on a rake.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    The FBI doesn’t need to be investigating a specific crime, it regularly does background investigations. You know, like the one Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley enthusiastically supported when Anita Hill came forward. Or the one they insisted on after judge Ginsburg was outed for smoking pot.

    Nice Hannity regurgitation, but bullsht.

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  24. I inadvertently neglected to embed Senator Grassley’s letter to Dr. Blasey Ford’s attorneys. That document is now embedded at the bottom of the post.

  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford…”

    Because she’s just a woman and has no idea at all of what she needs. She needs to shut up and let the menfolk take care of this. Bravo Sen. Grassley!

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    One more point: of those 4% wrongly convicted of murder, zero percent were white, well-off judges with rich friends and the best lawyers in the country. In Kavanaugh’s place I’d insist on the FBI investigation. If I were innocent.

    And if I were a person preparing to commit perjury in a very public way, the very last thing I’d be doing is demanding an FBI investigation.

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  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on,” the president said.

    Of course he said this; he the guy who thinks that when you’re important you “can grab em by…” What I don’t understand is what gives with all the good and moral Republicans like Florak who were outraged by that other “rapist President” electing a creep like this.

    I would say it’s a double standard except that everyone KNOWS that Republicans don’t do that. So what is it? Are they just too stupid to connect the dots?

  28. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Any innocent person wrongly accused of a crime welcomes competent criminal investigation because there’s no other/better way to clear yourself.

    Any innocent person has to know that there is the possibility that they will get railroaded if they’re dragged into the system. That’s probably better known in my neighborhood than yours.

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  29. teve tory says:

    If we’re lucky there’ll be an investigation, it’ll reveal Kavanaugh’s lies, the Dems will pick up 2 senate seats in november, and they’ll announce that under the McConnell-Garland Rule Trump’s nominees will no longer be considered.

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  30. teve tory says:

    What I don’t understand is what gives with all the good and moral Republicans like Florak

    Republicans tend to be stupid people with shitty values. I’ve never seen them be as moral as the average person. Morally Righteous, yes, but not moral.

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  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Does Judge Kavanaugh live in your neighborhood? You think he can afford competent counsel?

    Right. Rich, well-connected white guy with a rolodex full of high-powered lawyers is just like the meth dealer two doors down. Sure. You’re actually trying to play the ‘class’ card with a then-destitute reformed criminal in defense of a rich Washington lawyer backed the President of the United States. Amazing.

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  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Leonard: While I can’t speak for Jen, I can say that I would prefer not nominating people who seem to NEED that sort of scrutiny

  33. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    In Kavanaugh’s place I’d insist on the FBI investigation. If I were innocent.

    If I were innocent, I’d want nothing —absolutely nothing– to do with the politically motivated “investigation” that intends to put my head on a spike.

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  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Dude, I’m a former criminal, and I’m not afraid of the FBI.

    You know, your untold wealth and ability to afford a lawyer (heck, I bet you can afford more than one) might have something to do with that, more than bravado or inherent trust in the FBI.

    How many of those were investigated by the FBI? Yokel cops are one thing, the FBI is a whole ‘nother deal.


    Wut????

    And let’s say you were accused of rape but you’re innocent. You think the next words out of your mouth would be, “Jesus, I hope the FBI doesn’t investigate?” Not unless you’re an idiot. The next words out of your mouth would be, “I demand a full investigation!” How else do you ever clear yourself?

    I gather your history of being a criminal is well in your past. Perhaps that may have been the correct response then. And perhaps my current response is informed by working for a government watchdog, but if I was accused of rape by law enforcement I wouldn’t have any first words. I’d just shut the frak up and have my lawyer do the talking, because –for good reason–no LEO’s should be trusted by the accused. None.

    Now, you have been accused by a citizen of murder but you know – 100% certain – you didn’t do it. There is only a 4% chance that the federal system will wrongly convict you, and a 96% chance that they will correctly exonerate you so long as you have the resources (or a compelling enough case to attract pro bono support) to pursue multiple appeals over decades.

    FTFY.

    All that said, in this particular high profile, public investigation that would be watched by the most powerful people in the world, I would have confidence in the FBI to not f*ck it up too badly.

    Edit: I just realized where you probably got that 4% number–are you referring to the 4.1% number from the PNAS journal in 2013? That study only dealt with death-row inmates–the most appealed group of convicts in the system. So even in a sub population that has the most appeals–and the most access to pro bono help–of any group in the incarceration system, the justice system messes up at least 4% of the time.

    It beggars belief to think that that rate is the same for lesser crimes–it’s higher.

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  35. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You’re actually trying to play the ‘class’ card with a then-destitute reformed criminal in defense of a rich Washington lawyer backed the President of the United States.

    You’re objectively wrong on this. Who needs to play the “class” card?

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Well said! Thank you.

  37. teve tory says:

    feminist next door

    @emrazz
    Sep 18
    More

    Dr. Ford has had to move her family out of her home, take professional leave and go into hiding because people want to kill her. People literally want to kill her for saying she was sexually assaulted.

  38. teve tory says:

    Kavanaugh lied under oath about stolen documents. I assume he’s lying about the sexual assault as well.

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  39. Jen says:

    @Leonard: I find it fascinating that that is your response to my process question.

    Mark Judge’s book “Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk” was published in 1997. It details his time at Georgetown Prep. He is a Georgetown Prep classmate and close friend of a Supreme Court nominee. Did no one at the FBI think to flip through the book? Perhaps then putting two and two together when running across the name “Bart O’Kavanaugh”?

    My point was not that the FBI would have been made aware of this specific allegation through the background check process (although I am guessing that is possible). It’s my contention that there is a distinction between the type of drinking that Mr. Judge describes and typical teen experimentation. I am wondering why that did not surface during the background investigation, because it is a potential issue for reasons that should be obvious: people that drunk do very stupid things. Things that might come up decades later as potentially embarrassing.

  40. Hal_10000 says:

    I am reluctantly going to side slightly with the Republicans here. The Democrats buried this for two months. Now they’re calling for more delays and bizarrely claiming that have Ford testify would “silence” her. Their media dogwashers have been trying to make hay out of Kavanaugh’s frat or a joke he made in a speech or the letter of support. I don’t think either side particularly cares whether’s Ford’s allegation is true or not. The Republicans want him on the bench regardless. The Democrats are using this as a tactic to either stall the nomination past the election (and then, presumably, until 2021) or to permanently tarnish Kavanaugh so that any decision he joins can be denigrated. They’ve taken the GOP playbook and upped it another two notches.

    I stopped being a Republican many years ago. But every now and then the Democrats remind me of why I can’t join them. From the very beginning, this has not been about Kavanaugh (who, if he were defeated, would just be replaced with another Federalist list member, probably one even more conservative). This has been about making a big show and riling up the base.

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  41. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You know who fears investigation? Guilty people.

    And minorities. And the poor. Not that either applies to Kavanaugh or Ford.

    The Innocent Man project for instance has lots of stories which explain why so many innocent people fear investigation. And its not just (or even mainly) that investigators make mistakes – they’re often malicious, perhaps because catching some perp and getting a conviction is far more important for career enhancement than the little detail of catching the actual perp.

    However, from what you’ve written before, I’m guessing you know that and are being ironic, playing the conservative line (only the guilty fear the police) back at them.

  42. Hal_10000 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You know who fears investigation? Guilty people.

    Everyone should fear investigation. Minorities and the poor should fear it more but everyone should. There are a lot of rich white-collar people who have ended up behind bars for “lying to investigators” even unintentionally. Or “conspiracy” where there was none. Since when did Democrats go all faint and blushing over the integrity of law enforcement?

  43. Leonard says:

    @KM: You know how you don’t remember trapping a young girl in a room and pinning her down? (c) It never happened.

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  44. MBunge says:
  45. MBunge says:

    And just in case anyone is wondering…YES, Kavanaugh was being talked about in the media in 2012 as a possible Supreme Court nominee if Romney won.

    https://www.cnn.com/2012/09/30/politics/court-romney-list/index.html

    Mike

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  46. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The Democrats buried this for two months.

    I usually disagree with Democrats on rape and sexual crimes(where they can be as bad as the far right on criminal justice issues), but Feinstein did not bury this for two months. Ford sent the letter and requested that to kept secret. It’s easy to understand why she would want to do that.

    @James Pearce: To me a large issue is that Kavanaugh is supposed to be a top jurist and he is handling this like a complete amateur. I can’t imagine even the most incompetent ambulance chaser or jailhouse lawyer using this type of strategy.

    Besides that, Republicans that began playing a dangerous game when they painted Kavanaugh as the dad that took young girls to soccer matches or something like that.

    And Kavanaugh pampered background(Something that could not be said about other Conservative SCOTUS justices) does not help him, already incredibly unpopular.

  47. KM says:

    @Leonard:
    Except he can’t attest to that because BY HIS OWN ADMISSION his memory is faulty via heavy drinking. That’s the whole problem with him making this a “who do you believe” saga – he’s pitting his credibility against hers and his is compromised by the fact that he can’t for certain say it never happened. If he had just demanded evidence it would be one thing but he’s asking us to trust his alcohol-induced spotty memory over hers.

    Take the assault part out of it. You have two people relating you a story from 30 years ago. One was blackout drunk and one wasn’t – who do you think would logically have the better recall? One can’t swear by all the facts as they are because it’s not possible for them to remember them all and one gives you a more detailed account. In a court of law, who’d be the more convincing witness?

    Again, these games don’t happen with other kinds of crime. If this was about a mugging or drunk driving, nobody’d be questioning Ford’s version over Kavanaugh’s based solely on the fact that she wasn’t the drunk one. Do we generally accept that drunk people remember things well and are great witnesses to rely on? Nope! In fact, a witness that was trashed at the time is a *terrible* option to put on the stand *because* people will logically point out their memory is gonna have more holes then Swiss cheese. Why does the known lush’s memory gets the benefit of the doubt in this case, then?

  48. Tyrell says:

    A Hawaiian senator tells the men to “shut up”. So men are just supposed to sit back, take anything, and not defend themselves? Not this guy. Is that what this is all about – an all out war on all men by the left radicals?
    Trump could have nominated John the Baptist and they would try to dig up junk on him.
    Even if Kavanaugh doesn’t make it, it could be a plus. Trump could then nominate a true Constitutional conservative that will uphold the Constitution. The Democarts would then look like total fools if they oppose another nomination. Judge Kavanaugh is a nice family man, but little too centrist for me.
    At one time the Democartic party was sensible and decent (Johnson, Truman, Kennedy, Carter, Fulbright, Connally. Now it carries on like a UC-Berkeley faculty picnic celebrating Castro’s birthday.

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  49. James Pearce says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    To me a large issue is that Kavanaugh is supposed to be a top jurist and he is handling this like a complete amateur.

    Honest question: How is a “top jurist” supposed to handle accusations over something he allegedly did before he was a legal adult? Accusations 30 years old, that may or may not be true, made apparently not for recompense or justice, but for political reasons?

    Republicans that began playing a dangerous game when they painted Kavanaugh as the dad that took young girls to soccer matches or something like that.

    I’ve heard he’s a legit girl’s basketball coach. I think the Dems are playing a very dangerous –and sick– game painting him as a rapist.

    Kavanaugh pampered background

    All the SC justices have a pampered background. As far as I know, they all got their JDs from Harvard or Yale.

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  50. An Interested Party says:

    The Democrats buried this for two months.

    So you can’t join the Democrats because you believe things about them that aren’t true? Ok…

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  51. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Tyrell:

    A Hawaiian senator tells the men to “shut up”.

    Please provide the entire quote, including the two sentences before and after.

    We’ll wait.

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  52. teve tory says:
  53. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..So men are just supposed to sit back, take anything, and not defend themselves?..

    If they went to Catholic school in the United States there’s a probability that they were groomed that way as children.

    In 2018, a grand jury in Pennsylvania issued a report of 884 pages, stating that there were over 1,000 identifiable child victims of sexual abuse by over 300 priests in six of the eight Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, while advising “that there were likely to be thousands more.”

    WikiP

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  54. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party: From your link:

    According to the Post, Ford contacted the publication through a tip line in July when it “became clear” Kavanaugh might become President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick and contacted her congresswoman, Democrat Anna Eshoo, around the same time. In late July, she contacted Feinstein.

    The statement from Feinstein acknowledging the letter was dated 9-13. That’s roughly two months.

    I have to say, following this story as it dribbles out in the daily newscycle is one thing. To see it all laid out there in summary form is, woah…

    She made her sexual assault allegations to a newspaper, who apparently was able to somehow review her therapist’s notes, and then wrote a letter to her congresswomen? And there’s already a polygraph? It’s just so weird.

  55. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @James Pearce:

    Accusations 30 years old, that may or may not be true, made apparently not for recompense or justice, but for political reasons?

    There are more voters opposing Kavanaugh nomination and he did not manage to defend his character. Worse of all, he is implying that she is lying and it’s entirely possible that will have to contradict a background check made to the FBI.

    All the SC justices have a pampered background. As far as I know, they all got their JDs from Harvard or Yale.

    Clarence Thomas came from a extremely poor background, he was raised by his grandfather(To the point that his nephew was serving a 30 year drug sentence). Scalia was the son of immigrants from Sicily and he went to Catholic Schools. Alito was the son of a Italian Immigrant, and even Rehnquist went to public schools and went to Stanford because of the G.I Bill.

  56. An Interested Party says:

    It’s just so weird.

    Let me guess, you think this is all some evil liberal conspiracy to get Kavanaugh? Perhaps in some vain attempt to stop the fifth vote to overturn Roe from getting on the court?

    Have you ever been sexually assaulted? Know anyone who has? You are some kind of expert on how those who have been sexually assaulted eventually reveal what happened to them? Do tell…

  57. JKB says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    You trust CNN, don’t you?

    Sen. Hirono’s message to men: ‘Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing.’
    By Kate Sullivan, CNN
    Updated 7:14 PM ET, Tue September 18, 2018

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell:

    So men are just supposed to sit back, take anything, and not defend themselves? Not this guy.

    And once again, Tyrell has inadvertently stumbled upon the truth. This hearing, the fact that it has been set up to be a he said/she said spectacle, Grassley’s “come or not, but the hearing in on Monday and the vote comes next” move are NOT about finding facts, seeking the truth, making sure the process is deliberative, or anything else. The hearing on Monday is about sending the message to any future uppity bitch who doesn’t know her place that you don’t fuck with the Senate.

    Thank you, Tyrell. We’re in your debt on this one.

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  59. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @James Pearce: By the way, I’m not the only one that thinks that Kavanaugh is showing to be incompetent as a lawyer:

    https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1042957073057763328

  60. Grewgills says:

    Some added context that is left out by the BS sprayers

    I expect all of the enlightened men in our country, ’cause there must be millions of men out there who are enlightened, who also will rise up to say we cannot continue the victimization and the smearing of someone like Dr. Ford. And you know what, she is under no obligation to participate in the Republican efforts to sweep this whole thing under the rug, to continue this nomination on the fast track and to participate in a smear campaign and basically a railroad job. This is what they did to Anita Hill.

    Guess who is perpetrating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country, I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change.

    She is rightly castigating the Republicans on the committee for trying to railroad Ford. She is right. It could end up being a political mistake though. It is easy to take those words out of context as Foghorn Leghorn did upthread and it could end up motivating some conservative voters.

  61. Jen says:

    @TM01: Umm…”prove you didn’t do it” is pretty much exactly what defense counsel does. I understand what you are trying to get at here, but the philosophical challenge is that the burden of proof rests with the individual making unfalsifiable claims.

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @TM01:

    This is not a criminal matter. It’s a subjective evaluation of someone’s suitability for a job. It’s a job interview.

    So yea, “prove to us why we should hire you” is absolutely appropriate here.

  63. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: IIRC, Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to settle for a law degree from Columbia. Also, the soon-to-be-departed Justice Kennedy got his law degree either from Stanford or UC Berkeley.

  64. Eric Florack says:

    @An Interested Party: so what is it precisely that’s on the line here with these accusations?
    Let’s say that by some weird chance the FBI were to find strong evidence implicating Kavanaugh in a crime, Democrats would oppose him. If there were a muddled mix of accusations and memories, which seems likely, Democrats would oppose him. If Kavanaugh were completely vindicated, Democrats would oppose him, and in any event, we’ve seen over the last several decades how the more of an originalist that gets nominated for a supreme court seat, the louder and more shrill the Democrats become.

    Hmmm? Tell me, what will change regardless of how this falls out?

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  65. James Pearce says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    Worse of all, he is implying that she is lying and it’s entirely possible that will have to contradict a background check made to the FBI.

    To be fair, Dr. Ford knew she would be called a liar and that her account would be questioned. She’s cited that worry as part of her desire to remain anonymous.

    She also knew that credulous “believe the accuser” types would fill the holes in her story.

    @An Interested Party:

    Let me guess, you think this is all some evil liberal conspiracy to get Kavanaugh? Perhaps in some vain attempt to stop the fifth vote to overturn Roe from getting on the court?

    It is part of a liberal conspiracy to “get” Kavanaugh, or at least be seen “getting” Kavanaugh so they run on it during the mid-terms. Whether you think that’s “evil” or not is up to you.

    As HarvardLaw92 points out, “This is not a criminal matter.” It’s politics. That’s why the rape accusations went to the newspaper and the congresspeople. The Court of Public Opinion has much looser standards than the legal process that usually adjudicates alleged sex crimes.

    Have you ever been sexually assaulted?

    Yes, when I was very young by a female cousin. My brother got it worse, but he doesn’t even remember it now. I guess I have standing to talk about it after all…

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    @James Pearce: Pearce, you’ve shot your persona all to heck lately. You are completely forgetting to say that you are, of course, a rabid Liberal, hate Trump and are only seeking to guide us poor misinformed souls on proper strategy for victory.

    A humble suggestion: You need something big to win us back. I suggest you “confess” that you have been a woman all along, who just happened to choose her online name as a male. And that, you know for a fact that women often make up lies about rape attempts, BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE SO YOURSELF! Bamm!! Totally OWNED!

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  67. James Pearce says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Pearce, you’ve shot your persona all to heck lately.

    Please stop talking about my “persona.” My name really is James Pearce.

    What’s yours?

  68. An Interested Party says:

    I guess I have standing to talk about it after all…

    It’s not about standing, it’s about giving Ford the same benefit you would want…I guess you’d be ok if people said that you were lying about being sexually assaulted by your cousin and you were just saying that for some ulterior political purpose…

  69. george says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Well, he could be saying not that she was lying, but that she was mistaken. The Innocence Project is full of cases where witness were 100% certain of their accusations only to have them proven mistaken by later evidence such as DNA (the project was started by one such woman).

    I find it interesting that so many conservatives take the lying line instead of the mistaken line – my theory is because admitting the possibility of mistaken accusations might mean admitting a lot of minorities are in jail (or even death row) because of mistaken accusations, something they’ve been very loath to do despite all the research showing how bad witness memory is.

    I think that if he tried to rape her (even if he was so drunk he honestly doesn’t remember it – blacking out and not remembering what you did is unfortunately pretty common – and drink no more excuses rape than it does killing someone with drunk driving) then he’s almost guaranteed to have done so with others as well, and given a month or two they’ll start coming out of the woodwork.

  70. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @James Pearce:

    The Court of Public Opinion has much looser standards than the legal process that usually adjudicates alleged sex crimes.

    One of my issues with modern feminists is precisely that’s very difficult to prove sexual assault, so, you should be willing to let some rapists get jail free.

    With Kavanaugh the main issue is that we are not talking about putting him in jail. And we are not talking that people SHOULD believe in these allegations. But he is wanting to succeed a dude that entered the Supreme Court when most people here could not drive or legally buy a drink.

    The issue here is about risk.

    If he is confirmed our grandchildren are going to be debating about his successor in the SC. He does not have a right to his job.

  71. Eric Florack says:

    @george:
    the leftist cabal is already out there searching for information to derail this thing.

    Check for example this capture from Twitter..
    https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/42305834_10214022605851758_7817091669882306560_n.jpg

    meanwhile is anyone seen how this ,”me too” angle on Kavanaugh is playing with the voters? The polling isn’t looking good folks…. Interesting enough, particularly among women.

  72. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    @James Pearce: I happened to miss skipping over this one, so I feel like I can weigh in on this subject. Your persona exists completely separate from your name. There are probably more than, say three, James Pearces in a United States of a population approaching 4oo million (how quickly we will arrive there, I have no idea, but anyway…). Chances are, most of us don’t actually know you. Moreover, there is no particular evidence that you have the type of fame that would cause us to feel that we “know” you. So, the process that is most likely to happen is that as we look at someone’s writing in blog posts, we develop an image of what we believe the writer to be like–possibly even physically, but certainly emotionally, intellectually, and morally. A “persona” if you will.

    So yeah, we do get to talk about your persona, and you should not confuse that with believing that you portray a character on the web (such as Jenos/Warren/Tsar/whoever does) or are posting under an assumed name. Although in your case, my hope would be that this is a character and that knowing you in real life, I would come to respect your opinions.

  73. Rick DeMent says:

    @James Pearce:

    You know who fears investigation from a law enforcement agency? Everyone in America.

    Except Christine Blasey Ford of course.

  74. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I guess you’d be ok if people said that you were lying about being sexually assaulted by your cousin and you were just saying that for some ulterior political purpose

    I would not want my sexual assault case discussed, addressed, or even touched by opportunistic politicians pursuing their own ends.

    Dr. Ford, on the other hand, feels that the SC nomination process is the appropriate venue for these accusations. I disagree.

  75. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ign’int cracker:

    Your persona exists completely separate from your name.

    In some ways, my “persona” doesn’t even exist outside the minds of some of my interlocutors.

    Rollins band, man. “Inhale, how I wanna be. Exhale, how I wanna be seen.”

  76. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    If your abuser was nominated to the Supreme Court, would you come forward then? or would you allow them to be confirmed?
    I would assume by the standards you have shown here, that you would come forward, as a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is considerably more consequential than your ‘standing’ in an online argument.

  77. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    If your abuser was nominated to the Supreme Court, would you come forward then? or would you allow them to be confirmed?

    I wouldn’t come forward.

    In our poisonous culture? Hell no. One half of society would rip me to pieces and throw me away, and the other half would use me up and throw me away. Either way, I lose.

  78. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    So, you wouldn’t come forward and name your abuser if they gained or would gain prominent office because of how it would negatively impact you, yet you question the integrity of someone who is brave enough to come forward and endure what you could not?

  79. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    So, you wouldn’t come forward and name your abuser if they gained or would gain prominent office because of how it would negatively impact you, yet you question the integrity of someone who is brave enough to come forward and endure what you could not?

    I wouldn’t come forward because I was more traumatized by her dad showing me Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yep, I said it.

    Not only did I survive my abuse, but “it wasn’t that bad.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it was good. I understood even then that it was wrong. But it only lasted a few short months and, well, I was strangely fascinated by the whole thing. (If anything, my fascination with naked women intensified when I got bigger and hairier. I hear that levels out at some point…)

    Do you see how this kind of thing can be complicated in a way that’s ill-suited for such a partisan atmosphere as a Congressional hearing?

    I’m not saying Dr. Ford’s experiences track mine. Hers are obviously more traumatic. But if I were her, I wouldn’t want to have to admit to Congress under oath something embarrassing yet true.

    I’m not questioning her integrity. I’m questioning her choice of venue. They’re going to eat her alive and pick their teeth with her bones. Brave? Sure. But worth it? I don’t know…

  80. Teve says:

    @Jen: And this isn’t a criminal case so the presumption of innocence isn’t relevant here. This is a background check for a job interview.

  81. george says:

    @Eric Florack:

    And if the GOP were smart they’d be looking for whatever evidence they can find too. They’re in control of the next justice appointment, if not Kavanaugh they can put in a different conservative. Better to have evidence come out now when they’re in control, then down the road when the Dem’s are in control.