October 7, 2018

Brett the Impartial

Last week, Christine Blasey Ford testified about how Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her back in 1982. Then it was his turn to say words. The Senate was ready to go on it, with the Republican majority ready to vote yes, but then Jeff Flake was cornered in an elevator, so Republicans grudgingly agreed to let the FBI investigate the claims for like five minutes. So nothing seems all that different as at the end of this week the full Senate voted on confirmation. Thursday evening right before, Brett Kavanaugh said some more words, this time in written form in the Wall Street Journal. Let’s see…

I was deeply honored to stand at the White House July 9 with my wife, Ashley, and my daughters, Margaret and Liza, to accept President Trump’s nomination to succeed my former boss and mentor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, on the Supreme Court.

Name dropping.

My mom, Martha—one of the first women to serve as a Maryland prosecutor and trial judge, and my inspiration to become a lawyer—sat in the audience with my dad, Ed.

Good for her.

That night, I told the American people who I am and what I believe.

Still more comprehensive than this FBI investigation.

I talked about my 28-year career as a lawyer, almost all of which has been in public service. I talked about my 12 years as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often called the second most important court in the country, and my five years of service in the White House for President George W. Bush.

Well, yeah, this process is a job interview after all.

I talked about my long record of advancing and promoting women, including as a judge—a majority of my 48 law clerks have been women

Um, yeah, about that…

—and as a longtime coach of girls’ basketball teams.

I think I know the real reason you want this gig.

As I explained that night, a good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no political party, litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy has stated, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because the law and the Constitution compel the result. Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge. As Justice Kennedy showed us, a judge must be independent, not swayed by public pressure. Our independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic.

Yes, you have just described what a judge is. Your Yale Law education is paying off nicely.

The Supreme Court is the last line of defense for the separation of powers, and for the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

We are all extremely aware of this right now.

The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. As I have said repeatedly, if confirmed to the court, I would be part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player.

Yes, you have just described the Supreme Court. Again, good on the Yale Law education you screamed about.

During the confirmation process, I met with 65 senators and explained my approach to the law. I participated in more than 30 hours of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I submitted written answers to nearly 1,300 additional questions. I was grateful for the opportunity.

Submitted written materials may or may not include “Official Devil’s Triangle Rulebook”.

After all those meetings and after my initial hearing concluded, I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations.

What happened? Did someone suggest you don’t like beer?

My time in high school and college, more than 30 years ago, has been ridiculously distorted.

I mean, all accounts seemed to suggest you spent those years in a perpetual drunken haze, so maybe your memory is ridiculously distorted? Lord knows there’s someone else involved here who has been getting that accusation.

My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats.

And that of course is terrible and inexcusable, as they are completely innocent and unconnected to your bullshit. You’re the one who attacked Christine Blasey Ford and stuck your dick in that other girl’s face.

Allegedly!

Against that backdrop, I testified before the Judiciary Committee last Thursday to defend my family, my good name and my lifetime of public service.

And I must say, well done.

My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate.

With only your anatomy and pronouns to keep the word “hysterical” out of this sentence.

That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony—both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character.

Because such a display of indignation means innocence? Or does it mean guilt? Or does it mean six more weeks of winter? I can never remember which. Whatever the case, whatever counsel of yours advised this, did they go to Yale Law?

My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled.

Oh, no one believes this allegation was handled fairly. The person to whom it was unfair seemed to handle herself just fine, though.

I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.

Are you trying to make yourself sound eligible for the Supreme Court or making up with your wife after an argument?

I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.

And… Christine Blasey Ford is a daughter, wife, and mom. What’s your point?

Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good. As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect. I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed. I will continue to be the same kind of judge I have been for the last 12 years.

“And that’s good enough for me.” -way too many people

And I will continue to contribute to our country as a coach, volunteer, and teacher.

Well, after these revelations about Dr. Ford and your other asshattery, we’ll see how welcome you’ll be to continue any of that. Good news for you is, this for whatever God forsaken reason doesn’t seem to disqualify you from the Supreme Court.

Every day I will try to be the best husband, dad, and friend I can be.

I don’t know. Can a man really be a Supreme Court justice and a dad at the same time? Shouldn’t you be home with your kids and cooking dinner instead of trying to play judge under some having-it-all delusion?

I will remain optimistic, on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will continue to see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone.

“Because it’s in that gone day that’s all the bad stuff I did that you’ll try to use against me for some reason.”

I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic.

Yes, you love the Constitution and are a Republican. We know.

If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.

Cool. Question. What does the rule of law say should be done about a guy who may have tried to rape someone and covered it up for decades? Shouldn’t there at least be, say, an investigation? A real one? Rather than some uselessly brief one whose entire point is for Senate Republicans to pretend they tried while not turning up anything that might force them to reconsider conclusions they came to months ago?

Let me level with you. I couldn’t care less what was in your yearbook or even that you drank like a fish back in the day. And, you know, I don’t find it weird at all to have kept your old calendars for so long, especially considering the kind of stuff that was written in them that serves as nostalgia for later.

I care that you sexually assaulted someone. Sure, innocent until proven guilty. If that FBI investigation had lasted long enough for those conducting it to get out to their cars, maybe something might have turned up for sure that would have exonerated you. But this did not happen, and what little is known strongly points to that you did this. Maybe you legitimately don’t remember because you and your friend were so drunk. Maybe you and your friend just thought it was something funny you were doing and didn’t think or know that there was anything wrong with it. Maybe you never intended to cause Christine Blasey any harm that day. And, you know, for a lot of people, that’s good enough right there. I don’t think those who confirmed you to the Court actually believe you didn’t do this. I think they don’t know or care that it’s wrong. They think it was harmless.

But it wasn’t harmless for her. You and your friend were laughing and having fun, but this girl seriously feared for her safety and even her life. This is something that so many just don’t get when it comes to sexual harassment and violence. Some may look at this and think “well, he didn’t actually do anything to her and wasn’t going to, so what’s the problem?” Or, as has come up quite a bit in this, “boys will be boys”. (Let me just take a moment to say in no uncertain terms to these people that NO, sexual violence is not typical teenage boy behavior, shut the fuck up with that hateful and dangerous bullshit!) But it’s still a violation. Making someone fear for their safety and life, even if you’re just playing around, is serious shit. It is an act of terror and of violence.

And it is the failure to understand these finer points which makes you unfit for the Court. Look at all the people protesting your confirmation. They know you don’t get it. They don’t want someone (well, yet another someone of many) like that attaining such power. It’s time for a change, and you’re not it.

Oh, one more thing…

They protest also because of what they perceive will happen to women’s rights and similar issues with you among the nine now, a concern since before these Ford allegations came to light. These are valid concerns. But I’m seeing something else.

In 2009, in the case Safford v Redding, the Court ruled 8-1 in favor of a student who’d been strip searched by school officials who thought she was carrying ibuprofen. The one dissenting justice? Clarence Thomas.

I’ve always chalked up this and certain other decisions of his to that he just really hates young people, ruling against their rights at every opportunity. This much seems to be the case.

But then with all this, we were all reminded of Anita Hill. How Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her for years and was confirmed to the Court in 1991 anyway. Suddenly it makes more sense that this was the justice who heard some school officials forced a 13-year-old girl to show she wasn’t hiding over-the-counter pain meds in her underwear and thought “this is fine”.

So, that said, and considering some of your own troubling rulings, what in the hell is Brett Kavanaugh going to do?

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