GAHANNA WEATHER
April 20, 2019
Opinion & Editorial

Just Say “Nah” to Kavanaugh

Professor Christine Blasey Ford gives an oath prior to her opening statement. (Wikipedia Commons)
 
I respond to the Sunday article “The Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation: An Ugly Mess” by Andrew Cahall.
 

“But it is our job to make his pattern of revolting behavior clearpiece by painful piece. Aren’t we failing to fulfill our duty to the American people if we willingly ‘conspire’ with the president in an effort to conceal the true nature of his acts?”

No, these words do not concern accusations against Donald Trump or Brett Kavanaugh. They are, in fact, Kavanaugh’s own words in a memo concerning Bill Clinton. If the man who spoke these words still abides by the same principles, he would surely not reject an FBI investigation. In Thursday’s hearing, although there were repeated requests for such an investigation, he resisted.

This last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for both Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor of psychology, and Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s recent Supreme Court pick. Among the most dismissive rhetoric surrounding the Christine Blasey Ford allegations are “Boys will be boys” and “It was 36 years ago.” It is 2018, and despite the #MeToo Movement, sexual misconduct too often remains normalized in some cases. Christine Blasey Ford has accused a Supreme Court nominee of sexual harassment. She is not a conspirator for a partisan agenda. She is a credible witness, and a thorough FBI investigation, not limited in scope, should be ordered. Ford had discussed her concern regarding Judge Kavanaugh before, and she submitted her story prior to the announcement of his nomination. She wished to remain anonymous, but her story leaked.

In Cahall’s article, he writes that Senator Feinstein waited too long to disclose the letter from Christine Blasey Ford: “Dianne Feinstein sat on this information since July. She and her colleagues waited until now to unearth it.” However, in her letter to Dianne Feinstein, Dr. Ford writes, “As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.” Ford explicitly asked to remain anonymous, and she signed her name in full confidence of Feinstein’s integrity. It was not Feinstein’s responsibility to publicize the identity of Christine Blasey Ford. It was her duty to honor her request.

Cahall agrees that Ford’s allegations merit an investigation, but also claims, “For all intents and purposes, this looks suspiciously like a blatant attempt to stall the confirmation until after midterm elections.” In March of 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. The GOP Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, refused to hold confirmation hearings, saying, “Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in this process as the next Supreme Court Justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come.”

Just two years later following the unconstitutional obstruction of Garland, Mitch McConnell demands a Senate vote on Kavanaugh, refusing an FBI investigation. Last week, he made a promise to the public, saying, “I want to make it perfectly clear . . . Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on, here, on the Senate floor, up or down.” This is contradictory to his own claims concerning the interests of the American people, as midterm elections are a mere month away.

The rush to nominate Kavanaugh without a thorough examination further reflects the hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell and members of the GOP. When Democratic senators such as Harris, Booker, and Hirono call for a comprehensive investigation, they are asking both that our “Highest Court of the Land” be taken seriously and that victims be heard rather than silenced. This is not a partisan request-it is an opinion also shared by Republican Senators Flake and Murkowski. It is not “blatant” or “foolish” to take the necessary time to examine and release evidence to the American public. It is in the very spirit of truth and justice.

Additionally, Cahall says, “For starters, Ford’s allegations should have been investigated by a private entity in a private hearing…this should happen behind closed doors.” By accepting the nomination, and in his capacity as a federal judge, Kavanaugh elected to make his life and character a matter of public scrutiny and concern. It would be a disservice to the American people to withhold any information regarding Kavanaugh and his moral ethics. No private entity should examine a candidate for a public office.

Cahall also discusses the lingering legitimacy of the case, “If Kavanaugh were to be convicted, it would raise the sticky predicament of how to deal with such crimes when they were committed thirty years ago by intoxicated juveniles.” It is not a matter of prosecution for Kavanaugh, for he is not on trial: he is interviewing for a job. Additionally, crime is crime, and drunkenness is no excuse. Would the same excuses be made for juveniles if they struck and killed a peer while drunk driving?

Thursday’s hearing was not in the least bit a “mere stall tactic being used to further a partisan agenda.” The Senate hearing only exemplified the courage and credibility of Christine Blasey Ford, and as Cory Booker said, “It’s nothing short of heroic.”

Dr. Ford had nothing to gain from appearing in front of the committee. In her own words, she was “terrified.” Her hand visibly shook as she took her oath. Senator Blumenthal brought her to tears with his compassionate deference. Standing in front of some of the most powerful legislators in the world, she bravely spoke openly. If you wish to know why I believe her, I urge you to listen to the sincerity of her testimony.

Of note, 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Ford is one of many victims who live in a society with an all too familiar cultural axiom: “Boys will boys. That’s what they do.”

I refuse to accept this standard.

Author