The Clash over Kavanaugh

Throughout his outstanding judicial career, Kavanaugh has wholly merited his position on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The political debacle that Brett Kavanaugh endured, from his nomination all the way to his confirmation, was abominable, to say the least. Since Trump announced Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in July, Democrats, motivated by the vitriolic rhetoric of an upset base, had been chipping away at his nomination. To many Democrats, it didn’t seem to matter who the nominee was. It didn’t matter to them how qualified he or she was. Liberals including the likes of Bernie Sanders didn’t hesitate to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. Sanders stated, “We must mobilize the American people to defeat” Judge Kavanaugh on July 10, the day after Kavanaugh’s nomination. Before analyzing the 307 outstanding opinions Kavanaugh had written throughout his 12 years on the bench or listening to Kavanaugh’s testimony, he and his progressive associates were out to sink Kavanaugh. Ultimately, Kavanaugh fought tooth and nail for his seat and got what he deserved. Throughout his outstanding judicial career, Kavanaugh has wholly merited his position on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Professor Christine Blasey Ford—the woman who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago when they both were in high school—delivered a well-worked testimony. Few can say she wasn’t a compelling and sympathetic witness. However, Kavanaugh was just as compelling and sympathetic for his life was in tatters. He spent his whole life working hard to achieve his distinguished judicial record, a record now under assault. He spent decades acquiring the tremendous respect many have for him today. His integrity and good name were being dragged through the mud by Democrats willing to say anything to keep him off the Court.

Make no mistake, it is unanimously agreed upon that sexual assault is a heinous crime. And as the #MeToo movement has shown the world in recent years, women deserve to have their voices heard. However, that doesn’t mean that every allegation of sexual assault must be automatically believed, particularly if it is made without any shred of corroborating evidence.

Giving Judge Kavanaugh a seat on the Supreme Court does not make the American legal system dysfunctional. Simply put, the American legal system decided that an accusation of sexual assault that was not supported by any evidence doesn’t make the accused guilty. An uncorroborated accusation shouldn’t result in an innocent man losing his reputation, good name, job, and respect from everyone, including his wife and daughters. In America, concrete evidence is required along with an accusation to prove one is guilty of a crime.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee gave their questioning time to Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, the woman they brought in to question Ford about her allegations against Kavanaugh. This was a display of courtesy by the Republicans—they surrendered their questioning time to an experienced female prosecutor to make sure Ford was heard without partiality. After listening to Ford’s testimony, Mitchell released a blistering five-page-long memo in which she highlighted 12 major inconsistencies in Ford’s testimony. In the memo, she wrote, “I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.”

The first prominent inconsistency Mitchell mentions is the witnesses Ford mentions. Ford named one of her lifelong friends, Leland Ingham Keyser, who was allegedly at the event Ford described. Despite this fact, Keyser has repeatedly stated that she does not recall the party ever happening and has fiercely refused to corroborate Ford’s story. Along with Ms. Keyser, Ford named two others: Mark Judge and Patrick “PJ” Smyth. They were allegedly in the room where the assault occurred. When the FBI interviewed and investigated these men, they said, under penalty of perjury, that they “have no recollection of any such attack taking place.” In her memo, Mitchell points out the witnesses that Ford named not only fail to corroborate her testimony, but also confirm Kavanaugh’s.

In addition to addressing the lack of corroborating witnesses, prosecutor Rachel Mitchell also detailed how Ford kept changing her story about “when the alleged attack occurred.” When Ford contacted The Washington Post in July, she said she was assaulted in the “mid-1980s.” A couple weeks thereafter, she wrote her letter to Senator Feinstein. In the letter, she claimed the assault took place in the “early ‘80s.” In her polygraph, she stated that the encounter happened “one high school summer in the early ‘80s.” Ford told The Washington Post that the assault happened in her “late teens,” yet she told the Senate Judiciary Committee she was 15 when she was assaulted. Mitchell wrote, “Although it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates, Dr. Ford failed to explain how she was suddenly able to narrow the timeframe to a particular season and particular year.”

During the hearings, an ex-boyfriend of Ford provided a written declaration that fiercely contradicted claims she made in her testimony. In her testimony, Ford said she “never had any discussions with anyone […] on how to take a polygraph” or “given any tips or advice to anyone who was looking to take a polygraph test.” In his statement, he wrote that Ford once helped a friend named Monica McLean prepare for a polygraph examination. He also mentioned that “Ford used her expertise in psychology to coach McLean on ways to master a polygraph […] Ford never mentioned Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh and never claimed to be a victim of sexual assault.” This raises big questions about Ford’s credibility.

Along with these prominent inconsistencies, Ford never named Kavanaugh as the attacker until his nomination. When Ford showed the New York Post her therapy notes from a marriage counseling session in 2012 where she described the alleged assault, reporter Emma Brown wrote that Ford did not name Kavanaugh as the assailant then. The first time she named Kavanaugh as the perpetrator on the record was after he was nominated as a Supreme Court Justice. In Mitchell’s memo, she wrote, “No name was given in her 2012 [or 2013] marriage therapy notes. The only time she supposedly named Kavanaugh as her assailant was to her husband. In any event, it took Dr. Ford over 30 years to name her assailant.”

Many have mused that since Kavanaugh was not undergoing a criminal trial, due process and the rule of law need not apply. Many Democrats, including Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey, unjustifiably stated that it didn’t matter that Kavanaugh was guilty or innocent because it wasn’t a criminal trial. He said, “Due process doesn’t apply because it wasn’t a criminal trial. […] Enough questions [have been] raised that Kavanaugh shouldn’t become Supreme Court justice.” These statements are completely unacceptable. This verdict wasn’t just about confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. His life was in the balance; if he was denied a seat on the Supreme Court, he would most likely have lost his job on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, along with his ability to teach, coach his daughter’s basketball team, or ever show his face in public again. The fact that Booker and his fellow Democratic senators believed they could ruin Kavanaugh’s life simply due to “enough questions [being] raised,” and a severe lack of evidence to support those “questions” is appalling.

Along with the lack of evidence, the timing of Ford’s allegations to the Senate Judiciary Committee added fuel to the already raging political fire surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination. Her timing deeply undermined the credibility of her allegations. The problem wasn’t that Ford waited nearly 40 years to accuse Kavanaugh publicly. As studies by the University of California have shown, many women keep experiences of sexual assault a secret. There are also clear physiological reasons why victims wait for years before sharing their story. What made her timing problematic was the fact that she didn’t make her allegations prior to Kavanaugh’s nomination. This made her allegations seem like a political plot by the Democrats to attempt to keep a Supreme Court seat open until 2020.

In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh vehemently, emotionally, and angrily denied the allegations made against him. He was described as being “belligerent” and “fiercely partisan.” He called the allegations made against him “revenge on the behalf of the Clintons.” He later wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal apologizing for his behavior. This led many to argue that Kavanaugh does not have the proper temperament to be a justice on the Supreme Court. Though a case can be made that he does not have judicial temperament, his behavior in his testimony makes him only human. As far as he was concerned, he was being framed for a heinous crime that he did not commit. His wife was the subject of death threats, and his daughters couldn’t go to school due to excessive bullying. People were sending him ricin in the mail, and he lost many of his endorsements. He could no longer teach at Harvard, and he couldn’t coach his daughter’s basketball team. His life was being torn apart. Kavanaugh simply exhibited the signs of a family man who was hurt due to the unjustified suffering of his wife, children, parents, and his whole family.

Aside from the erroneous allegations of sexual assault made against Kavanaugh, he has a golden resume from his lifetime of public service. After graduating cum laude from Yale, Kavanaugh began his legal career as a law clerk under Judge Ken Starr. Starr has commended Kavanaugh for having “a bright legal mind” and firmly supported him to be appointed to the Supreme Court. After President Bush won the presidency in 2000, Kavanaugh joined his administration as White House Staff Secretary. During his time in the White House, Kavanaugh played a very important role in advising President Bush, particularly in his efforts to identify and confirm judicial nominees. Kavanaugh was subsequently nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Bush in 2003, where he served as a judge for the 12 years. During his time as a judge on the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh appointed the most female law clerks in the history of the court. As many as 65 of these women came out publicly after Ford’s allegations of sexual assault to sign a letter supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination. Having such a distinguished judicial record and dozens of female colleagues testifying about his good character diminish the odds of him being an alleged sexual predator. His lifetime of public service clearly exhibits his good nature and qualification for being on the Supreme Court.

Any Trumpian Supreme Court nomination was destined to become a national drama from the moment it was made. Right after President Trump announced his nomination, Democrats came out and publicly opposed Kavanaugh simply for political reasons. Thus, when the Democrats learned about Ford’s allegations, they waited until the last minute to play their trump card in an effort to delay and ultimately stop Kavanaugh’s nomination. But Feinstein and her Democratic companions overplayed their hand. In a “search and destroy” mission against Judge Kavanaugh, Democrats threw the constitution out of the window. They ignored basic concepts of the American justice system, including due process. There was insufficient corroborating evidence revealed to support Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh. Ford displayed several inconsistencies in her testimony, and her story did not add up. In the end, Kavanaugh was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and rightly so.