What’s Most Troubling About Judge Kavanaugh
Sexual abuse if proved is bad enough, especially repeat incidents. So is belligerent, drunk, and disorderly behavior.
Some unacceptable conduct can be attributed to youthful indiscretion, not sexual or other aggressive actions against other people.
Sexual abuse is more about power than sex – most often committed by men against women through threatening, intimidating, or other inappropriate language, unacceptable touching, or forced sex, rape the most extreme form.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), almost 1 in 5 women of all ages (18.3%) reported experiencing forced sex (rape) at some time in their lives, compared with 1.4% of men.
It’s the most under-reported crime because most victims are reluctant to come forward, wanting further humiliation, pain and suffering avoided. Perpetrators count on their silence.
America is a culture of violence, notably its endless wars – glorified in the name of peace not sought or achieved.
Of all Western nations, America has the highest homicide rate by far. Violent films and similar video games are some of the most popular.
The US is a rape culture, around one-fourth of adult women sexually abused or raped in most cases by someone they know, including family members or friends.
In male-dominated America, women too often are shamefully afforded second class status. When sexually or otherwise abused, many suffer in silence, fearful that coming forward may add to their suffering and achieve no redress.
Before age-18, the average American child watches tens of thousands of violent acts on television and in Hollywood films, including thousands of murders and numerous sexual assaults.
It conditions many youths and adults to violent behavior. The nation’s addiction to football and other violent sports engrains it.
Professor Charles Ludington knew Brett Kavanaugh in college. He released a statement, saying:
“When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”
Former Kavanaugh classmates Lynne Brookes and Elizabeth Swisher made similar comments, affirming some of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations.
In Senate Judicial Committee testimony, Kavanaugh may have committed perjury.
Demand Justice, MoveOn and NARAL Pro-Choice America said they found serious inconsistencies in answers he gave under oath – including denial of drunkenness and sexual assault.
His hardline judicial rulings are troubling. The ACLU assessed his record as follows, saying:
He unjustifiably supported federal blocking of an immigrant minor’s access to abortion.
“He favors executive power, (showing) reluctance to enforce any limits on the president or the executive branch in the context of national security and foreign affairs” – these actions flagrantly violating constitutional and international law.
“He is particularly skeptical about international law constraints on government power, even in the context of human rights and the laws of war.”
“He has interpreted the Fourth Amendment to permit sweeping collection of Americans’ phone records by the National Security Agency and to allow random drug testing of federal employees and extensive ‘stop-and-frisk’ searches.”
“(H)e found no First Amendment problem with an official requirement that federal grantees adopt a pledge against their will as a condition of receiving federal funding…”
He called net neutrality a First Amendment violation of internet service providers.
He made few rulings on civil and human rights, “women’s rights, racial justice, or disability rights, and none on the death penalty or LGBT rights.”
Most often, he “ruled against than for civil rights complainants, and before he was a judge, he wrote an amicus brief that calls into question whether he would support affirmative action.”
His ideological extremism is what’s most troubling about confirming his appointment to the High Court.
Rejecting him virtually assures Trump nominating someone as extreme or ideologically worse.
The nation’s most distinguished jurists and legal minds are no longer considered Supreme Court material.
Preferred choices by Republicans and undemocratic Dems are supremely pro-business, pro-executive power, pro-monied interests above all others.
They’re anti-fundamental freedoms, equity and justice for all Americans – ruling for privileged ones alone most often.
A Final Comment
According to Harvard Law School associate dean and dean for academic and faculty affairs Catherine Claypoole, “Judge Kavanaugh indicated that he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered.”
He taught at HLS for the past decade. Ahead of Claypoole’s announcement, over 700 alumni wrote Law School dean John Manning, saying:
“We believe that Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment as an HLS lecturer sends a message to law students, and in particular female students, that powerful men are above the law, and that obstructive, inappropriate behavior will be rewarded.”
“Judge Kavanaugh is not leadership material, and he is not lectureship material. HLS would be tarnished to have him on campus in any position of authority.”
“We ask that you rescind his lectureship.” Around 80 HLS students urged the same thing.
Dean Manning was silent about sexual abuse accusations against him. When Trump announced his nomination, he praised the move, calling him “an inspiring teacher and mentor.”
Last Friday, he broke his silence by email, saying he understands that some HLS students are “unsatisfied with the answer that we cannot comment on personnel matters in particular cases,” adding:
“The policy serves important purposes even in stressful times. When concerns and allegations arise about individuals in our teaching program, we take those concerns and allegations seriously, conduct necessary inquiries, complete our process, and then act.”
Harvard is notably conservative at the undergraduate and graduate levels, notably its law and business schools.
Many students are more liberal, what I remember as an undergraduate long ago, likely much the same today.
One more thing. Undemocratic Dems are shamefully exploiting accusations against Kavanaugh for political reasons alone – notably ahead of November midterm elections.
Anti-Trump media coverage is one-sided. Political and press profiles in courage on this and other vital issues are virtually nonexistent.
Note: Various House and Senate Dems said if Kavanaugh is confirmed, they’ll move to impeach and remove him from office if regain congressional control in November or later.
House Dems said if they regain control of the body, they’ll reopen an investigation into what he’s accused of.
An FBI investigation lasting a week at most is unlikely to be conclusive.
Offenses justifying impeachment include conviction of treason, bribery, or other serious crimes.
The Kavanaugh saga may not end if he’s approved by majority GOP Senate members as expected.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”