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Mostly law professors, blogging on whatever we please since 2002 · Hosted by The Washington Post, 2014-2017 · Hosted by Reason 2017 · Sometimes contrarian · Often libertarian · Always independent

My Thoughts on the "Judicial Temperament" Criticism of Judge Kavanaugh

A law professor circulated a letter urging that Judge Kavanaugh be rejected because of his testimony at the hearings, and I circulated the following response, which I thought I'd share with others as well. (The quoted material in the fourth paragraph below is a reference to particular criticisms in the letter, as are the words "courteous" and "impartial.") I should note that other professors, including ones whose judgment I much respect, e-mailed me in response to say they disagree with my views, and I take their arguments seriously. Still, this is what I think. [DISCLOSURE: Judge Kavanaugh and I clerked the same year, and we saw each other socially on occasion during that year and likely a few times after.]

I hope that, before you sign on to the letter, you imagine how friends of yours would react if they were accused of a heinous crime that they did not commit -- and this was done on national (international) television, with undoubted partisan motivation (and I happily acknowledge that both the Democrats and the Republicans are being partisan here). I speak here of human friends, not Vulcans.

"Painful," which is the adjective the letter uses, does not begin to describe it. I can't imagine how I would keep my composure in such a situation, even if I (like Judge Kavanaugh) were a judge who had a decade-long reputation of calm and politeness during the ordinary work (including the controversial work) of a court. (Of course, if you think he did commit the crime and is falsely denying it, then that would be an independent reason not to confirm him; but the letter is not based on that assumption, but rather seems to take the view that, even if he is innocent of the charges, it is disqualifying for him to have reacted as he did.)

Would I be "temperate" if faced with such public accusations? Courteous? Impartial? Would I really refrain from anything that might be called "inflammatory," and be sure never to "interrupt[]"? Would you?

Is this what we have come to? We see someone being subjected to unbearable, unearned, televised humiliation and disgrace. In front of his family. Of his young daughters. Of his and their friends. Of colleagues. Of the nation and of the world. And when he verbally lashes out in anger, we say, "Aha! You're not qualified, because you reacted to this dire, extraordinary provocation precisely the way normal human beings would"? Have we so lost any empathy?

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  • Michael Masinter||

    I recommend Benjamin Wittes' thoughtful piece at the Atlantic Monthly, https://goo.gl/2mw3uo

  • David Nieporent||

    Wittes is a thoughtful person, but it's important to note that he was already calling for Kavanaugh to withdraw (or be withdrawn) before the testimony he's complaining about. He argued in advance of Thursday's debacle of a hearing that unless Kavanaugh could definitely prove his innocence he should not be confirmed. So his implication that Kavanaugh's performance is what leads him to oppose Kavanaugh is misleading.

  • wreckinball||

    Yea you lost me with the proving innocence thing. So an alleged crime about 36 years ago that has no date no place and every named witness either denies or has no knowledge that the event occurred can be disproven. How?

    That position is certainly not thoughtful.

  • FlameCCT||

    Is this the Benjamin Wittes that is friends with Comey and involved with Comey's leaked so-called internal memos on Trump?

  • HMI||

    My opinion is that had Kavanaugh been cool, calm, and collected, the very same critics now lambasting him for excessive passion would have been marking his sanguine demeanor as both a sign of his lack of humanity (making him unfit for the bench) and, most likely, as an indicator of his likely guilt.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    They already did this, following his Fox News interview. He was "robotic", "unfeeling", "unemotional" when faced with serious allegations. There's no pleasing the critics, and I think that is something Republicans should take to heart before they bend over backwards for them again.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Counterfactuals are always easy to prove.

  • JesseAz||

    Someone proved it literally the post before you dummy. You can go research the left journo sites after his Fox interview. You know you saved a few of them most likely.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Did you see anything like what Jeff's describing? I sure didn't. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it means any attempts were fruitless.

  • Luxferia||

    Yes, I saw several instances of this. I'm candidly surprised you did not. Take, for example, that obscure paper called The New York Times:

    The judge grew robotic at times under Ms. MacCallum's scrutiny, reverting to talking points and reacting stiffly to her questions.

    Link.

    Slate and others ran similar stories.

  • Brightly||

    This quote is full of subjective observations. Why should anyone trust a site like Slate?

  • HMI||

    That's why I said it was opinion, speculation, not a fact.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Kavanaugh was calm, cool and professional for two weeks after the allegation. He continued to calm cool and professional after the additional allegations came forth. It was the persistence of the allegations, in the face of weakening objective evidence, that he began to display hostility to the partisans on the committee that continue to use very weak allegations to thwart a very qualified judge.

    He loses the guest professorship at harvard
    He loses the ability to coach his daughters sports teams
    He life is place in jeopardy by the nuts on the left who will continue to hound him
    He will be continually ask to recuse himself on nearly every case.

    You might guess why he lost his temper.

    The only good thing, is he can leave the bench, work as an appellate attorney earning in the low 7 figures instead of the measley $240k as a judge on the dc circuit.

  • Per Son||

    My concern was how he went of on the Democratic Party, including the "revenge over the Clintons." That is bull, and he knows it. For right or wrong, this has always been about a few select precedents that might be overturned--no revenge.

  • damikesc||

    I don't feel it is bull at all. The Dems are going after him in a blatantly unfair manner.

    When you piss off Lindsay Graham, you've crossed lines pretty badly.

    They've tried to destroy his life. He should be pissed.

  • Per Son||

    I think Mr. Graham is auditioning for a Cabinet position IMHO.

  • Per Son||

    I meant to say that the idea that this is some sort of revenge over the Clintons is bull--he knows that.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "revenge over the Clintons."

    At least get the quote right.

  • mad_kalak||

    "revenge on behalf of the Clintons"

    Minute 7:16
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eahnOcp883k

  • Joe_dallas||

    "My concern was how he went of on the Democratic Party, "

    Most judges, especially trial court, judges display quite some Ire with the continue with unsubstantiated claims, especially after several witnesses have refuted the claims.

  • iowantwo||

    You aren't technically wrong. But to say its about abortion, or executive power. is like saying the top 500 feet of Mt Everest, is the only thing that makes it tall, ignoring the entirity of its lower mass.

    Democrats can only advance their agenda through the Supreme Court. A conservative court is going to force the legislature to legislate. Chevron will go down, and the left is going to have to legislate that which they claim is important to 88% of the population. But for some reason find politically problematic. Afraid to legislate and face the voter, even though they claim overwhelming support of the voter.

    So its not about one or two items, (BTW, most of those issues, by constitution, are the jurisdiction of States) but rather an ability of the left in general to advance their desired agenda.

  • DASGUY||

    Damned if you and damned if you don't. Nice how it works. Some people just don't get it.

  • MoreFreedom||

    You're right. Kavanaugh's demeanor reflects his passionate defense of an uncorroborated accusation, not his demeanor on the bench. Further, Dems are claiming he's too partisan. Exactly how defense of oneself is partisan, I'm unable to see. Dems are just looking for any excuse to vote against him, because they hope to win the Senate and block any Trump nominee.

    As Volokh points out, Kavanaugh's history on the bench is what is relevant, and his demeanor has been judicial.

    As for uncorroborated allegations, they should be ignored because they're too easy to make up. And as far as I can remember, no one has been held accountable for them. In fact, it seems accusers without corroboration or who've been proven false, have benefited from their accusations.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Did you miss his 'Clinton revenge' nugget?

    Not disqualifying, IMO, but certainly putting him well beyond mainstream in his level of partisanship.

  • ME2R||

    I, for one, am glad to see someone fight back. Well qualified candidates have, in the past, been brow beaten into withdrawing. BK has "grit," and too few do these days! He should have been outraged. And it as highly partisan. I say he called it like it as. Good for him.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    Definitely gritty. Sounds like the kind of guy who won't take "no" for an answer!

  • VinniUSMC||

    Even according to Ford's ridiculous accusations, he seemed to have taken "no" for an answer.

    You're not the brightest bulb, eh?

  • jjrzw72||

    "Even according to Ford's ridiculous accusations, he seemed to have taken "no" for an answer."

    You're a pig.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I would disagree that Kavanaugh was "partisan". He was defending his integrity, not that of the GOP. In fact, the GOP IMHO did a poor job of defending him with the exception of Lyndsay Graham. They could have been questioning Democrat tactics (some did a little), and attacked all the inconsistencies in Ford's allegations (very little of that). Only Mitchell in her report, stated all the facts and inconsistencies, and laid it out as less believable than he said vs. she said. And more keeps coming out, such as the fact that Ford's former long time boyfriend stated that Ford coached someone on passing a polygraph test, which would mean Ford committed perjury if true.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    "Cet animal est très méchant: quand on l'attaque, il se défend."

  • mydisplayname||

    Exactly. We are in an age of Google -- where a simple right-click can yield a viable translation -- yet we forget that we (both the nominee and his audience alike) behave as humans as have always behaved.

  • Eddy||

    Has everyone forgotten Clarence Thomas?

  • Finrod||

    And before him, Robert Bork.

  • Armchair Lawyer||

    Well said.

  • azbadger||

    I am unsure if it is the same letter or a different one. But the WSJ is reporting that some 400+ law professors have signed off on a letter they will present tomorrow. It is staggeringly inane. Here is the especially stupid part:

    Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners. . . . Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory, and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to questioners.
    As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are
    at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 144, 455. As this Congress has
    put it, a judge or justice "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality
    might reasonably be questioned." 28 USC § 455. These statutes are part of a myriad of legal
    commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.

    Are they actually suggesting a nominee must be impartial at his own confirmation hearing? And, if not, he is expected (indeed, required) to recuse himself?

  • DjDiverDan||

    Reading that letter would make me deeply ashamed to attend, or have graduated from, any so-called "institution of higher education" foolish enough to employ any of those partisan hacks.

  • FlameCCT||

    It reminds me of the professors that signed a letter against the Duke lacrosse players. They too were members of the Progressive Plantation's Ignorati!

  • subpatre||

    So aren't they implying that Judge Kavanaugh should stonewall any and all questions? Morons all. LOL

    Nevermind.

    28 U.S. Code § 455
    (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
    (b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:
    _(1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;
    . . . . .
    (d) For the purposes of this section the following words or phrases shall have the meaning indicated:
    (1) "proceeding" includes pretrial, trial, appellate review, or other stages of litigation;

    And 28 U.S.C. §§ 144, 455 is for district judges only. If all else fails, revert to "stonewall".

  • Kazinski||

    This is actually a great sign for Kavenaugh's nomination.

    The realization has hit that Ford didn't have the goods, the hearing is over. Now the only last gasp they have is he got pissed off at being called a rapist. Which is all the more damning because even if Ford was mistaken, if he was was woke he would know he was born a rapist.

    If Kavenaugh isn't confirmed o hope Trump appoints Lindsey Gramm even though he's not all that conservative, I just want to see the debate about his temperament.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    The only people who believe Ford "didn't have the goods" are sociopathic douchebags like you.

  • Naaman Brown||

    He conducted himself as the defendant and accused in what was the tactical equivalent of either a Spanish Inquisition or a medieval trial by combat.

    His critics are saying he should have behaved as a impartial judge at his own lynching.

    How would they have acted under the circumstances he faced?

  • Martinned||

    I should think that, yes, we exactly expect our judges to have the temperament of a Vulcan. If you can't handle that, I hear that private practice pays quite well.

    (And before anybody starts, yes, we can absolutely have a conversation about the temperament of Justice Ginsburg. But I've never seen her act even remotely as inappropriately as Judge Kavanaugh last week.)

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "I we can absolutely have a conversation about the temperament of Justice Ginsburg."

    I know, right? If Ginsburg had been accused by the Republicans of, say, fellating President Clinton in exchange for her nomination, and the accusations were taken seriously and investigated, I'm sure we'd all agree that anything less than Vulcan-like behavior from her would have been disqualifying, amirite?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I mean, I totally would have been like, "whelp, look how upset she gets when you call her a whore. Can't have a crazy broad like that on the court now, can we?"

  • Reasonably||

    DONE !

    Argument over.

    Nice job !

  • Joe_dallas||

    What about the temperament of Soto

    the Elite oops I mean the government is required to discriminate - in favor or those who should benefit from discrimination

    Shuttee
    Rici

  • Finrod||

    Funny, Ruth Bader Ginsberg was decrying the treatment of Kavanaugh before the whole Ford issue even started. It seems she disagrees with you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AriOjUfbBrw

  • Martinned||

    I know this might blow your mind, but it is possible to criticise both the conduct of the Senators in the hearing *and* the conduct of the nominee in response.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Yes. I am ashamed of the Senate embarrassing themselves by pouring over handwritten comments in a high school yearbook asking about the meaning of crude slang terms.

    I am also ashamed that Kavanaugh dignified the nonsensical questions with a response. It seems that he flat-out made up meanings to words that he didn't know.

  • JeffDG||

    I know this might blow your mind, but it is possible to criticize the conduct of the Senators, and marvel at the restraint shown by the nominee in response.

    A bunch of prima-donna Senators credulously accusing me of rape on national TV would have resulted in a lot more than some angry words. I dare say that the vast majority of Americans would not have shown anywhere near the restraint the Judge did.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    On the contrary, I think anger while being smeared is exactly appropriate.

    The problem with Ginsburg is her behavior when she's NOT being provoked.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Martin, you should've stopped at "I should think". Try it, at least once.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    You add so much to these conversations.

  • wreckinball||

    Has anyone accused her of running a gang rape wring?

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "we exactly expect our judges to have the temperament of a Vulcan"

    You have never appeared in a US court, have you?

    Judges raise their voices often. Not always or even most of the time, but often. Lawyers who are late to court get yelled at, beats doing the work involved with a contempt citation.

  • Martinned||

    That's a fair point. American judges do lots of things that I don't think are appropriate, like give speeches on possibly contentious issues, run for election, accept campaign contributions, decide on their own recusal, etc. But just because lots of other American judges do inappropriate things, doesn't mean that that's OK, or that this is.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    You may think they are "inappropriate ", we in general do not.

    Americans are not Europeans, we do a lot of things differently.

  • KevinP||

    Americans are not Europeans, we do a lot of things differently.

    To the eternal disgust of Europeans, who keep forgetting that Americans and their ancestors went to America to get away from Europe and Europeans.

  • MJBinAL||

    Indeed, and if you are a European, you should have plenty there to occupy your time. Since the entire EU is marching toward breakup and/or disaster.

    On a happy note, (for someone) demographics will "fix" your court system in a generation or so since your Muslim invaders have lots of children and you don't. Sharia law for all! (in the EU anyway)

  • DASGUY||

    Have ever sat as a judge? It isn't as easy as you might imagine.

  • FlameCCT||

    Are you forgetting the intemperate nature of the supposedly "wise Latina"?

  • Naaman Brown||

    I missed the nomination hearing where nominee Ginsburg was accused at the last day of attempted rape (and later gang rape) by a parade of increasingly incredible accusers. I am sure she handled it more appropriately than Kavanaugh.

  • Gerry R||

    This is the behavior of bullies. Harass, harass, harass and then when the victim lashes back, throw your hands in the air and exclaim "Why are you so upset?"

  • Martinned||

    Again, he didn't have to accept the nomination. Supreme Court Justices get slandered all day long without ever being able to respond in kind. If you can't do that, maybe the Supreme Court is not for you.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    There is literally nothing accurate about your post.

  • Finrod||

    Thankfully you are not a Senator and never will be one, so your opinion means nothing.

  • David Nieporent||

    Supreme Court Justices get slandered all day long without ever being able to respond in kind.

    Surely you grasp the difference between the common, "S/He's a results-oriented ideologue who can be counted on to distort the record and ignore the law," and, "He's a rapist."

  • ||

    You're a f*cking moron.

  • Kazinski||

    Kavenaugh has already passed the judicial temperament test with flying colors after 10 years as an appellate judge, that argument is over.

    You can debate whether he should be invited to any more Senate hearings, or kangaroo court proceedings. He'd probably take a pass anyway.

    But it's a ridiculous point anyway, for a Senate hearing that got underway with a couple of hours of orchestrated disruptions coordinated by the minority leadership, a senator bragging he was breaking the rules, and illegal leaking by a senators staff, that's all fine; but now Brett Kavenaugh got angry and we better stop and reevaluate. And we better expel Lindsey Gramm from the Senate for getting mad too.

    Brett Kavenaugh knows how to behave in court, but why should he be the only one expected to behave in a Senate hearing where almost everyone, spectators, press, senators etc. Is out of line?

    I hope no one ever caught him booing a bad call at a Nationals game.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    Judicial temperament is not a merit badge you earn and then pin to your lapel. It is an ongoing determination throughout one's career.

    Kavanaugh's temperament was unacceptable. His partisan conspiracy theory was unacceptable. His evasiveness answering questions was unacceptable, as were his lies (yes, lies) regarding his drinking habits and the slang he used on his calendar.

    Nothing about his behavior suggests that he belongs in a courtroom, let alone as a SCOTUS Justice.

  • Kazinski||

    Kavenaugh is supposed to let them piss on them and pretend raining?

    The truth is the Democrats made it clear it was partisan, so why is he supposed to be the only one in Washington that doesn't know what it is all about.

    Feinstein hooked up Ford with a partisan democratic lawyer paid for by anti Kavenaugh groups. If she had hooked her up with a nonpartisan women's advocate to represent then that might have kept it from seeming a partisan setup from scratch. And then getting the fake polygraph test from the tell was also pretty balls out.

    Why is Kavenaugh being defensive? He's just one of a long line of Republican nominees that are accused of being racist sexist rapists. Its nothing personal.

    I wish someone could tell me one thing bad that any Republican said about Merrick Garland, they made it partisan, but not personal. That's the proper way to oppose a nominee, not smearing him with fake shit.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    If he wants to be a SCOTUS Justice, yes.

    His professional judgement is clearly a problem when he includes such horsesh!t in his Congressional testimony.

    Also, you have no idea whether Dr. Ford's accusation is "fake shit." The fact you would state such as a fact clearly indicates that you're not worth any more of my time.

    Be grateful that the First Amendment applies to everyone, including people like you.

  • FlameCCT||

    It is easy to see that this is just partisan BS. An accusation from over 30 years is credible yet an accusation from months ago, against the DNC co-chair, is ignored. Not to mention not releasing the names of the Congressional slush fund paying out to women that have been assaulted by members of Congress.

  • MJBinAL||

    If he wants to be a SCOTUS Justice, no.

    No, becoming a Judge does not require someone to become a robot.
    No, becoming a Judge does not mean you have to become a doormat.
    No, becoming a Judge does not mean you have to accept personal destruction.

    If he did not get angry, I would find him a spineless man, and therefore unworthy for the position.

    You, can't be this stupid, therefore you are a liar in service of your partisan political objectives.

  • ipsquire||

    What kind of liar is the keghound Boofs Kavanaugh? Seems like the double-down instead of retract kind.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    Demonstrate whatever lie you're accusing me of, or keep your mouth shut.

  • bernard11||

    Long line, Kazinski?

  • wreckinball||

    Yea, I mean don't be mean to Spartacus? Seriously

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "Supreme Court Justices get slandered all day long without ever being able to respond in kind. "

    Not to their faces.

  • Krayt||

    His behavior was odd, but having said that, this new tactic against him also seems partisan. People should discuss angry in your face responses in a few places as distracting non-denials instead of whining about generic angry unsuitability.

    God forbid he was a female and someone suggest he was borderline hysterical.

  • damikesc||

    Supreme Court Justices get slandered all day long without ever being able to respond in kind.

    Progressive ones do not.

    How many have been accused of RAPE, for fuck's sake?

  • Seamus||

    Dems are sure sounding like an emotionally abusive husband/boyfriend: "Calm down. Why do you have to be so emotional?"

  • FlameCCT||

    Perhaps they got their talking points from Keith Ellison!

    I also find it the height of hypocrisy that they are whining about Judge Kavanaugh getting upset while ignoring and/or supporting HRC, the HWIC of the Bimbo Eruption team, attacking and denigrating the sexual assault victims of her husband!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    #WhatHappenedInKozinskiChambers StaysInKozinskiChambers

    #WhatMightHaveHappenedWithKozinskiEMailList IsNoneOfYourBusiness

    #PartisanRightWingStreetfighters GotToStickTogether

    #IWillRepresentForEmpathy ButKeepWhatIKnowToMyself

  • Finrod||

    I know you're all broken up that Team Blue's strategy here is going down in flames. Want a hanky?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I'm in for the long run, Finrod. Been winning the culture war throughout my lifetime, expect to continue winning. Whatever occurs with respect to Kavanaugh, I am content, mostly because if he is confirmed that would help to build a foundation for enlarging the Supreme Court.

  • BadLib||

    After a few elections under your strategy, the Supreme Court would have 50 Justices. From a practical matter then it would be necessary to have each case heard by, perhaps, a random five Justices and perhaps require 35 Justices to vote for an en banc rehearing. That would make things much fun (as is, unpredictable) at least.

  • Kazinski||

    Winning?

    I'd like to hear just what you've won in the culture wars. Just because the other side lost doesn't make you a winner.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I'd like to hear just what you've won in the culture wars.


    Far fewer people systematically treated like dirt (gays, blacks, women, Asians, Muslims, Jews). Enormous diminution of unearned privilege. More reason and science (school prayer, creationism in classrooms), tolerance (gay marriage, Jim Crow), liberty (contraception, homosexuality, marijuana), inclusivity (educated women, school loans, voting rights, employment opportunity), decency (school lunches, Medicaid, Obamacare, domestic violence).

    Speaking of winning, one of my acquaintances became a Nobel laureate today. Everything you guys hate. A woman who would have been steered away from graduate school back in the "good old days." Instead, she earned a great job a man could have had. Educated, uppity woman. Anti-war protester back in the day. Teaches at a strong liberal-libertarian university. Contributes to the study of evolution. Lives in a modern, successful, educated, accomplished community. In California.

    A genuine American right-wing nightmare.

    Or a modern American success story, a tribute to the good guys winning the culture war.

    Carry on, clingers.
  • Ben of Houston||

    Arthur, yes. Social justice is on a whole a good thing.

    However, we don't get social justice by tearing people down. We get it by raising others up so all are equal.

    At this point, we actually have people advocating to have segregated work force and racial selection of people for the "benefit" of women and minorities. There are very good arguments that Feminism has become a Supremacy movement, and some women are explicitly calling it that. Men have "had their turn" and should not be promoted because women should be dominant

    That is the exact opposite of social justice.

    Finally, most of the accomplishments you mention were decades ago. You are also rubbing a Noble prize in our faces like it's something that we should be upset about. You are quite literally shadow-boxing against a foe that doesn't exist.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I do not shadow-box.

    I have lost my taste for political correctness, so I now call a bigot a bigot.

    A half-educated, superstitious rube a half-educated, superstitious rube.

    A desolate can't-keep-up backwater a desolate can't-keep-up backwater, and the depleted human residue that remains in our southern and rural stretches after generations of being on the wrong end of bright flight a depleted human residue.

    A gullible, broadly intolerant, stale-thinking, no-count loser an ardent Trump supporter.

    An appeaser of bigotry and backwardness a Trump voter.

    I hope the Republican Party regains its footing and returns to its '70s-era platform of small government, competence, reason, tolerance, science, foreign humility, and liberty. That would require it to shed the current preferences of the Republican-conservative electoral coalition, which include prudish authoritarianism, superstition-based public policy, disdain of science, diffuse intolerance, ignorant nationalism, unearned privilege, and mindless. anti-government faux libertarianism.

    Until them, I recognize those who wish to thwart American progress and celebrate their inadequacies and failures. No shadow-boxing is involved.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Social justice is on a whole a good thing."

    No. Social justice is a perversion. All justice is individual.

    The the genuinely good things that get listed under "social" justice are actually just good old individual justice, people being treated as individuals according to their own merits.

    What's distinctive about social justice is that it rejects the idea that people should be treated on their own merits, and demands "justice" on behalf of groups, rather than individuals. Racial quotas and the like are not the exact opposite of "social" justice, they're what make it "social".

  • eyesay||

    Arthur, I agree 100% with a link posted earlier, I Know Brett Kavanaugh, but I Wouldn't Confirm Him, by Benjamin Wittes, Oct 2, 2018, The Atlantic. However, I would strongly oppose any effort to enlarge the Supreme Court, no matter how unhappy we may be about those serving on it, for the obvious reason that there is no end to the political response, the day that, inevitably and eventually, the Rs control Congress and the White House, whether because of chicanery like stealing Florida in 2000, or just running campaigns that resonate with the voters better. It will happen some day, so the Dems would be fools for packing the court at their first opportunity.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Your position is reasonable. I disagree.

  • Slocum||

    If Republicans retain the Senate, I'm half-expecting this strategy from Trump:

    1. Propose a constitutional amendment to limit the Supreme Court to a max of 9 justices.

    2. Impose a deadline for passage and ratification (say, a year).

    3. If Democrats in DC or blue states oppose or drag their feet, take that as a mandate to start the packing himself.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I expect Trump and his minions to be too busy juggling subpoenas, civil complaints, and prosecutions to do much else after January. Today's New York Times story alone is probably enough to keep Trump off-balance for months.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    First, Republicans would have to retain both chambers to do this.

    Second, I've proposed this myself. A lot of long standing "norms" are falling, and need to be constitutionalized to preserve them. We need a "Bill of Norms.

    But I doubt that Republicans have the guts to play this sort of hardball.

  • KHP54||

    "stealing Florida in 2000"

    Thanks for the subtle hint not to take you seriously.

  • DASGUY||

    Switch in time saves nine? You going there?

  • iowantwo||

    Getting your ideas from Sen. Reid? He had some changes to the system to insure Democrat Party retain their God promised power. It involved new procedures to assure the Judiciary had the right judges. Your Idea will just add to something the Sen. Reid did, that was a yuuuge success

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    #WhenTheGoingGetsTough BlameTheClintons

    #YouPeopleJustDontUnderstand PrepSchoolPrivilege

    #FFFFPosse&DevilsTriangle4EvahOurLipsRSealed;

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    #WhenHicklibsCantGetOverBeingHayseeds TheyLashOutAtTheirBetters

    #StillMadTheyDidntGetLaidInHighSchool

  • wreckinball||

    When We Need a Stupid comment You Are The Man

  • Travis Ormsby||

    A Supreme Court Justice, is, by definition, not a normal human being. If you want a normal human being to be a Justice, assign it randomly to a US citizen.

    Kavanaugh is both incandescently angry about an alleged left-wing conspiracy out to destroy him and also of the belief that he is well qualified to impartially adjudicate controversies involving people alleged to be part of that conspiracy. If he wants us to believe the latter, he can't be the former.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It won't bother me if Judge Kavanaugh becomes Justice Kavanaugh.

    That would make it easier for Democrats to build the case for enlarging the Supreme Court in a few years.

    Justice Kavanaugh has demonstrated the fiery partisanship that could make his dissents entertaining for decades.

  • ||

    And that'll make it easier for many conservatives to justify a 2nd Amendment remedy.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Be my guest with going "the full LaVoy," you eminently representative right-wing spokesman.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Be my guest with going "the full LaVoy,"

    Only after you go "the full Kent State," hicklib.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I'm just thankful my children and grandchildren will have the same opportunity on which I have built a fine life -- the chance to compete economically with the type of people who have become Trump supporters.

    You guys stick with your backwater towns, your homeschooling, your faith healers and televangelists, your militia meetings and gun bashes, your backwater religious schools, your street pills and snuff, and your anti-immigration positions, while more modern, sensible Americans continue to attend strong liberal-libertarian schools, earn graduate degrees, develop marketable skills, build careers, embrace change, benefit from an evolving America, and contribute to modern, successful communities.

    In 20 years you'll still be muttering about illusory good old days, resenting your betters, and working harder on unconvincing libertarian drag.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Arthur L. Hicklib falls back on his usual self-loathing hayseed boilerplate. Maybe not reading books outside of bomb-making manuals stunted his vocabulary.

    Carry on, soyboys.

  • AmosArch||

    If justices are expected to have no strong personal animosities toward certain political factions the cow has certainly left that barn long ago.

  • AmosArch||

    Alternate Universe:
    Nyt frontpage:SOCIOPATH? EXPERTS SAY EMBATTLED KAVANAGH'S LACK OF EMOTION A SIGN OF NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY AND PSYCHOPATHIC TENDENCIES.

    CNN frontpage: PROMINANT PSYCHOLOGIST:I THINK IT'S OBVIOUS TO ANYBODY A NORMAL HUMAN BEING SHOULD HAVE A STRONG RESPONSE TO THESE ALLEGATIONS

    WAPOO: GUILTY OR INNOCENT KAVANAGHS CALLOUS DEMEANOR DURING TESTIMONY SHOWS HE LACKS THE EMPATHY AND HUMANITY TO SIT ON OUR HIGHEST COURT OR UNDERSTAND THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN

    Snl: lOOK AT ME I'M MATT DAMON PRETENDING TO BE KAVANAGH GUTTING A KITTEN. BECAUSE KAVANAGH WASN'T EMOTIONAL ENOUGH SO HE MUST BE A PSYCHOPATH. AND PSYCHOPATHS DO STUFF LIKE THIS. IT'S FUNNY YUCK YUCK

  • Mike Adamson||

    It certainly would be a difficult spot to be in. I know however that if I were A Democrat appearing before him then I would worry about getting a fair shake. I also thought that his reference to the Clintons was over the top at best and an all too accurate caricature of the modern Republican at worst. I feel sorry for you Yanks to be honest.

  • ButWhatDoIKnow||

    Coincidentally, I just a few moments ago read this short piece by Lowry at NRO regarding that Clinton reference. He includes the transcript, so we can y'know, read what BK actually said.

    https://bit.ly/2RkX9kX

  • Hello Cthulhu||

    The funny thing about all this is that it's been an object lesson in "false memory" phenomenon. I'm amazed that merely after a few days, people remember Kavanaugh saying things that he plainly did not. He never alleged a Clinton conspiracy. Yet I'm seeing people remember him doing that. Another example: I've seen a flurry of examples of people saying he committed perjury, because he denied ever drinking to excess. But if you look at the transcript and see the video, he literally says that on occasion, he had too many beers. The only thing he denied was drinking so much that he blacked out or had memory lapses about how he got home. So if people can have false memories like this after just a few days, can we really be so sure that people would remember encounters that happened 36 years ago?

  • subpatre||

    McMartin Child Care case is a good example, but not the way most people think. The longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history, the trial ended in 1990 with all charges dropped.

    . . . .in addition to having been sexually abused, they saw witches fly, traveled in a hot-air balloon, and were taken through underground tunnels. . . . . one child identified actor Chuck Norris as one of the abusers.Some of the abuse was alleged to have occurred in secret tunnels beneath the school.. . . no evidence of any secret chambers or tunnels was found. There were claims of orgies at car washes and airports, and of children being flushed down toilets to secret rooms where they would be abused, then cleaned up and presented back to their parents.(Wiki)

    But there are still hundreds of thousands of people who —to this day—believe every single allegation. In a 2005 LA Times interview, one former child apologized for the tales he'd been primed to say. But he also was estranged from his mother, who broke off contact with him when he talked to her about this. She believed. All efforts by LA reporters to other former students were rebuffed.

    The Innocence Project claims 70% of false convictions are due to eyewitness error. People's memories are very strange, and very varied. But overall, generally very flawed.

  • eyesay||

    subpatre, you are right, of course, that the McMartin trial was prosecuted based on ridiculous evidence cooked up by a prosecution team that literally manufactured the evidence by encouraging very young children to tell these stories. This episode does not in any way undermine the credibility of Dr. Blasey, who was a high school student when the alleged events took place, who came forth on her own, reluctantly, and who shared this story with others years ago, before Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court. I believe Dr. Blasey, and perhaps you don't, but nothing from the McMartin trial casts doubt on Dr. Blasey. As for the Innocence Project, that's not relevant either. This is not a case where the police handed a stack of photos to a witness and asked the witness to choose the photo of the assailant, or where the witness selected someone from a lineup. This is a case where the story is, "I got assaulted by two guys I already knew by name and I've remembered the assault, although not all the other details, ever since." It is extremely implausible that Blasey's memory of the events is correct except for the names of the two boys who did it.

  • VinniUSMC||

    eyesay, I've got a bridge to sell you. It's a beautiful bridge. Probably the best bridge.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    eyesay, I've got a bridge to sell you. It's a beautiful bridge. Probably the best bridge

    A successful peddler of shoddy goods needs to know his audience. Your target audience voted for Trump.

  • wreckinball||

    Yea just some details like time place and name anyone who was there to corroborate. Just a few details missing. Thats it.

    What inspired you to post such dumb crap?

  • wreckinball||

    Yea just some details like time place and name anyone who was there to corroborate. Just a few details missing. Thats it.

    What inspired you to post such dumb crap?

  • wreckinball||

    Yea just some details like time place and name anyone who was there to corroborate. Just a few details missing. Thats it.

    What inspired you to post such dumb crap?

  • NToJ||

    Memory is fallible. Unless you're Kavanaugh, in which case you are the only person immune from blacking out after drinking too much.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You don't need some phenomenal immunity to not black out from drinking too much. Blacking out from drinking too much requires drinking an insane amount of alcohol, I dare say that most people get through their entire lives, let alone their teen years, without ever drinking to the point of blacking out.

  • NToJ||

    "Blacking out from drinking too much requires drinking an insane amount of alcohol..."

    No it doesn't. Do you not drink? Whether "most people" avoid it is immaterial. Those of us who drink the way Kavanaugh has admitted drinking, black out.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    No it doesn't. Do you not drink? Whether "most people" avoid it is immaterial. Those of us who drink the way Kavanaugh has admitted drinking, black out.

    This is truly one of the most desperately pathetic comments from the "He's a rapist!!" crowd.

  • NToJ||

    I didn't say he was rapist.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Seriously, stop.

  • NToJ||

    Or else what?

  • Kazinski||

    That's completely ridiculous, as a right wing liberatarian I can tell you we are surrounded by left wing family friends and coworkers. Kavenaugh grew up in the DC area, just like I grew up in the bay area. Its not hard to look past politics and see people, not enemies, when people you know and love disagree with you politically.

    That's the problem with so many progressives living in a bubble, they see opposing viewpoints as alien and dangerous. Not near as many conservatives cocoon like that, they are much more accepting of progressive viewpoints because we know mental illness shouldn't be stigmatized.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Not near as many conservatives cocoon like that

    You apparently have never visited America's can't-keep-up backwaters, made ruby red by the depleted human residue (unskilled, gullible, poorly educated, superstitious, addicted, backward) and concentrated dysfunction remaining after generations of being on the wrong end of bright flight.

  • KevinP||

    Tolerant and inclusive liberal alert!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Arthur L. Hicklib loves marinating in his hayseed self-loathing.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    No, it's just that you idiots make it so easy for him.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Easy for him to parrot the same tired catchphrases? Maybe you should try reading books that are more complex than ones about teenage wizards.

  • Heedless||

    It is long settled precedent in trial law that you cannot antagonize the judge and then ask for a mistrial because he's pissed at you.

    Same principle applies here.

  • SimonP||

    Not surprised at all to see Eugene coming down on the side of the aggrieved, accused sexual assault criminal.

    Nothing here is particularly insightful, Eugene. It's been said countless times already. What did you think you were contributing to this debate, by farting all over it?

  • Michael W. Towns||

    "Criminal"?

  • SimonP||

    Seems likely.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Did you use owl or sheep entrails to determine that?

  • wreckinball||

    Big Foot is likely right?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not surprised at all to see the urbanite shitlib have a limpout over such an innocuous post.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Liberals are dreckvolk.

  • SimonP||

    Conservatives aren't any better.

  • SimonP||

    Your insults are less effective when they rely on a private vocabulary. Maybe use English?

  • Life of Brian||

    Your insults are less effective when they rely on a private vocabulary.

    I'm literally on the edge of my chair looking forward to learning what exactly is "private" about German.

  • SimonP||

    Pay attention to the way the thread is organized, then.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Just because you're a waste of carbon molecules doesn't mean the vocabulary is insufficient.

  • SimonP||

    Your decision to try to communicate with others outside of right-wing cesspools using language developed by and for those cesspool-dwellers makes no sense, regardless of whether I exist or not.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If you knew how to communicate outside of your left-wing disease vectoring cesspools, your vocabulary might be a bit broader.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "What did you think you were contributing to this debate, by farting all over it?"

    The term is "boofing," stupid.

  • CrispyBacon||

    According to urbandictionary, that's correct. At least based on multiple people having contributed that definition before the hearing, at least as far back as 2003. I learn new and idiotic things everyday.

  • ipsquire||

    If nothing in American slang changed between 1982 and 2003, you win.

  • CrispyBacon||

    Incorrect. It disproves the assertion that the most popular definition is the one and only definition which has persisted since at least the early 80s. The excitement on the Left that Kavanaugh lied was based on the silly premise that slang doesn't change (and very little research, obviously). This alternative past definition supports the credibility of Kavanaugh's assertion. "Corroboration," I believe it is called.

    Of course, you can put together a new and crazier theory, which is what a partisan does when the old one disintegrates. You can blame hackers. That's a good fallback in politics. You could say that Kavanaugh was desperately googling to find alternative definitions of terms and that is how he came up with it. Or simply admit, as you suggest, that slang does change, and the top result on urbandictionary proves nothing.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Not only does slang change, it's not even uniform from place to place. Often not even uniform in a given place, among different social circles.

  • SimonP||

    I mean, look. Does Kavanaugh have legitimate cause to be upset? One might allow as much. Does that mean we should give him a pass for throwing a goddamn temper tantrum in front of the Senate? Does that mean we have to lend credence to his ridiculous assertion that the treatment he's received has been profoundly unjust? Does that mean we ignore his little lies and obfuscations, or his lack of decorum or respect when addressing an elected member of a coequal branch?

    No, no, and no. The whole point of that hearing was to demonstrate to American women that Republicans voting for an anti-choice justice weren't entirely insensitive to their interests. They, and Kavanaugh, failed so spectacularly that it's hard for me to imagine they did it on accident. As thought the whole point of the hearing was to demonstrate that American women's lives don't matter.

  • Michael W. Towns||

    Everything you said in your post here is wrong.

  • SimonP||

    Thank you for your cogent analysis, moron.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He replied at the same level. Why are you upset?

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "moron"

    Tsk, tsk. Seems like you lost your temper.

  • SimonP||

    I'll be sure to conduct myself differently when I'm being confirmed to the Supreme Court, don't worry.

  • Finrod||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why so cranky, finrod? Can't find any black votes to suppress? A gay guy is being treated decently somewhere, or a woman was able to purchase contraception? Someone who speaks Spanish got that promotion you deserved? Your child learned about evolution in a science classroom?

  • MJBinAL||

    Wow Arty, tilt at stereotypes much?

    You DO realize how much of a stereotype YOU are?

    Maybe you should get out more, actually meet people who think differently with you. It is actually possible to figure out that gay people get along just fine all over the country, going to non-gay friends home, having non-friends visit at theirs. Speaking bits of Spanish, German, or French with friends over a beer while they tease you about your horrible accent.

    You know what I mean, people that are NORMAL. As compared to the stereotypes you have constructed in your own mind.

  • gormadoc||

    Even granting (without real reason) that Kavanaugh would independently crucify Roe v Wade and hang its corpse from the Capitol, a lot of women disagree with your assessment of "their best interests."

    Toxic hegemonic masculinity, much?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "a lot of women disagree with your assessment of "their best interests."

    Wow. Shows how much you know about internalized misogyny. Women aren't thinking for themselves unless they agree with feminists.

  • gormadoc||

    The fact that he agrees with feminists doesn't mean that feminists agree with him. To do so would be to surrender their agency to a system of oppression that minimizes alternative methods of agreement due to the fact that they are feminine in nature.

  • SimonP||

    What the hell are you talking about? I'm not even motioning in the direction of Roe. Let's review.

    The Republicans allowed for this second hearing, after the Ford allegations came out, specifically because they didn't think they could weather the blowback they'd get if they just confirmed Kavanaugh without at least hearing Ford out. The hearing, for them, was all about optics - about proving that they weren't completely insensitive to Ford's claims. Optics was also why they scoured the country for a female lawyer who would be willing to sacrifice her reputation for their political cause.

    So Kavanaugh's only job at the hearing was to present a plausible account of the events that happened (or didn't happen) that evening Ford claims she was attacked. His only job was to present himself as not the kind of asshole who would do that sort of thing.

    He failed miserably.

  • HMI||

    And you know that that was not righteous indignation but a temper tantrum because...

  • SimonP||

    A hearing where you're making the case for your confirmation to a lifetime post is not the time to lash out in "righteous indignation."

    No one is exactly faulting Kavanaugh for being angry or, indeed, terrified by what he's going through, particularly if he's actually innocent of what he's been accused of. But the way you handle this kind of treatment, in that kind of context, is to keep your head. That's what Hillary did when she was dragged before Congress - during her campaign! - to testify as part of the years-long Benghazi investigation. She had every right to be righteously indignant, to lash out at the Republicans asking her questions, etc. But she didn't yell, she didn't cry, she didn't make herself out to be the victim.

  • Don Nico||

    HRC has whined about being victimized many times. She has deliberately lied many times (remember landing under hostile fire in the former Yugoslavia - a complete fabrication).

    BK had the added burden of have these accusation level in a way that damaged his family. Only a sociopath would not have been angry.

    Having said that, I did not find his evasiveness and rudeness inappropriate.

  • SimonP||

    HRC has whined about being victimized many times. She has deliberately lied many times (remember landing under hostile fire in the former Yugoslavia - a complete fabrication).

    Of course, the relevant comparison is not to various statements Hillary has made over the years (the "landing under hostile fire" is a bizarre chestnut to bring up... I would think that any anti-Hillary toadie could come up with something far more recent), but specifically to her behavior before a congressional committee, transparently set up to undermine her presidential campaign. She would have had just as much right to react as some here claim Kavanaugh was entitled to react. But she did not.

    Having said that, I did not find his evasiveness and rudeness inappropriate.

    You're not alone. I am not sure why you'd admit to such a lack of good judgment, however.

  • Josh R||

    I thought Kavanaugh's lashing out at the Democrats undermined the narrative that he is a neutral umpire.

  • Michael W. Towns||

    Easy to be "neutral" when you're not accused of being an alcoholic gang rapist.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I missed the accusation from the Clintons.

    I can't believe he restrained himself before blurting "Soros! Alinsky! Darwin!"

  • David Bremer||

    And we all missed where he said it was "from the Clintons." We all heard him say that it was "revenge on behalf of the Clintons," which is different.

    Do you really think that the pushback on Kavanaugh has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary losing or Kavanaugh's involvement in the Ken Starr investigation? That the quick acceptance of and refusal to critically analyze Ford's testimony and worrying about whether he may have thrown ice at someone in college may be affect, even a little, by those politics? Or do you just want to cut to calling me a "clinger," put your head back in the sand, and hum?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Do you really think that the pushback on Kavanaugh has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary losing

    Justice Gorsuch says 'hi.'

  • CrispyBacon||

    Democrats thought Gorsuch was so unfit for office that they filibustered him. They desperately hoped to stop him and their failure doesn't mean anything. Of course, Feinstein may have received a letter detailing an assault by him too, but she had too much integrity to tell anyone in violation of the letter writer's wishes. Guess it was just too bad for Democrats that some unknown person didn't leak it.

    Gorsuch says hi.

  • David Bremer||

    So now you basically concede that Kavanaugh was right. Odd way of arguing, but whatevs.

  • SimonP||

    Do you really think that the pushback on Kavanaugh has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary losing or Kavanaugh's involvement in the Ken Starr investigation?

    It might have something to do, too, with his lying about his knowledge of the illegally-obtained private communications of Democratic senators, back in 2004 or thereabouts.

    But more directly, I don't think there's anything going on here, from the Democratic side, than simple politics. They saw the opportunity to push this confirmation until past the midterms, when they have a real shot at winning enough seats to start choosing justices, and they are playing their hand about as well as can be expected. No different from McConnell's decision not to bring Garland up for a vote. As Kavanaugh warned, what goes around, comes around.

    The idea that there is some conspiratorial revenge motive here is silly and solipsistic. Another demonstration of poor judgment, by Kavanaugh.

  • David Bremer||

    No different from McConnell's decision not to bring Garland up for a vote.

    You don't see a difference between choosing to not consider a candidate until after an election -- something the then Vice President once proposed--and alleging that the man is not just a rapist, but a serial gang rapist, digging through his yearbook to look for crude comments, and asking him all sorts of items about his high-school and college drinking and sexual activities.

    If this is were we are in politics, we're done. Count me out.

  • HMI||

    I thought the Democrats lashing out at Kavanaugh undermined the narrative that they are dispassionately weighing evidence and seeking the truth about the nominee.

    Kind of hard to say that without snickering, isn't it?

  • wreckinball||

    So he's not neutral about being personally accused of being a rapist? Go figure. man

  • santamonica811||

    Three possible reasons to not vote to confirm him
    1. The sexual assault allegations are true (or the possibility of them being true is, in your own individual judgment, too high to take the risk of a lifetime SCOTUS appt). Some people do not agree with this, under the theory of, "It happened so long ago, it would not be--even if true--a reflection of the man he is today. But I suspect that this is a minority view...that most people supporting him would say, "I seriously doubt you can convince me that he's guilty. But if you could, then of course I'd then oppose him"

    2. His temperament is suspect, based on (a) his anger in parts of his opening statement and (b) parts of his actual testimony. Some people find this compelling. (I do not, given his extensive history of behaving appropriately as a judge.) I suspect that most people agree with me, and would not disqualify based solely on this factor.

    ...[cont]...

  • santamonica811||

    ...[cont]...

    3. His repeated lies during his testimony. I have absolutely no idea how people break down into the camps of Absolutely Believe Ford, Mostly Believe Ford, Mostly Believe K, and Absolutely Believe K. Polling on this has not been done, and I'm not sure I'd trust the results--regardless of what the results showed. I am not sure how I feel about this. I am convinced that he lied several times. But I am not sure if any of those lies should disqualify him from getting the nomination.

    I can get K being angry and hostile at the hearing. I do not think I'd respond that way . . . but, thank God, I've never had to face anything like that. I do think I would have had the integrity to be a bit more honest, especially when acknowledging things that were pretty obvious to non-partisans on both sides.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I do think I would have had the integrity to be a bit more honest,

    Based on this post I don't know why you'd say that.

  • eyesay||

    santamonica811: You wrote, "I am convinced that he lied several times. But I am not sure if any of those lies should disqualify him from getting the nomination." I find this very strange. Remember, at the beginning of the hearing, he took an oath and affirmed that he would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He himself prosecuted President Clinton's impeachment for allegedly lying under oath. And now, you believe he lied under oath, several times, but that shouldn't disqualify him from getting the nomination???

  • Ben of Houston||

    Well, all of the things that the claimed lies that were told, the only clear falsehoods were about the meaning of slang.

    He has two defenses. One, he was misremembering slang from a very long time ago, and Two, the questions should never have been asked in the first place.

  • eyesay||

    He lied when he responded to Sen. Harris' question if he had heard Ford's testimony. He said he hadn't. The Wall Street Journal reported that an aide watched Kavanaugh watch Ford's testimony on a monitor in an office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. He lied when he claimed that various witnesses had exonerated him when all they said was they couldn't corroborate claims against him.

  • CrispyBacon||

    What lies?

  • Milesthatsme||

    I see a few problems with this analysis. First, it takes as its point of departure--as did Kavanaugh--that this was a partisan hit. To invert your point, isn't the question whether the allegations are baseless? Motivations strike me as secondary or irrelevant, if there is a reasonable foundation for the "unearned" allegations. Second, and related, I see remarkable insistence in the media on a false dichotomy: he is knowingly lying or she is. If one has memory issues and there is a genuine factual uncertainty, one ought to be extremely cautious about reducing the issue to improper motives. It is baffling to me that Kavanaugh would apparently acknowledge the credibility of Ford's sexual assault experience (denying his involvement), but launch into a partisan tirade. Third, the issue wasn't just temperament during immediate "provocations": it was pages of prepared remarks, his judgment upon the senate. Fourth, I have found Kavanaugh's avowed determination to secure the role, and appearance on the news, to be bizarre and unseemly (notwithstanding the obvious allure of the role).

  • Hello Cthulhu||

    In a way, I think that was the least worst alternative available to him. He couldn't directly accuse Ford of being a liar or otherwise attacking him in bad faith. Even if he believed that, our discourse doesn't really allow people to do that anymore. (And I suspect he genuinely doesn't blame her personally; at least I saw no evidence of insincerity from him on that point). So he was redirecting attention away from her to the people who staged this whole thing against him, and who mishandled Ford's initial letter, who sat on it until the last minute, and weaponized it, leaking her name to the media when that was emphatically not what Ford herself said she wanted. Beyond that... I don't know. I can sort of picture how someone in a movie might handle that in some idealized way, and I picture a sort of balance between healthy emotion and stoic resolve. But then, I've never been in that position, so I'm not confident that I can say how one ought to act in that instance.

  • Hello Cthulhu||

    I'll just add a thought. Since there's no evidence in play, no corroborating evidence to speak of, this is mostly being adjudicated on the basis of emotion. That is the coin of the realm here. In that world, do we hate the player, or hate the game?

  • Milesthatsme||

    Not sure if you're saying the lack of corroboration should excuse any emotions, or that Kavanaugh should lay down with dogs. I don't follow the first. With respect to the second, I guess I would hope he rises above. It wasn't the focus of Eugene's comment, but I'm also disturbed by Kavanaugh's lack of candor on related issues (likelihood of drinking to memory lapse, "devil's triangle"). I say that anxious that I may be condemning him for failing to supply embarrassing answers to questions not directly in issue. But I guess I don't think they're unrelated to the central allegation, and go beyond mere mudslinging.

  • Number 2||

    Sir, your argument is somewhat disingenuous. You write as though Ford's allegation is the only allegation that Kavanaugh confronted. But by the time of his testimony there were at least three other allegations against him, one of which was subsequently withdrawn (and the accuser apologizing for having raised it), and one absolutely absurd allegation that he facilitated gang rapes while in high school — made by an accuser who raised these allegations on almost the eve of his testimony and who later recanted her allegations substantially to the point of meaninglessness.

    May I remind you that Sen. Feinstein specifically questioned Kavanaugh about these baseless "gang rape" allegations? May I point out that Hillary Clinton's former speechwriter referred to Kavanaugh as a "known rapist?"

    Under these circumstances, a display of anger can be forgiven.

  • Milesthatsme||

    I might have missed Feinstein's question. But I don't imagine it involved a "deep dive". If you were confronted with a very credible allegation, and someone else came forward with a similar (but perhaps more incredible) allegation, you would not even to seek to "tick a box" by seeking a denial?

    Hillary Clinton's former speechwriter? Aren't you reinforcing my point?

  • cmcc_aus||

    He displayed a knife at a gun-fight. Isn't that grounds for a shooting in self-defense?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I think Kavanaugh's behavior was pretty poor, and his choice to take it out in a conspiratorial way is bad news.

    But I also think judicial temperament is not the same as appellate temperament. I have lots of reasons why I don't like this guy, and why I think he is unsuitable, but this ain't one of them.
    I don't think his lack of control means he can't be a professional on the bench.

    I also think arguing that liberals would have attacked just as hard if he'd acted calm is an awful argument. They may have tried, but there sure would have been less traction.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I also think arguing that liberals would have attacked just as hard if he'd acted calm is an awful argument. They may have tried, but there sure would have been less traction.

    Speaking of bad arguments... Surely you would have changed your (predetermined) mind, no?

  • Sarcastr0||

    ...If Kav had acted calmly I wouldn't have made the argument I just didn't make?

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    I agree with you, I don't find the whole temperament thing very persuasive. However his prepared statement would seem to support what many suspect, that he is a conservative, Republican hack masquerading as a neutral "ball and strike" judge. Most of the commenters here (and Prof. Volokh) know this to be true as well, and that's why they are arguing so hard in his defense.

  • captcrisis||

    Hillary Clinton has been accused of worse. Never lost her composure.

    So was Bill, for that matter. Never lost his composure.

    Horrible accusations were made against John Kerry. Never lost his composure.

    To be privileged, white, male and conservative is to be accorded amazing deference and understanding here at VC. Come to think of it, to be privileged, white, male and conservative is how one gets to be a VC'er in the first place.

  • mydisplayname||

    I appreciate satire -- and citing Bill Clinton, one of his sex partners [Hillary], and John Kerry as folks who never lost composure despite overwhelming, corroborated, factual evidence is the best satire I've seen so far this year!!

    Yes, it is amusingly sad when someone (for example) who obviously perjured himself is acquitted yet one who is guiltless is effectively sentenced to death: I agree wholeheartedly that it is amusingly sad that the racially-selected , privileged, and unqualified -- the Clintons, Obamas, and Kerrys of the world -- achieve positions of authority over their honest, hard-working, judicially-minded betters. How can we fix the problem? How can we make it impossible for chaff to overtake the corn?

  • BadLib||

    Yes, but Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and John Kerry are all politicians - a.k.a. "professional liars". As part of that job they have ingrained in them the ability to put on false public face -- including not seeming flustered by accusations, whether they be false or true.

    Kavanaugh picked a different field which doesn't require him to routinely lie and conceal his true beliefs and emotions.

    It's really hard to meaningfully compare the two species.

  • SimonP||

    Ah, so he routinely lies and conceals his true beliefs just because he chooses to, then.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

  • eyesay||

    NotAnotherSkippy: That video was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying in Senate Hearings on Benghazi, in which Republicans had been promoting a narrative that Clinton or others in the State Department lied in real time about why the attackers chose to attack the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. There was a real partisan and groundless witch-hunt against Clinton about this, and Secretary Clinton responded to a question in this video. Notably, unlike Judge Kavanaugh, Clinton did not allege that the hearing was a sham, that her family had been dragged through the mud, or that the hearing is premised on a partisan attack (which it actually was). And unlike Judge Kavanaugh, her answers were never flippant, like Kavanaugh's response to Senator Klobuchar. So, what is your point?

  • MJBinAL||

    "promoting a narrative that Clinton or others in the State Department lied in real time about why the attackers chose to attack the U.S. embassy in Benghazi" .... that turned out to be true.

    "There was a real partisan and groundless witch-hunt against Clinton about this" ... turned out to be partisan but well grounded.

    "Clinton did not allege that the hearing was a sham, that her family had been dragged through the mud, or that the hearing is premised on a partisan attack" ... which was highly unusual for her since that was her normal response to being caught with lying.

    Yeah, you are a piece of work.

  • eyesay||

    Investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack

    Ten investigations were conducted into the 2012 Benghazi attack, six of which by Republican-controlled House committees. Problems were identified with security measures at the Benghazi facilities, due to poor decisions made by employees of the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and specifically its director Eric Boswell, who resigned under pressure in December 2012. Despite numerous allegations against Obama administration officials of scandal, cover-up and lying regarding the Benghazi attack and its aftermath, none of the ten investigations found any evidence to support those allegations.

    "What a piece of work is man!" is a phrase within a soliloquy by Prince Hamlet in William Shakespeare's play of the same name. Hamlet is reflecting, at first admiringly, and then despairingly, on the human condition.

    Political discourse was in my living memory about issues, but now it is about lies. After wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer money on pointless investigations that failed to bear out any of their accusations, millions of pieces of work like MJBinAL cling to the lie that there was a Benghazi scandal and it was led by Secretary of State Clinton. I share Hamlet's dispair.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "So was Bill, for that matter. Never lost his composure."

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Well, Bill, at least, was lying. That's at least a possible reason that your other examples reacted differently from Kavanaugh, no?

  • Don Nico||

    "privileged, white, male and conservative"

    you could not resist the identity politics attack; it's pure crappola.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "So was Bill, for that matter. Never lost his composure.So was Bill, for that matter. Never lost his composure.

    Its like you never saw the "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" press conference.

    Eye bulging and vein popping. Not the only time either.

  • dunlop212||

    For goodness sake, he has been on the bench for decades. If he had a temperament problem, we would have heard about it. In every court all of the lawyers practicing know exactly which judges have excellent, and less than excellent, temperament. It is the easiest judicial qualification to ascertain. But it does not surprise me that some law professors, who often have no courtroom (or much real life) experience, would be ignorant of this.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Speaking of ignorance, some people seem to have missed that American Bar Association expressly examined Brett Kavanaugh's "temperament problem" more than a decade ago.

  • David Bremer||

    And were so concerned about it that they warned the judiciary committee that he was ill-equipped to be a judge.... or wait...

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Professor Volokh, the annals of history and literature abound with tales of respected persons unjustly, and even infamously, accused. Can you think of any instance which details a defense even approximating that of Judge Kavanaugh? What was the response of Socrates? Of Joan of Arc? Of Galileo? Of Anne Hutchinson? Of Emile Dreyfus? Of Robert Oppenheimer? Which of them behaved the way Judge Kavanaugh has? What example do you suggest?

    People of stature defend themselves against injustice by serene reliance on truth, and on faith that reason can disclose truth. They show that by their utterances, and by their demeanor. They do that with full understanding that it may not work, and that they may suffer an unjust fate. Even knowing that, they defend the notion of truth before descending, as Kavanaugh did, to calumny, evasions, and pathos. Which, they also understand, are notably less likely than truth to exonerate them. In the end, people of stature are content, before disgracing themselves, to take what comes, and let the truth come out in its own good time.

    Finally, judges have a special obligation by virtue of the honor of their position, to advance by their own conduct the idea that truth has power to exonerate the innocent. Failure in that regard must always be regarded as a disqualification in a judge. Judge Kavanaugh's failure could not have been more conspicuous, or more damaging.

  • mydisplayname||

    "What was the response of Socrates?" Death. "Of Joan of Arc?" Death. "Of Galileo?" Death. [etc]

    Is your point that one falsely accused should just shut up and die honorably? Isn't that contrary to our American values? That is, don't we as American value listening to each and every pleading of the accused and impose penalty only when we are convinced -- absolute convinced, beyond all reasonable doubt -- that the accused has done the thing of which he is accused?

    Isn't is refreshing -- rather than alarming -- that one who has been accused, but has not been proved guilty has been selected for the highest Court? Doesn't the very public experience prove that he had the mindset necessary to consider the most difficult judicial matters?

    Or would it be better for him, as a Justice, simply to accept every unproved allegation and to immediately sentence to death any uppity nigger who danes to think for himself... any man who dares to challenge the unthinking mob which falsely accuses him? Do we want a Justice who caves to peer pressure or a Justice who, through first-hand experience, knows how difficult it is to overcome ignorance?

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    mydisplayname: ""Of Galileo?" Death."

    That's a step too far. It was house arrest. Perhaps an intellectual "death," but ... whatever.

  • gormadoc||

    Galileo was also an idiot in that affair. Going against the Pope's wishes and incidentally insulting him after alienating his relevant friends was pretty dumb.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Blaming Galileo? The Catholic Church was no better then than it is today. It is an enduring, ornate monument to childish gullibility and a remarkably persistent taste for poisonous superstition. Neither are Catholics any better. Long after the Galileo experience and despite decades of revelations of the Catholic Church's systematic facilitation and concealment of abuse of children for self-interest, the church still benefits from the lack of character among ostensible adults dense enough to send children to be altar boys.

  • MJBinAL||

    Arty,

    Although some of your points on the Roman Catholic Church are well taken, even if expressed with your usual hyperbole, your response is inappropriate. The point made on Galileo was not to suggest that the actions of the Church were appropriate, but rather that Galileo was politically stupid by first alienating his political (yes, with the Church) protectors before insulting and flaunting the Pope.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I don't fault people for declining to appease nonsense and flatter brutal, stale authoritarians.

  • mad_kalak||

    The vote to sentence Socrates to death was higher than the vote to convict him. Why? Because he pushed back against the legitimacy of the trial. Not unlike Kavenaugh.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Someone who is constantly preening his credentials as an historian should know that Dreyfus' first name was Alfred.
    Also: have you read The Apology?
    If Kav had been as flippant as Socrates, he would have been crucified worse than he is now.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I am not an historian, and have never claimed to be one.

  • turco||

    Good catch. Emile [zola] is the journalist who wrote the open letter about Dreyfus per my vague recollection from high school

  • Milesthatsme||

    How dare you, sir! The Apology was delightful.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Delightful indeed.
    It was the first work of philosophy I ever read. Hooked ever since.
    But for Lathrop to suggest that Kavanaugh's response should have been patterned after that of Socrates is astonishingly ignorant.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "What was the response of ... Joan of Arc?"

    Yeah, I'll bet she screamed while she burned. Terrible comportment for a so-called Saint.

  • Kazinski||

    That's hilarious Stephen, I really didn't think you had the self awareness to self parody like that.

    Well done.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    People fought duels over slander for goodness sake. Slanders from lower classes would result in a whipping, maybe worse.

    Yet no one ever lost their temper ever in recorded history.

  • ravenshrike||

    Galileo was an intemperate asshole who regularly derided his colleagues work and only got in trouble because he insulted the pope, not because of his theory. Then those same colleagues whom he derided told him to take a long walk off a short plank and wouldn't support him in his trial because he was such a gigantic asshole to them.

  • Teecrafter||

    You confused Alfred Dreyfus with Emile Zola, French novelist who defended Dreyfus against false accusations of treason against France. Zola wrote the great essay, "J'Accuse!" Zola was accused of writing a rant. But if you read and understand the history of both of these men, you wouldn't call it a rant at all. Some people such as the Dems who made a brawl out of the hearings need to grow up. You should too.

    Personally, I believe Judge Kavanagh acquitted himself well during the hearings. You can't empathize with someone who has been falsely accused of a detestable crime unless it has happened to you or yours.

    I'll exult over Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation.

  • Mr. Hook||

    So if a defendent on trial for attempted rape lashed out and blamed his situation on a cospiracy, neither judge nor jury should consider that behaviour in evaluating his credibility? Gosh shucks, he's just freaked out about the accusation. Totally understandable, nothing that should impact the evaluation. Y'all are finding your inner bleeding heart liberal here.

  • Hello Cthulhu||

    That's a false memory. He never alleged a conspiracy. The closest he came to that was this:

    "This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups."

    https://bit.ly/2RkX9kX

    Is there any part of that claim that is inaccurate or suggests some organized conspiracy theory? I'd see it rather as a convergence of interests - more bottom-up than top-down. The "calculated and orchestrated" refers to Feinstein (or her advisors) weaponizing the allegation, holding it as a card to play until the very last minute.

    I would only differ in this: I'm not sure how well thought-out this was on Feinstein's part. Incompetence could explain her role in this quite well. It could well be that, once this was out there, it was turned into a cause celebre as a matter of political opportunism.

  • drilldrive||

    To claim a calculated and orchestrated political hit is indeed, by definition, alleging conspiracy. I would rather argue that alleging conspiracy is not a wrongful act in itself, as it was quite likely to have been committed by actors on behalf of Feinstein here. But don't lie and distort the usual definitions of words.

  • Beldar||

    In this testimony, he is acting as a nominee for judicial office. That he's a sitting judge in another court does not turn this into a judicial proceeding.

    "Judicial temperament" refers to one's temperament when acting as a judge. If, God forbid, these hearings continue, I suggest that the GOP senators subpoena, as witnesses to Judge Kavanaugh's temperament as a judge and an educator, the Hon. Merrick Garland, who literally sits next to Judge Kavanaugh at every DC Circuit en banc, and the Hon. Justice Elana Kagan, who hired and retained him as a teacher at Harvard Law.

    But let's suppose that Judge Kavanaugh's performance indicates that he's an injudicious witness when being personally attacked, regardless of whether the allegations are true or false. If he's confirmed to the SCOTUS, do they expect that he'll be serving as a witness there?

    This whole thing is hypocrisy on stilts, from people so outrageously undignified themselves that they ought be struck by lightning when the float these smears.

  • James Pollock||

    "'Judicial temperament' refers to one's temperament when acting as a judge."

    "Temperament" is an aspect of personality. A person can have the sort of temperament that suits judgment, or one that does not.

    It's certainly reasonable to suspect that job candidate Kavanaugh's actions suggest poorer suitability than was previously assumed. There are only 9 spots on the USSC. While it is not necessary that those 9 slots be filled by the 9 most judicially-temperamented persons in the nation, it is certainly true that we expect the 9 to be among the highest such persons available. If Judge Kavanaugh shows that he is not, then I suggest that this is sufficient reason to not promote him.

  • Beldar||

    @ James Pollock: And what example do you have of him "show[ing] he is not," other than this one afternoon? Do you have even a single example of him being injudicious, rude, loud, red-faced, angry, defensive, choked up — anything you consider an indication of unsuitability as a judge — when he had a robe on?

    I repeat, sir, this is hypocrisy on stilts, on water skis.

  • M.L.||

    Good comment.

  • JoeB1||

    I dunno, I thought most of the bluster was just cover for his frequent lies and related refusal to take the proceeding seriously. Every time someone asked a question his response was "I'm outraged you would imply the loosely connected thing I imagined your question implies!"

    How gullible do you have to be to believe that "Renate Alumnus" was some innocent... I don't know what? I suppose it's possible there's an innocent explanation, but he declined to provide it.

    He kept characterizing the statements by the people Ford said were there as denials that the assault occurred, when they merely said they didn't remember it. He said that he'd never been to a party like the one she described, which was a small gathering at someone's home where alcohol was served.

    Kavanaugh has no integrity.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    How gullible do you have to be . . .

    If there is one reliable element with respect to the current conservative-Republican electoral base, it is gullibility. These are ostensible adults who know Obama was born in Kenya, believe fairy tales are true, and were convinced that Pres. Trump would rework economic fundamentals not only to enable half-educated, unskilled, disaffected white males in can't-keep-up backwaters to prosper but also to deliver that result at the expense of accomplished "elites" and modern, successful communities.

  • MJBinAL||

    "These are ostensible adults who know Obama was born in Kenya" .... mostly those who read "Dreams of my Father" and believed it! LOL

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Plenty of birthers in Alabama, I am confident. Good schools and modern communities, not so much.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Arthur L. Hicklib still can't get over getting the crap kicked out of him by the stronger, smarter poor black kids.

  • BigHands||

    I am not very concerned about Kavanaugh's display of outrage over being accused of a sexual assault. The accusation is serious and guilty or not it does not surprise me that he would mount a vigorous and emotional defense. Nor do I necessarily have much to say about whether or not his chocking-back-the-tears statement was sincere or mere theatre, people can and will make their own determination on that.

    My objection to Kavanaugh's temperament - in both in the sexual assault "investigational" and Senate confirmation hearings - was his lack of candor and integrity. My objection to his temperament lies in his dissimulate answers, in the dissembling, the disingenuous manner, the misrepresentations, the misdirections, the refusal to answer direct questions (not related to specific legal questions that might come before SCOTUS) and the outright lies going back to his 2004 confirmation hearings.

  • James Pollock||

    "I am not very concerned about Kavanaugh's display of outrage over being accused of a sexual assault. The accusation is serious and guilty or not it does not surprise me that he would mount a vigorous and emotional defense."

    I am.
    I see three possibilities:

    1. The accusation is true, in which case Judge Kavanaugh is lying, which disqualifies him for the position.

    2. The accusation is false, and maliciously so. In which case the response I'd prefer in a judicial nominee is to dispassionately wait it out, because attacks are part of the political process but judges are not supposed to be political.

    3. The accusation is false, but mistaken rather than malicious. Again, my preference would be for judges to have a temperament that doesn't include emotional response to a mistake.

    Part of the reason the Senate has a role in filling judicial positions is to ensure that judicial appointments are broadly acceptable. The task of filling appointments is poliltical, as parties try to appoint (and confirm) judges who are broadly supportive of party policy. There are large numbers of judges who are qualified and acceptable to both parties. It's a political choice to select a candidate who is not acceptable to the opposition party, and a political choice to oppose a nomination.

  • granite state destroyer||

    "The accusation is serious". Serious to Ford perhaps. Even if it happened exactly as she described it, it doesn't mean it was serious from Kavanaugh's point of view. Boys like to give girls a scare and sometimes they cross the line. I don't understand why Kavanaugh couldn't just say "I apologize if it happened, I don't remember the event, I certainly would not have intended it as maliciously the way Ms. Ford remembers it, and I certainly don't act that way now as a mature adult." End of story. Makes me think the GOP actually wanted all this to blow-up into a media circus - certainly doesn't hurt with fund raising.

  • bernard11||

    I don't understand why Kavanaugh couldn't just say "I apologize if it happened, I don't remember the event, I certainly would not have intended it as maliciously the way Ms. Ford remembers it, and I certainly don't act that way now as a mature adult." End of story.

    My guess is that he doesn't think he should have to apologize for something he regards as mere "horseplay." I don't think he's particularly good at understanding other points of view.

  • mydisplayname||

    "Would I be 'temperate' if faced with such public accusations? Courteous? Impartial? Would I really refrain from anything that might be called 'inflammatory,' and be sure never to 'interrupt[]'? Would you?"

    No, I wouldn't: I would fight as best I could. I might not win... but my position, as well as my fight, would be well known and might serve as an example notably frightening to my accusers and notably admirable to my defenders. Is is wrong for unjust accusers to be shamed? Is it wrong for the unjustly accused to have hope?

  • James Pollock||

    "No, I wouldn't: I would fight as best I could"

    OK. You ALSO might not be temperamentally suited to the US Supreme Court, and that's OK, because you weren't nominated.

    But Judge Kavanaugh was.

  • Leo Marvin||

    "OK. You ALSO might not be temperamentally suited to the US Supreme Court"

    Liar. You probably think "tempermentally suited" means adding and removing layers. Nobody's more tempermentally suited to the Supreme Court than anonymous blog thread commenters. Shut up. I'm onto you now. You can't silence me by beaming Rachel Maddow into my fillings. So screw you. And shut up.

  • bernard11||

    I would fight as best I could.

    But throwing a temper tantrum is not fighting. Belligerence isn't going to get you many allies.

    You might, for example, demand a thorough FBI investigation, something Kavanaugh notably declined to ask for. You could even try to turn this to your advantage by saying something like,

    "I hope I learn something from this terrible experience. Understanding what it is like to be falsely accused will, I think, help me in my work on the bench, etc."

    Or you can yell and scream.

  • MJBinAL||

    Funny, I never saw a temper tantrum. You must have a very low standard for tantrum.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    The disagreement, mydisplayname, is over what constitutes, "fight as best I could."

    My point was that our culture has a centuries old norm for that, and Kavanaugh's antics aren't it. The best fight is calm, reasonable, confident of vindication—and maybe a bit anguished, but with the anguish barely perceptible—conveyed more in making confidence apparent that the audience feels what you suffer, not in anything you say outright. No room there for bathos, hysteria, conspiracy mongering, or deceptive answers. Attacks on your interrogators are permissible, if done calmly, but recommended only for experts, like Anne Hutchinson—who so turned the tables on her antagonists by using their own arguments against them, that they were rendered speechless.

    Nothing like that from Kavanaugh.

    I hope you see the problem. The standard prescribed is not one Joe Average can accomplish. Joe Average—overwhelmed as he is with emotion, lacking faith in mere truth, and bereft of any special power of reason—can only howl, snarl, and evade. Just like Kavanaugh. And alas for Kavanaugh, so too can any guilty accused howl, snarl and evade.

    Do you see now why what Kavanaugh did may have been a fight as best he could, and why it served him poorly, possibly unjustly, yet still appropriately? Why? Because in the process, Kavanaugh showed that he is indeed Joe Average, and thus not fit material for the Supreme Court. And he failed to clear the charges.

  • QuantumBoxCat||

    If Kavanaugh didn't want to endure this horrible treatment he could have easily withdrew his name for consideration. To say his family is enduring hardship (present tense) rings kind of hallow when he could dampen that hardship with one action; withdrawing his name. He's a big boy and he should take responsibility for his choices, one of those choices being to accept the nomination and enter the political lion's den, and then to remain in consideration after the accussation was made. I have trouble empathizing with that.

    I understand the response to this, which is that if he withdrew then it let's his opponents "win." Okay; then stay in and keep fighting the good fight. But, don't act like it wasn't and isn't a choice. He sounds like a gen-y student who wants the benefits associated with a course of action but none of the costs that are also associated with it. If he's ultimately appointed I'm sure he'll find empathy from Justice Thomas. They can sit and lamemt on how awful it is to be victims in this cruel, cruel, world we live in.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Bullshit.
    To quote a famous community organizer: "punch back twice as hard".
    Right now this charade is causing the vulnerable Dems to hemorrhage votes
    Heitkamp is toast and Donnelly is on life support.
    Keep it up.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Got it.

    You guys install Kavanaugh.

    The modern, educated, successful liberal-libertarian alliance will put two justices on that bench.

    Kavanaugh will spend a couple of decades penning seething dissents, and conservatives will revert to their natural position of muttering bitterly about all of this damned progress, science, tolerance, education, modernity, liberty, and inclusivity.

    Good times. Carry on, clingers.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    In 50 years we've gone from Nixon to Trump.
    I think you're misreading the angle on that arc.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The Republicans went from Nixon to Trump. America is better than that. This is still Obama's America, a point neither a triple-cushion bank shot on Election Day nor an approval rating in the 30s can challenge. Obama would beat Trump even if every racist Republican -- not those who merely appeased bigotry, but the ardent racists -- got to vote twice.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Smooth, pulling out the Alinsky like a Freeper.

    This nomination fight has definitely pulled some conservatives closer to 'my opposition is my enemy' territory.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And revealed that liberals don't really care about presumption of innocence or even evidence. Emotion is all that is needed to discover the truthiness of the world. J'accuse has always worked well, I thought.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Calling for an investigation isn't the same as assuming guilt.

    The conservative meme that liberals are the emotional ones has not been well proven by the comments here these past few days.

  • James Pollock||

    "The conservative meme that liberals are the emotional ones has not been well proven by the comments here these past few days."

    Factional claims about other factions are not known for their pinpoint accuracy.

  • James Pollock||

    "And revealed that liberals don't really care about presumption of innocence or even evidence. Emotion is all that is needed to discover the truthiness of the world."

    Hmm. You're FOR a presumption of innocence but AGAINST investigating people to see if they actually are innocent. And criticizing your opponents for having their minds made up without evidence.

    Does that just about sum it up?

  • Sarcastr0||

    If Kav were presumed guilty he was in jail.

    I also like the 'presumption of innocence requires we don't investigate. Also that liberal witch is lying and crazy.'

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    To quote a famous community organizer: "punch back twice as hard".

    Shame in you. Obama did NOT say that ... so the bullshit is entirely yours. What we've come to expect from your Authoritarian Right. Plus your views in the midterms are .. hilarious. Too much time deep in a partisan cave?

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    You are technically correct in that the words came out of the mouth of his lackey, Messina, with no record of Obama having repudiated said statement.
    Obama did provide us, however, with this little eliminationist gem: "if they bring a knife, we bring a gun".

  • gormadoc||

    You don't *have* to respond to Hihn. I know it's tradition to do so but it's rather pointless.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    gormadoc|10.2.18 @ 11:43PM|#
    You don't *have* to respond to Hihn. I know it's tradition to do so but it's rather pointless.

    I'm not a Hihn, and this is the third time I've humiliated you on this page
    (so far)

    Three strikes. You're OUT

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Smooth Like a Rhapsody,
    Your original partisan hack was proven a lie.
    Your revised one is also what we call ... self-defense.
    Will you go for a third blunder?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Keep this up, Smooth, and you too can make Dumbfuck Hihnsano's Enemies List.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    QuantumBoxCat: I agree. Kavanaugh should take one for the team and withdraw his name. He should do it graciously and give the important reason -- that this is tearing the nation apart and is one step closer to the court losing the confidence of the other party and of the people. And that he won't lend himself to that process anymore.

    He should be the one offering the olive branch. It certainly won't be the Democrats, who are still outraged about Merrick Garland and forget all /they/ have done over the years. And who are already planning to hold up SCOTUS appointments as long as necessary and (if some are to be believed) later expand and pack the court.

    So give them their victory. Let's take a deep breath and try to defuse. For goodness sake, the Republicans will probably hold on to the Senate, and there are any number of well-qualified, libertarian or originalist jurists out there who can be nominated and approved.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "He should do it graciously and give the important reason -- that this is tearing the nation apart and is one step closer to the court losing the confidence of the other party and of the people."

    Here's my proposed withdrawal statement:

    I am hereby with drawing my name from nomination, I believe it will tear the country apart less if we have two or three nominees unfairly smeared, than just one. I urge the President to nominate a suitable Democrat, because that's the only way Democrats would not lose confidence in the Court.

    How's that? Stupid enough to match your suggestion?

  • swood1000||

    It seems to really come down to the following:

    I hereby withdraw my name from nomination because I believe that any judicial candidate who is charged with a criminal offense that he or she is unable to conclusively disprove should withdraw his or her name whether or not there is any corroboration for the allegation, the effect this will have on the future generation of such allegations notwithstanding.

  • Bruce Hayden||

    Huh? I missed Kavenaugh having been charged with any crimes, or even civil offenses. My memory is vague, unsubstantiated claims were lodged against him, each one more outrageous than the previous one, with the third one having him running a gang rape ring, that somehow avoided police scrutiny for several years, despite apparently involving dozens and dozens of participants.

    Indeed, with the evidence at hand, giving Ford the benefit of the doubt, if she had gone to the police 35 years earlier when the events allegedly happened, it is unlikely that the police would have charged Kavenaugh. The sexual assault involved a drunk teenaged boy trying to get to second base with a drunk teenaged girl. They could probably fill up their courts, and jails, for the year, on any Friday night if they went around arresting guys for that. And they had much more important things to worry about, like actual rapes. And if putting a hand over someone's mouth is attempted murder, then my wife would be on death row for all the times she has done that to me.

    But, of course, Ford has no real corroboration, not being able to nail down location, participants, date, or even year. She first "remembered" this 30 years later, when Romney was rumored to be considering him for SCOTUS. And she won't even release those therapist notes. Zip, zero, nada.

  • Bruce Hayden||

    Let me add that no court of law would convict Kavenaugh for either sexual assault on the facts presented, even if the statute of limitations had not run well over 30 years ago. None of her material allegations have been corroborated, while several of them (esp involving the participants) have been refuted. None of the people whom she claimed to have been there have corroborated her story, and most have denied it. A criminal conviction would, of course, require finding him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But I don't think, with what the public has seen right now, that she would even win in civil court, proving her case by a preponderance of the evidence.

    That is not to say that it didn't happen, but rather that she just hasn't come anywhere close to making a winning case. The point is that in a court of law, the standard is not the seriousness of the charges, per se, that matters, but the seriousness of the charges that can realistically be supported by the evidence at hand, sufficient for a conviction. Here, the most serious charge that could credibly have resulted in a conviction was drinking under age, which both of them were apparently doing, if her story is true (and both have admitted to having done as teenagers).

  • Bruce Hayden||

    One more thing - one problem with an Attempted Murder charge is that that crime requires specific intent. Scienter. What she thought was happening was almost irrelevant. It isn't her thoughts that mattered, but his. Trying to keep her quiet by putting his hand over her mouth is most often not attempted murder, because the one doing it isn't trying to kill her, just quiet her. Wrong intent. Now, if someone did put their hand over someone's mouth to silence them, and they died, you would very likely have some sort of homicide, probably either depraved heart/mind second degree murder or manslaughter. But not attempted murder.

  • swood1000||

    Huh? I missed Kavenaugh having been charged with any crimes, or even civil offenses.

    Didn't Ford, in her senate testimony, charge him with attempted rape?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "If Kavanaugh didn't want to endure this horrible treatment he could have easily withdrew his name for consideration."

    Seriously? Sure, and if Ford didn't want death threats she could have kept her mouth shut. That's the argument you're making?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    No, that was clearly NOT his argument.
    And he could have argued for withdrawal based Kavanaugh's many lies and evasions on the most critical questions.

  • MJBinAL||

    That IS the argument he made.
    And although he COULD have argued for other reasons for withdrawal, he did not.

    Oh, and you are full of shit.

  • Kazinski||

    It amazes me to see such an out of touch post at Reason/Volokh.

    Well I for one welcome our new female overlords (of whatever gender).

    It's the results that matter.

    Its refreshing to have a new regime that values things like results they like rather than confusing, and disempowering, measures like principles or reasoning, or any of that other white male, and indeed, on this blog, JUDEAU-christian excuse making.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Nice meltdown. JUDEAU was a masterstroke.

    I think you're on the wrong thread.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Could someone explain "JUDEAU?" I do not visit Stormfront..

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Judeo-Christian

  • James Pollock||

    Judeau is that martial art that emphasizes using an enemy's strength against him.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Sounds a lot like Judo.

  • swood1000||

    Is this the one practiced by the Jedi?

  • MJBinAL||

    No, NO ,NO!

    This is the FARCE, you are thinking of the FORCE!

  • swood1000||

    Sometimes I really miss the up-vote option on this forum.

  • Kazinski||

    You have to get in meltdown mode when you are trying channel Kav's opposition.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Its refreshing to have a new regime that values things like results they like

    The "regime" that has ALREADY added more 8-year debt, in less than two years, than Obama did AFTER his 8 years? And threatens much more? THAT regime? (Obama's actual vs CBO estimate for 2024)

    The first "regime" to EVER increase the deficit ... by more than 50% .. in a single year ... in a booking economy ,... after inheriting, from Obama, the longest recovery EVER for an incoming President? THAT regime?

  • gormadoc||

    You make recoveries sound like you want to be in one forever... That's not true for broken limbs and not true for economies. You want to get to business as normal as quickly as possible. Otherwise Japan would be a shining example of an economy: their recovery has been going on for almost 30 years!

    And I'm pretty sure FDR would take the cake on "length of recovery for an incoming president;" he served more terms.

  • gormadoc||

    Oh, wait, you're Hihn. Please don't talk to me; it'll be a waste of time if you expect a response.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Oh, wait, you're Hihn

    Does Hihn also enjoy humiliating you in public?

    it'll be a waste of time if you expect a response.

    It's not nice to ridicule the mentally handicapped.
    So I'll stop. (sneer)

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    You make recoveries sound like you want to be in one forever.

    WTF?
    WHAT OTHER PRESIDENT INCREASED THE DEFICIT BY OVER 50% ... IN A BOOMING ECONOMY??? .... And has ALREADY added more 8-year debt than Obama did, AFTER 8 years.

    Emphasis added for the mentally impaired

    And I'm pretty sure FDR would take the cake on "length of recovery for an incoming president";

    HIS WAS THE SHORTEST!!! THE RECOVERY BEGAN THE SAME MONTH HE TOOK OFFICE!!!
    PROOF!!! http://www.nber.org/cycles.html

    he served more terms.

    NOT AS AN INCOMING PRESIDENT!

    Did you enjoy humiliating yourself publicly???

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano having another bitchfit.

  • MJBinAL||

    Yep, if Hihnsana is looking for humiliation, he should start with his mirror.

  • swood1000||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano having another bitchfit.

    His posts bear an uncanny resemblance to those of posters having different names but who were apparently banned (under their then current names) and all their posts unceremoniously removed. I'm betting that it won't be long this time either.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    This is the first one I've read on his rage. Mostly I've read concerns about his blatant partisanship and wacko conspiracy theories. That may not be temperament, but it suggests a long list of topics he'd not be impartial on. Lawrence Tribe had a lengthy list of serious issues.that Kavanaugh should recuse himself from, and suggested he not be confirmed unless he states, under oath, what he would recuse himself from.

    Trianal warriors won't see a problem with this, since they believe all "progs" are communists in disguise. But we adults recall than Scalia and Ginsburg were the best friends, and alway spoke highly of each other, I believe that's called professionalism.

    Kavanaugh's many lies and refusals to answer critical questions -- would likely not be tolerated in his own courtroom Defiantly thumbing one's nose at the Rule of Law is hardly an admirable trait for a Supreme Court Justice, though no doubt impressive to the Authoritarian Right.

  • DjDiverDan||

    This whole todo about Kavanaugh not having the proper judicial temperament is yet more proff of how pathologically dishonest, corrupt, and malignant the left has become. I only hope that Diane Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, and Sheldon Whitehouse drop dead soon enough so that I can piss on each of their graves.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Agree. His being so massive as liar is far more important.

    Kavanaugh committed perjury several times, repeating two lies..

    1) He claims he was legally allowed to drink beer, but his drinking was illegal. The drinking age in Maryland changed to 21, before he became a senior, and he was not 18 as a junior. Associated Press

    2) He also lied that the other four people at the party have "denied" the events. HE is the only one denying it. The others all said they could not remember it, BIG difference. Only one other student was in the room, Mark Judge, and even he did not deny it happened, only that he could not recall it. AP Fact Check

    Worst of all his many lies and refusals to answer critical questions -- which he likely would not allow in his own countroom.

    Most notable to me, Kavanaugh twice REFUSED to answer if he was the out of control drunk depicted in Mark Judges book as "Bart O'Kavanaugh." (wink wink) Is that because he was under oath? (lol)

    Check the sources.

    Left - Right = Zero
    Both authoritarian, less than 40% of Americans, and still shrinking..

  • James Pollock||

    "This whole todo about Kavanaugh not having the proper judicial temperament is yet more proff of how pathologically dishonest, corrupt, and malignant the left has become."

    Well, either that, or it's further proof that selecting Judge Kavanaugh was and is a poor candidate for the Supreme Court.

    It's quite possible that it's both at the same time.

  • MonitorsMost||

    So what you're saying is there is no proper way how a victim should act?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Depends which tribe the victim is in.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "So what you're saying is there is no proper way how a victim should act?"

    Sure. And the people who usually say that are now saying that a victim shouldn't be angry. Crazy times, eh?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Ford was not angry. And Kavanaugh is berated for his vicious partisan attacks and wacko conspiracy theories .. which proves he's incapable of making impartial judgments.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Ford was not angry."

    Maybe she's not a victim. I wonder if her ex-bf that she stole money from is angry.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Every time an old, cranky, stale-thinking, bigoted white guy makes a crack about Prof. Ford or talks about women in general -- * TING * -- a young, educated, modern woman in America gets her electoral wings, for life.

    America will continue to become greater as its electorate becomes less rural, less white, less religious, less intolerant, less backward. Good times ahead, especially after we navigate the next couple of years.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    You think educated women get their wings when a man suggests that a woman might not be a victim? Seriously, how little respect to you have to have for women to be a progressive like you, Arthur?

  • William_Zanzinger||

    Making sure the justices have good judgment is far more important, IMHO, than demonstrating empathy for the nominee.

  • California Dreamer||

    I understand Judge Kavanaugh's distress at being placed in that situation, and I'm willing to cut him some slack with respect to his anger and his tears, but I was less sympathetic to other aspects of his testimony. He filibustered; i.e., he recognized that each Senator had only 5 minutes, and he gave long, rambling, nonresponsive answers that took up as much time as possible. Also, he appeared to be evasive when answering questions about his drinking. In short, he sounded like Bill Clinton at a deposition. It was also inappropriate when Clinton did it, but at least Clinton was a politician and the defendant in a lawsuit, not a nominee for the highest court in the nation. Those kinds of tactics (which were completely absent from Ford's testimony) are unacceptable in this context.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    There is also the ever so slight difference that Clinton perjured himself during that deposition.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    There is also the ever so slight difference that Clinton perjured himself during that deposition.

    (laughing out loud)

    WASHINGTON - President Clinton escaped indictment yesterday by surrendering his Arkansas law license for five years and admitting that he made false statements under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

    Let us know when Kavanaugh admits ALL his many lies under oath, okay?

    Anything else?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That kind of puts Kavanaugh at a disadvantage, in that you can only confess your lies if you've lied.

    Clinton admitted he'd lied because it was proven conclusively by means of physical evidence. (The stained blue dress he'd tried to obtain and destroy.) So he confessed rather than be disbarred permanently.

    Prove Kavanaugh lied, and you're good to go.

    But the key here is that you can't prove somebody lied by just adopting an uncharitable interpretation of what they said. You have to demonstrate that there's no interpretation of what they said that isn't truthful.

  • James Pollock||

    "But the key here is that you can't prove somebody lied by just adopting an uncharitable interpretation of what they said"

    But that's exactly what you've just done.
    If you buy into Mr. Clinton's argument that oral sex is separate and distinct, then he didn't lie. If you are uncharitable towards his characterization, then his lie is proven.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    He admitted he lied.
    More importantly, the trial judge sanctioned him for lying--he did not have a Road to Damascus moment where he spontaneously decided to come clean. He took the bar suspension and the fine to avoid disbarment.
    Maybe quit while you are ahead.

  • Sarcastr0||

    So Clinton's mistake was to admit anything.

    What are your due process thoughts about 'Lock Her Up?'

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    She clearly broke the law; the most charitable reading is that she did it to avoid FOIA requests because she knew she was running for president; the less charitable (no pun intended) analysis is that she was engaged in pay for play with the Clinton Crime Family Foundation.
    She's past 70 and out of public life forever. There seems to be little to be gained by prosecuting her. She should (and maybe already has been, for all I know) be permanently deprived of a security clearance.

  • Sarcastr0||

    She clearly broke the law

    You don't see a double standard between that and your assumptions about Kav-Ford?

    Clinton Crime Family Foundation

    Come on, man. At least pretend not to be a right-wing loon. It would make your claim that Clinton is different have at least some weight, now it's clearly just your view from tin-foil land. I'd expect the Clinton Death List next.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    There is no factual dispute as to what she did or when or where she did it.
    The only thing at issue is the legality of her conduct.
    This is nothing like Kav/Ford, despite your attempt to play David Gergen and stake out the "reasonable middle".

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    There is no factual dispute as to what she did or when or where she did it.
    The only thing at issue is the legality of her conduct.
    This is nothing like Kav/Ford, despite your attempt to play David Gergen and stake out the "reasonable middle".

  • Sarcastr0||

    I try to be reasonable, but I ain't in the middle.

    That you want to lock up Hillary but cry innocent until proven guilty about Kav is all that needs to be said.
    Your attempted distinction between questions of fact and those of law is not a distinction that maxim makes.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    That you want to lock up Hillary but cry innocent until proven guilty about Kav is all that needs to be said.

    There's a big difference between someone who openly admitted having a private server that received classified information outside of JWICS and siprnet, and someone who's categorically denying all the allegations against him that, so far, have nothing outside of hearsay to corroborate them.

  • MJBinAL||

    Of course, then there was Bill Clinton's actual perjury during the Paula Jones trial. That got a Judge HE APPOINTED to find him in contempt for perjury. He also lost his license to practice law for a while, paid a large fine (would have been disbarred permanently otherwise), and lost his privilege to practice at the SC level permanently over that perjury.

    He did not actually confess, until he was caught, big time.

  • swood1000||

    If you buy into Mr. Clinton's argument that oral sex is separate and distinct, then he didn't lie.

    You also have to buy into his understanding of what the meaning of 'is' is.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "If you buy into Mr. Clinton's argument that oral sex is separate and distinct, then he didn't lie. "

    He did if you buy into Monica Lewinski's description of what conduct actually occurred. Kavanaugh has been criticized for going into the details of the Lewinski affair. But the "definition of sex" defense is exactly what made that necessary.

  • jslinner||

    Kavanaugh perjured himself as well. Like claiming to not know about the Ramirez story until it was put out by the press. Or claiming Ford's account was "refuted" by her own friend, which it wasn't, and her own friend said she believed Ford. Or, does a nominee for the highest court not know what "refute" mean?

  • swood1000||

    Kavanaugh perjured himself as well. Like claiming to not know about the Ramirez story until it was put out by the press.

    [Questioner]: All right. My last question on this subject is since you graduated from college, but before the New Yorker article publication on September 23rd, have you ever discussed or heard discussion about the incident matching the description given by Ms. Ramirez to the New Yorker?

    [Judge Kavanaugh]: No.
    Sen. Orrin Hatch: When did you first hear of Ms. Ramirez's allegations against you?

    Kavanaugh : In the last — in the period since then, the New Yorker story

    This is a question as to whether he had discussed a specific incident. That's different from whether or not he knew that Ramirez was going around looking for dirt on him. Kavanaugh testified under oath to congressional investigators that he had heard Ramirez was looking for dirt on him prior to the New Yorker article. That's different from knowing exactly what specific event she was alleging, which is what he learned from the New Yorker. Where's the perjury?

  • swood1000||

    Or claiming Ford's account was "refuted" by her own friend, which it wasn't, and her own friend said she believed Ford. Or, does a nominee for the highest court not know what "refute" mean?

    If Kavanaugh assumes that the failure of a best friend to remember such an event, or to have been told of such a heinous event, or to ask the next day why she left in such a hurry, or to remember ever having met Kavanaugh, refutes Ford's account, are you saying that you believe this would be found to constitute perjury?

  • bernard11||

    There is also the ever so slight difference that Clinton perjured himself during that deposition.

    And Kavanaugh has perjured himself several times, both now and in past hearings.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    And his fucking lies.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    As Mark Twain said: "There are lies, fucking lies, and, the stuff that Hihn/Wyatt posts."

  • wreckinball||

    How did this psychopath return?

  • Don Nico||

    "Also, he appeared to be evasive when answering questions about his drinking."

    To me those aspects of his testimony were the most troubling. SHort, polite answers would have been far more appropriate and convincing.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Agreed. I would have held a higher opinion of him if he had repeated "that is irrelevant, Senator" "I refuse to dignify that question with an answer, Senator".

  • JoeGoins||

    I think Kavanaugh was in a no-win situation. People are calling him out for losing his compure. But what would they have said if he kept it? Pundits would be implying it was because he faced misconduct allegations before.

  • JoeGoins||

    *composure

  • granite state destroyer||

    Clarence Thomas was accused of worse behavior, as an adult, and responded far more professionally and coherently. Kavanaugh was accused of drunken teen-age peccadilloes. Responding to those charges by acting like he is still a petulant teen-ager doesn't seem to me like the best course of action.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Kavanaugh was accused of attempted rape.
    Thomas was never accused of having committed a crime; he was accused of what some at the time considered workplace harassment (while, it must be noted, chairing the EEOC.)
    Thomas and Kavanaugh are two distinct human beings. Different people have different levels of tolerance for stupidity and despicable behavior.
    We have lived through nearly 30 years since Thomas/Hill.
    We are living in a #metoo/post-Weinstein world.

    ...other than that, great comment

  • Ben of Houston||

    These aren't exactly comparable.

    Clarence Thomas had some method of refuting the allegations. It was a straightforward he-said-she-said. Something he can account for and has a reasonable method of fighting. He was granted a fair hearing and was able to.

    Kavanaugh is being accused of actions committed as a minor at a party that he clearly doesn't remember. The fact that he even has a calendar from that era is shocking. Despite the complete lack of any objective evidence or method of refuting this, he has been convicted in the public's eye to the point where he is losing his job as a professor. Despite my concerns with her objectivity and irrelevant detail, the Republican attorney was correct, this is less than a "he-said-she-said" because there are other witnesses who do not cooberate Ford's story. She could not prevail in either criminal or civil court based on the evidence presented.

    Kavanaugh is frustrated not only personally, but professionally, as he is being put on a Kangaroo court to mount an impossible defense to prove a negative after the verdict has already been given. This is the very thing he is sworn to fight against, and everyone involved definitely knows better.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Clarence Thomas was accused of worse behavior, as an adult, and responded far more professionally and coherently.

    Clarence Thomas had no choice. He was their black guy, but he was still just a black guy, and in the circles in which he chose to travel he couldn't afford to wander too far from the line.

  • Kazinski||

    After Trump is disgraced and hounded out of office I hope they set the precedent that any decisions by any of his nominees are null and void.

    And yes I'm specifically thinking about Nixon and Blackmun.

  • James Pollock||

    "We see someone being subjected to unbearable, unearned, televised humiliation and disgrace."

    I suggest that if the criticism of Judge Kavanaugh was "unbearable", he had the ability, at any time, to make it stop. Scrutiny, and criticism, is the price one pays for the particular job promotion Judge Kavanaugh is seeking. (I don't know if the accusations are accurate or not. But being subjected to both true and untrue accusations is part of politics, and Judge Kavanaugh entered the political arena when he was nominated to the USSC.)

  • wreckinball||

    Seriously. All in a days work. They asked me about my rulings. Some guy pretended to be Spartacus and then they accuse me of running a gang rape ring.

    yea its whats expected? What a dope.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Have you spent one minute of your life in a courtroom?
    If you have, I can not imagine that you have not at some time seen a judge unload on someone--mostly to people who deserve it; there are the occasional dicks who do it for fun or because they are bitter people. Notwithstanding: an outburst of that sort in no way disqualifies a person from being a judge.

  • WillDD||

    A better indicator of Judge Kavanaugh's judicial temperament would be the approximately 11 years he has spent on the bench, and not the singularly-unique "dire, extraordinary provocation" (accurately described as such by Professor Volokh) he was placed in. The allegations are slander per se and would warrant punitive damages. In most states, they would constitute the tort of IIED--also known as "outrage"--and his reaction was consistent with such. Finally, members of Congress routinely haul everyday Americans before their committees and treat them extremely poorly. The witnesses typically are required to simply take this refined beating and bullying because they logically fear retributon, deserved or not. Judge Kavanaugh, who probably and logically thought this might be his one and only time to clear his name, would not and argued his case passionately. I think his response was more than understandable and even appropriate.

  • granite state destroyer||

    "accused of a heinous crime...We see someone being subjected to unbearable, unearned, televised humiliation and disgrace."

    Oh please. The best Republican talking point is the fact that the accusations (ignoring Swetnick whom even most liberals consider crazy), even if true, amount to misdemeanor behavior even today, and in the 1980s would have been considered boorish bullying by a teen-ager at worst. Kavanaugh's reaction was completely out of proportion to the accusations. If these crimes were "heinous" than the liberals would actually be correct to call for a full investigation. Kavanaugh disgraced himself last Thursday with his martyr act and fell right into the liberal trap.

  • Don Nico||

    Question to all:

    Did you think that it was at all credible that a research experimental psychologist, had NEVER studied, been instructed, or professionally discussed the accuracy of polygraph tests.or the ways in which they can be rendered misleading?

    I find that very hard to believe from a professional in her business.

  • bernard11||

    Yes.

  • JuliaMottram||

    Finally, someone with some common sense. That you, Prof. Volokh.

  • bernard11||

    Have we so lost any empathy?

    Yes. Read the comments, EV, and see how much empathy there is for Ford on the right.

    Calls for empathy coming from Trumpists are droll.

  • ||

    Why should we empathize with a lying leftist woman? EVEN IF SHE WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED, she's a leftist traitor, and thus deserves everything that happens to her. Would you shed a tear if Stalin developed a tumor?

  • bernard11||

    This is modern conservatism.

    Are you reading, conspirators?

  • JoeB1||

    Either ARWP is a troll, or there is no God.

  • ||

    Probably a little of both.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I believe the Conspirators know exactly what they are doing and whom they are cultivating.

  • OtisAH||

    Considering the anti-semitism the Conspiracy regularly host in these comments, I doubt someone expressing his pleasure that a woman was sexually assaulted would bother them much.

  • Karl_L||

    This has been Brett Kavanaugh's "Kobayashi Maru scenario", a scenario designed to have no winning strategy. Now we get to judge how he responds to such a situation. Does he maintain the calm, even temper we might expect of a sociopath, or does he respond like a human being who's been kicked where it hurts? I suspect the Democrats would have found either response, or any other response, disqualifying.

    I suspect this test has also revealed which side is composed of bloodthirsty Romulans.

  • bernard11||

    I suspect the Democrats would have found either response, or any other response, disqualifying.

    Well, then. If you suspect it, it must be so.

  • CrispyBacon||

    That's a higher standard of proof that being applied to the accusations against Kavanaugh.

    But of course, Karl_L is correct. Calm cursory denials would have played very poorly.

  • bernard11||

    Amazing how everyone just knows that.

  • swood1000||

    Amazing how everyone just knows that.

    Yes. Almost as if it's human nature to expect people not to remain passive when they are accused of hideous crimes.

  • NToJ||

    There are much more effective ways to rebut accusations of hideous crimes than to make character pleas, lie about trivial shit, and fume.

  • CrispyBacon||

    It's a reasonable conclusion to draw. The contrary proposition, that calm cursory denials would have played well (or less bad), is based on the same sort of reasoning. So I guess we should respond to that argument by saying, "amazing how everyone just knows that" and "if you suspect it, it must be so."

    Those are obviously not retorts to be taken seriously.

  • bernard11||

    The contrary proposition, that calm cursory denials would have played well (or less bad), is based on the same sort of reasoning.

    I didn't say anything about how a different approach would have played. I just suggested that neither Karl nor anyone else can be sure how it would have played.

    Yet all over this thread we have Kavanaugh supporters full of certainty.

    And of course, whatever you think, there are more choices than "belligerent and angry" and "cursory denial."

  • Sarcastr0||

    I don't agree with your but of course. It's about as bad as clearly - if you're writing it, you may be unconsciously papering over something.

  • CrispyBacon||

    Clearly that isn't true.

    [Honestly (a word used to differentiate this bracketed part from my preceding statement) it's merely a rhetorical practice to respond to posts in a similar tone. bernard was flippant and thus so was I.]

  • jslinner||

    I wonder how the Central Park 5 reacted to questioning. If this had been an innocent black guy, acting as Kavanaugh did in response to false accusations by a cop on the street, most of you would be blaming the black guy for his own death right now. And that's with knowledge of his innocence. Here, you don't even have that.

  • wreckinball||

    Great lets inject race. What an idiot.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Bigots don't want to discuss race unless it is to whine about white grievance or boast about how color blind Republicans and conservatives have ostensibly become.

  • CrispyBacon||

    I've considered how human nature is distorted in criminal trials. In the relatively aseptic forum of a courtroom, any action/inaction may be used to condemn. We forget how humans actually think and feel.

    "Nobody would react [X] way."

    Sometimes that is a valid *normative* judgment and yet many normal people fail to react in a standard way. It's all the worse where prosecutions are based on circumstantial evidence.

    In the Kavanaugh hearing, due process, evidentiary rules, standard of proof are all but absent. To pretend a false charge of sexual assault is part and parcel of a judicial nomination hearing wouldn't make great sense. Kavanaugh had a choice. He could have suppressed emotion and given cursory denials. While nobody would have praised his composure and temperament, he would have been attacked because nobody innocent would have reacted that way! Also, Kavanaugh's emotion implicitly denied the process bore resemblance to a nomination hearing.

    It's been disturbing and amusing to see so many people declare absolute truths based on pretensions of rationality, or the top results on urbandictionary.

    Most who whine about temperament are unfamiliar with Kavanaugh beyond headlines nor do they understand what the term means in the judicial context. They just heard that "temperament" is important. I'm reminded of the sudden uptick in use of terms like "mendacity" and "bully pulpit" during election seasons by people who want to feel smart.

  • PublicNameNotInUse||

    "Have we so lost any empathy?"

    One only needs to read the comments to answer this question. Empathy went right out the window when people began drinking the "Us vs. Them" Kool-Aid our political parties have been forcing on us.
    Now we have people who are not only proud of their lack of empathy, but consider empathy to be a character flaw. According to Heinlein, our society is sick past the point of no return.

  • CrispyBacon||

    "'Us vs. Them' Kool-Aid" -- if it's not on urbandictionary it's not a real drinking game.

    I think people are increasingly apathetic about America. Sadly that plays into their hands, but what else can one do? We're waiting for the nightmare to be over, but recognizing we're deep into it. It's the kind of apathy a prisoner might feel several years into a long sentence. Sure, we want to get out and we'll make reasonable efforts in that direction, but we're not really able to make it happen on our own. Our engagement is superficial anyway, mostly on the internet, and we have the luxury of fraternizing with like-minded people.

  • swood1000||

    "Aha! You're not qualified, because you reacted to this dire, extraordinary provocation precisely the way normal human beings would"? Have we so lost any empathy?

    Part of the answer is in the penchant of the leftists to characterize their opponents as evil. As such, any and all measures in opposition must be legitimate. If "lack of judicial temperament" will get any traction whatsoever its use is justified, perhaps compelled. Should the resistance in Nazi Germany have neglected any available avenue of resistance for any reason? In their frenzy and fury, the effect such charges will have on their own credibility are ignored. Such effects cannot be important since they only involve the truly depraved. Is it even possible to empathize with evil?

  • loki13||

    [DISCLOSURE: Judge Kavanaugh and I clerked the same year, and we saw each other socially on occasion during that year and likely a few times after.]

    Well, the full disclosure is that both Prof. Volokh and Brett Kavanaugh* clerked for Alex Kozinski at the same time. As we also learned later, Alex Kozinski, while a brilliant jurist, retired under immense pressure due to mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to unwanted sexual touching, unwanted sexual invitations, unwanted kissing and groping, and generally abusive sexual behavior; this also included the infamous "gag list" that Prof. Volokh had previously written to defend.

    Despite the apparently wide-spread nature of this spanning decades, nothing really has been written about it on the VC. Moreover, Brett Kavanaugh claims to have been unaware of this. However, he apparently learned that Judges are able to select their clerks.

    I have been avoiding the VC for months, and this is why. There is nothing worse than seeing something you once loved become debased.

    *I will no longer distinguish his name with an honorific, thank you.

  • wreckinball||

    So these sexual assault claims actually have evidence like when and where and some corroboration?

  • bernard11||

    The FBI plainly is not looking for corroboration.

    The Yale allegation is being ignored, despite the fact that there are many individuals who could provide information.

    Hard to see with closed eyes.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Hard to prove a negative, too.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "*I will no longer distinguish his name with an honorific, thank you."

    LOL. You sure showed him!

  • loki13||

    Before we forget, here is one representative post in 2008:
    http://volokh.com/posts/1213378597.shtml

    9 years later, Kozinski resigned. The damage that he had inflicted? Well, that is for other people to say. He was a really smart man, and an intelligent jurist. But just imagine if someone had stood up for all of those women in the meantime.

    Heck, imagine if a leading ... conservative ... legal blog had covered the issue? Instead, by silence, it speaks volumes, and states everything we need to know about the current situations.

    VC- Bros Before Hos since 2002? Okay, now I am done. Have to figure out how to delete my account. I still remember when seeing the idiot MRA types on the family threads was a shock.

  • CrispyBacon||

    You can't delete your account soon enough.

  • loki13||

    You're right! Look at this thread- just pure garbage, by garbage people.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I can. So, I guess I'll log out and forget my password, and pretend I never knew the VC existed because ... man, this is not something I would want to be associate with.

  • swood1000||

    man, this is not something I would want to be associate with

    You would not want to be associated with any forum on which incorrect opinions are allowed to be expressed?

  • CrispyBacon||

    loki13 doesn't well handle deprivation of attention and praise. He might just stay if we keep this up.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Goddammit Loki, how can we miss you if you won't go away?

  • donojack||

    Don't be so hard on him. Remember he did give us some remarkable insights, such as the fact that the UN has saved us from WWIII. And he has put some historical knowledge on us, like the fact that Nixon was the only President to be impeached and removed from office.

  • wreckinball||

    So you seem to be equating the Ford accusation with previous accusations. So the Ford accusation has zero evidence. Its right now just a story, hear say. And we'll see but I think the FBI report will also be issued sans evidence so no change . So you think we should act on hear say and deny the nomination?

    So my previous question is were the previous accusations corroborated by evidence. Or were they hear say?

    Simple question bro if you are all lawyerly and judgey and stuff it should be easy to answer.

    The "garbage people comment was pretty classy.

  • M.L.||

    Hahahahahah

    Let me guess, you did not appreciate it when Kavanaugh stated the plain truth about what the Democrats have done here?

  • donojack||

    *I will no longer distinguish his name with an honorific, thank you.

    I'm sure that will sting worse than being accused of running a gang rape ring.

  • loki13||

    I don't have a vote. All I can do is make sure that I don't honor him in any way.

    And, should he be confirmed, make sure that he is never, ever, invited to my Law School to speak, and I will support any and all political candidates that call for his removal from the bench with money and time. Feels much better than engaging with people like you on the internet.

  • donojack||

    You have crushed him and now me. You are indeed cruel.

  • wreckinball||

    Based on your lack of coherence and the inability to answer simple questions your law school must suck.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "with money and time"

    Look at Rockefeller over there.

  • eyesay||

  • swood1000||

    It is about now that the decision of Chuck Schumer to use up on the Gorsuch nomination his one and only opportunity to force Republicans to vote to relinquish the right to filibuster Supreme Court nominees is looking a little less like an inspired act of political genius. That could have given cover to fence-sitting senators in the Kavanaugh case and it provided no barrier to the Gorsuch confirmation.

  • CrispyBacon||

    Democrats will not accept the road they paved.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Democrats, as has become customary for decades, will pave the road toward American progress, with conservatives muttering bitterly along the sidelines about all of this damned progress.

  • swood1000||

    So the Democrats do not currently regret their decision under Harry Reid to deep-six the judicial filibuster, but rather see it as just another necessary step on the road toward American progress?

  • NToJ||

    Why would they? The nuclear option for SCOTUS has nothing to do with the 2013 nuclear option.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    In 2013, the Republicans promised to retaliate next time the Dems filibustered a SCOTUS nominee.

  • OtisAH||

    "You know I love you, baby, and I don't want to hit you. So don't make me, okay?"

  • NToJ||

    *the first time

  • ScottK||

    Fail. The majority did what it wanted with Gorsuch and will do what it wants with Kavanaugh. Schumer controlled nothing then, and controls nothing now.

  • NToJ||

    This is laughable. You're acting as though Republicans have no agency over the nuclear option for SCOTUS. What is it you think Schumer should have done? Voted for Gorsuch? What negotiation do you think Democrats are rethinking?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    It was politically very easy to nuke the filibuster for Gorsuch. I can't prove it, but I suspect that, if Schumer and other Dems had at least voted for cloture for Gorsuch, McConnell would have a much more difficult time nuking the fillibuster for Kavanaugh in the current climate.

  • OtisAH||

    Yes, it is fun imagining all the ways in which MCConnell would not behave the way McConnell has always behaved.

    This has been another episode of "Republicans won't behave poorly if Democrats just do what the GOP wants."

  • NToJ||

    Of course this same rationale applies to the Dems 2013 nuclear option, yet that's treated like the cause of Republican reactions. Because they have no agency; conservatives are just robots, constantly reacting to liberal misdeeds. Chuck Schumer made me do it.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Chuck Schumer made me do it."

    Huh? This isn't about who's the bigger meanie. Chuck Schumer filibustered Gorsuch and got absolutely nothing out of it. People are just pointing out now that Schumer would be in a better position today with a filibuster in his pocket.

  • NToJ||

    Why would Chuck Schumer be in a different position today than he would have been had he not filibustered Gorsuch? He didn't get anything out of it because the Republicans exercise the nuclear option with a bare majority. Just like they have today. Just like Senate Democrats had in 2013. Since the filibuster can be killed with less than a filibuster-busting super-majority, what are we even talking about? What did Democrats lose that they would have had under current Senate political makeup?

  • swood1000||

    This is laughable. You're acting as though Republicans have no agency over the nuclear option for SCOTUS. What is it you think Schumer should have done? Voted for Gorsuch? What negotiation do you think Democrats are rethinking?

    Look, my only point is that if Schumer had not tried to filibuster Gorsuch then McConnell would have had an extra hurdle in the Kavanaugh confirmation and it's possible that at least one fence-sitter would find it more politically palatable to vote against ditching the Supreme Court filibuster than to vote against Kavanaugh.

  • NToJ||

    "...at least one fence-sitter would find it more politically palatable..."

    All 52 Republicans voted for it in 2017, including Collins and Flake. There's 51 of them still, enough to kill the filibuster today (if they hadn't already killed it in 2017).

  • swood1000||

    There's 51 of them still, enough to kill the filibuster today (if they hadn't already killed it in 2017).

    Yes of course. I'm not arguing that the filibuster definitely wouldn't be killed today. I'm arguing that this would provide an opportunity for people to vote against killing the filibuster who really would like to vote against Kavanaugh but are afraid of backlash from their constituents. If you're saying that there would need to be two of them I'll concede that.

  • NToJ||

    That actually makes more sense. I can imagine Collins or Flake wanting that excuse for Kavanaugh, because he has baggage that Gorusch didn't have (individually; the Gorsuch nomination carried baggage that the Kavanaugh nomination does not). But I still don't think Schumer was trading away anything.

  • NToJ||

    I think you're selling yourself short. The crying did him in.

  • swood1000||

    I think you're selling yourself short. The crying did him in.

    Displays of vulnerability are like tasting blood for the Democrats, especially the women, sending them into a crazed attack frenzy?

  • NToJ||

    I didn't view it as a display of vulnerability. It weakened his credibility, in my view. But also when he later lied about several things under oath, that also made me question is credibility.

    I'm not prepared to say he's done what he's been accused of doing, but I'm prepared to say that the country will be worse off if he sits on the court. There are plenty of other qualified, conservative, originalist judges to put up. The partisan shitshow he fed into was also disqualifying. There was a better way for him to handle a false accusation, and he failed.

  • M.L.||

    Nah. The Democrats have already made the country worse off with their stunt here, so that horse has left the barn.

    What will make the country even worse off yet is if Democrats are permitted to ruin the likes of Kavanaugh for political reasons, through total dishonesty and disregard for process, with the drumbeat of heinous accusations that are uncorroborated at best (more likely, extremely non-credible in light of the available evidence).

  • NToJ||

    There were plenty of bad actors in the pitiful display put on by the SCJ, including by Democratic Senators. But having Ford testify wasn't a stunt. A person made a credible accusation of a serious crime against the nominee. What is it you think the SCJ should have done instead? Just ignored her? How do you think that would look? Putting her up to testify in front of the committee was the right thing to do.

    Alleged sexual assault is not a political reason. There are plenty of competent, conservative, qualified judicial nominees who have not been accused of sexual assault. The problem is: (1) Ford seems rather convincing; and (2) Kavanaugh lied, repeatedly, in his own defense. That doesn't mean he did it, but let's get another nominee who isn't damaged goods and move on. The country doesn't owe the SCOTUS seat to Bret Kavanaugh.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    A person made a credible accusation of a serious crime against the nominee.

    There wasn't anything credible about it, because no one is backing up her story. It's all centered around her trying to guilt-trip her husband in an argument over home renovations.

  • NToJ||

    You mean, besides the alleged victim, testifying under oath? Based on the allegations, the only two people who could back up her story are the perps. One of them has denied it, the other said he doesn't remember it, though he's currently interviewing with the FBI, so I guess we'll see if he categorically denies it. (He wasn't asked to testify in front of the SCJ, strangely.)

    But you don't believe her. What's that got to do with the rest of us?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You're desperately flailing here.

  • M.L.||

    Are you serious? It's not that Democrats treated the allegation of sexual assault seriously -- it's that they FAILED to treat it as a serious matter, and instead cruelly hijacked it as a political cudgel. Instead of bringing it before the cmte confidentially and investigating the matter, they set her up with activist lawyers, scrubbed her social media, and generally worked up the case for maximum impact as a political hit job, then sat on it until the last minute. None of this was remotely in the best interests of Ms. Ford as a potential victim.

    In all of this, they have done an incalculably great disservice to sexual assault victims everywhere.

    They have also waged war on fundamental values of justice and liberty and first principles such as the presumption of innocence. I do think the country will be worse off if they succeed.

    As a separate matter, Ford's story is no longer convincing. It has fallen apart, being contradicted by all available witnesses and evidence. And I don't know how Kavanaugh lied repeatedly -- is this the conjecture that he has understated his high school drinking of beer, or what? I didn't take you for such a puritan.

  • NToJ||

    "...then sat on it until the last minute."

    There's an ongoing investigation into the leak. Whether democrats leaked it or not is unresolved. The other shit you're talking about (scrubbing social media, etc.) is news to me, give me the links.

    Of course, it's all immaterial to Ford's best interests, which she has some agency in, and volunteered to testify before the SCJ. She wanted it to be done differently, but she doesn't have any control over how the SCJ would allow her to testify.

    "They have also waged war on fundamental values of justice and liberty and first principles ..."

    You know how stupid you fucking sound? Are you 12?

    "...being contradicted by all available witnesses and evidence."

    Denied by one of the perps. We'll see about the other.

  • M.L.||

    Not just one - all of the party attendees she named (and the number keeps changing along with other details) have denied any memory of any such party. There are many other problems, too. Have you read Rachel Mitchell's report? Link (read the whole article)

    She straight up lied about polygraphs (actual lies and perjury, unlike the speculative, contorted arguments re Kavanaugh), according to the sworn testimony of her ex-boyfriend (read the whole letter).

    It appears she also lied about the "second front door" story.

    Moving on . . . Yawn . . . You always react with similar disdain to any sort of appeal to values and principles, or any sort of civic appreciation for the Constitution or the founding, by likening it to middle school level thinking. My guess is that you are rebelling against some excesses and deficiencies observed in your youth and that you had a different educational experience than I did. My public school education was very much down on America, making it out to be the bad guy throughout history.

  • NToJ||

    You might want to slow down on the boyfriend's letter. Ford is lying unless corroborated. But because he said things (under oath, like Ford, like Swetnick) that follows your story, it needs no corroboration? We will see.

    People who have something persuasive to say need not rely on "values and principles". If you think I share your values and principles, you just state the argument. If we don't share values or principles, however, defined, it does you no good to claim their favor. This has nothing to do with your "educational experience". We're both adults now.

    But that's not the worst of it. Due process is not some cheap political scorecard. It's a real thing, related to government takings of life, liberty, or property. None are at issue in a fucking SCOTUS hearing. Invoking it in this situation is as dumb as a person complaining about their First Amendment rights when twitter bans them. It reflects a shallow understanding of the very principles you're trying to pimp out.

  • M.L.||

    I didn't say she lied about the polygraphs, I said she lied about the polygraphs according to her ex-boyfriend.

    Tell me NToJ - Why should we require due process for government takings? Why should there be a presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings? What are the values that explain your support for this? Do you have any problem with the way colleges have handled rape and sexual assault allegations in some cases?

  • NToJ||

    "What are the values that explain your support for this?"

    The meta rule that because governments are flawed, if governments take things from private people, the burden on the government should be high. This rule has no application to a SCOTUS vote, for reasons that should be obvious. I can have reasons to deny someone access to high office that need not survive, e.g., beyond a reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, etc.

    "Do you have any problem with the way colleges have handled rape and sexual assault allegations in some cases?"

    Of course. Because those cases involve (1) the government (2) taking something away from a citizen. (By colleges I assume you mean public universities. I generally think private universities should follow some due process for allegations, but not by government fiat. I also think Kavanaugh should be afforded every right to defend his good name. If he thinks Ford has slandered him, I'm not going to deny him access to the courthouse.)

  • M.L.||

    "The meta rule that because governments are flawed, if governments take things from private people, the burden on the government should be high."

    Why are governments flawed?

    What should happen if private people (as opposed to governments) take things from private people?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "The other shit you're talking about (scrubbing social media, etc.) is news to me, give me the links."

    IDK about scrubbing social media, but Ford testified that Feinstein's office referred he to her lawyers, who said they were working pro-bono. The lawyers set her up to take a polygraph, which they said that they paid for. Ford also testified that her lawyers didn't inform her that Senate investigators were willing to go interview her in California, so she didn't have to travel to DC.

  • NToJ||

    "...is this the conjecture that he has understated his high school drinking of beer, or what? I didn't take you for such a puritan."

    I'm not a puritan, but you don't have to be a puritan to think it's a bad thing for someone to lie under oath. And since we're in the middle of a horrible he-said she-said dispute, the pointless lies were the worst thing he could have done, short of a false confession. It's not just the blacking out stuff, it's the lies about boofing, devil's triangle, Renate, etc. Just stupid shit that had nothing to do with his innocence of the rape allegation. They're weird things to lie about, because they're demonstrably not true.

    And he didn't even need to open the door! You don't have to be a saint to not be a rapist. His most persuasive testimony was "I liked beer, I still like beer." That's not a fucking crime. I like beer, too.

  • M.L.||

    "It's not just the blacking out stuff, it's the lies about boofing, devil's triangle, Renate, etc."

    Oh, my. What proof do you have that he was lying about any of this? You don't; it's speculative.

    This is ironic, since a few days ago you and I were arguing about yearbooks. I pointed out that Ford's yearbook was scrubbed from the Internet, and that the MSM refused to report on it, despite similar references to drunkenness and promiscuity. You said that the yearbooks were irrelevant and I agreed, but that the point was the hypocrisy and one-sidedness here.

  • NToJ||

    It's not speculative. The 1980s weren't that long ago "boofing". We all know what it means--butt-fucking. It's been about butt-fucking forever. It's never been about flatulence. The definition Kavanaugh gave doesn't even make sense in the context it was written; "Judge-- Have You "farted" Yet?" He's asking Judge if he butt-fucked yet. It's simply not believable that Kavanaugh and his friends had a non-canon version of Devil's Triangle for a drinking game nobody has ever heard of. His explanation of Renate Alumnus was ridiculous. If he drank in excess--as he's admitted--he's blacked out. Because that is the universal experience of everyone who drinks in excess.

    None of the shit he wrote in his yearbook was remotely disqualifying. None of it means he's a rapist, either. Mean-spirited and immature, sure (hardly a surprise at 17). But the worst possible time to lie about embarrassing quotes from a yearbook is during testimony in which you're forced to convince the world that someone is saying things about you that aren't true.

    That was stupid of him.

  • M.L.||

    I've never heard of "boof" before in my life until this, and even now I had not seen someone claim that it was such a firmly established and widely known slang in the 80s until your post. But I was born in the mid 80s. So, ok, I guess on your say-so as a presumed sociological authority on nationwide teen slang during the 80s, let's say maybe he chose to lie about that instead of discussing high school jokes about anal sex in front of his family and the Senate on national television. Not good, but I'm not sure I would see that as disqualifying.

    As for devil's triangle, I actually don't believe you at all that your concept was ever a "canon" definition, if that's what you are claiming. I think that's made up nonsense, derived from a similar term, "devil's threesome." Classmates have now backed up Kav on this.

    Renate - I'm not sure if you saw Kav's explanation of this prior to the hearing, but it sounds perfectly plausible to me.

  • M.L.||

    Blacking out - again, this is not a sure thing. I agree that it's likely that anyone who frequently drinks a lot would have blacked out. But I personally know exceptions to this rule. There is a not uncommon type who cultivates a hard partier image but who at the end of the day is more temperate than they let on. The straight-A student characteristic of Kavanaugh definitely fits this archetype. The real hard partiers could barely make it to class, much less achieve that sort of academic record. Others I have observed tend to stay within certain limits in order to retain some level of control over themselves, out of fear or caution. Some stick to drinking light 80s type beer for this reason or just personal preference, and it's actually pretty hard to black out if you do that and avoid any liquor or anything. Regardless, if he was lying about this then I can see viewing that as disqualifying.

  • NToJ||

    Of the allegations, I'm willing to believe that Devil's Triangle may actually have been a drinking game euphemism unique to them. Boofing means butt fucking. It meant butt fucking at the time, and it cannot mean "farting" in the context used in Kavanaugh's yearbook. It was slang that was known to me when I was a kid.

    "Not good, but I'm not sure I would see that as disqualifying."

    I agree. The boofing thing alone, would not be disqualifying.

    Kavanaugh's pre-hearing explanation of "Renate alumnius" is more convincing then his sworn testimony. It's also a lie, according to her. The pre-hearing explanation is not flattering to Kavanaugh, and cannot reasonably be interpreted as flattering to Renate. That's the problem with his testimony.

  • swood1000||

    It's simply not believable that Kavanaugh and his friends had a non-canon version of Devil's Triangle for a drinking game nobody has ever heard of.

    Kavanaugh's prep school friends say 'Devil's Triangle' was a drinking game

  • NToJ||

    I saw that. I'm willing to be convinced. But, as I've said elsewhere, it just isn't believable that a drinker like Kavanaugh has never passed out or blacked out. People who list drinking games in their high school year book pass out and black out. I like drinking games, too.

  • swood1000||

    I like drinking games, too.

    Have you blacked out, i.e. couldn't remember what happened the night before? I don't think it's that common except among seriously excessive drinkers, few of whom are likely to be first in their class academically and captain of the basketball team.

  • donojack||

    Well we'll see tough guy. At least it wasn't the crazy women.

  • NToJ||

    I meant it did him in for me. I don't pretend to speak on behalf of the Senate.

  • donojack||

    Well we'll see tough guy. At least it wasn't the crazy women.

  • ScottK||

    Just win, baby. Nothing else matters.

  • Iation||

    I had expected that by now somebody would have observed out that the move to exclude Judge Kavanaugh simply because of the way he defended himself is just another application of the classic

    HECKLER'S VETO.

    But I haven't come across anybody pointing this out yet, so here it is.

  • BrotherMovesOn||

    Remember the days when this was a legal blog?
    Anyone able to make a wellness check on Mark Field?

  • M.L.||

    Nothing Kavanaugh could have done would have been deemed acceptable by the Democrats and their collusive media mob, because this isn't about anything other than preventing a principled conservative SCOTUS justice.

    The only acceptable course of action to them would have been complete surrender, withdrawing himself from consideration and handing his scalp to Diane Feinstein to wave around on a stick to the shrill war whoops of these lawless savages.

    I have no doubt that Kavanaugh's "partisan" willingness to state the facts regarding Democrats' despicable actions here has made them even more opposed to him. Alas, offending Democrats with the truth is not actually a disqualifying offense.

  • NToJ||

    "Nothing Kavanaugh could have done would have been deemed acceptable by the Democrats..."

    Well what he did do wasn't deemed acceptable by independents, either. He's the worst polling judicial nominee ever. He's going to do lasting damage to SCOTUS if put on the bench. If he gave a shit about the country, he would have withdrawn his nomination already. He can still defend his good name without being elevated to the high court.

  • M.L.||

    "If he gave a shit about the country, he would have withdrawn his nomination already."

    Well, thank you for fully agreeing with me and proving my point.

    "He's the worst polling"

    Apparently, you failed to take any sort of meaningful look at those polling results that you are referencing:

    "37 percent of the 1,330 surveyed, registered voters supported Kavanaugh's confirmation. That figure rose to 57 percent after respondents were told that Ford's story remains uncorroborated . . . The proportion of respondents supporting Kavanaugh's confirmation increased further, to 60 percent, in the hypothetical event that the allegations remain uncorroborated following the ongoing, one-week FBI probe . . . 69 percent of voters agreed that the deeply partisan confirmation process has been a "national disgrace." . . . Seventy-five percent of respondents believe Feinstein should have turned over the letter to the Judiciary Committee immediately upon receiving it."

  • NToJ||

    He's been the least popular since July, pre-allegations. It's not surprising that if you frame question in terms of "corroborate" the people answering are going to respond differently. But if you want to focus on those polling results, the same poll showed him -7 on "Do you want your U.S. Senators to vote in favor or against Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court"? Bork was +6. And more polling respondents found Ford credible than Kavanaugh.

    We will see, because there will be polls post-FBI-investigation regardless.

  • M.L.||

    "It's not surprising that if you frame question in terms of "corroborate" the people answering are going to respond differently. "

    Of course it's not surprising. What's surprising is your asinine implication that the average American has devoted the many hours per day that would be necessary for them to absorb all of this immediately. They haven't, and that's why you get one result when polling cold, and then another result after informing respondents of the single most pertinent fact in this entire fiasco -- the allegations are not corroborated by any scintilla of evidence. This is not even getting to the mounting evidence against and the contradiction by all of the named witnesses. None of this is emphasized by the mainstream media -- I have talked with relatives that don't have cable and haven't read online, and you can watch hours of coverage on the major networks without ever hearing these details.

  • NToJ||

    The "pertinent fact" in the polling questions was a future hypo.

    What "scintilla of evidence" do you think would qualify for the hundreds of people responding to the question? Even if one of the attendees said they specifically remembered a party 30+ years ago wouldn't make Kavanaugh a rapist. We're not going to get physical evidence. The only evidence of this type of crime is going to be uncorroborated, by definition, unless there was a secret witness to the crime itself.

    But, there is some corroborating evidence that a party attended by the people Ford claims were there that day. Because it's in Kavanaugh's calendar.

  • M.L.||

    No, please read better. The pertinent fact was that story remains uncorroborated, and providing that information caused support to go up by 20 points. The further question asked about support in the hypothetical even that story remained uncorroborated after conclusion of the FBI investigation, and in that case support was another 3 points higher.

    There is an infinite amount of imaginable corroborating evidence that could exist in a case like this, including circumstantial, all of varying degrees of usefulness. But none has been found. You're right to suggest that it would be difficult for something to establish criminal liability, but it would certainly be seen as extremely relevant to what is happening now.

  • NToJ||

    There is circumstantial evidence, though. His calendar and his misstatements about that kind of party, for instance. What other types of imaginable corroborating, circumstantial evidence did you have in mind?

  • M.L.||

    Sorry, the calendar is not corroborating evidence. This outlandish theory posed by Sen. Whitehouse never made sense in the first place, and now, it's even been ruled out by Ford's team.

    So, there is no corroborating evidence, but a substantial amount of contradictory evidence.

  • M.L.||

    "What other types of imaginable corroborating, circumstantial evidence did you have in mind?"

    For example, the people she named could have said that they did in fact attend a gathering like that.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Another incident perpetrated this morning by the neo-fascist campus left at UT-Austin.
    Assaulting and vandalising a pro Kavanaugh display.
    Carry on.

  • WJack||

    Rape is crime, upon trial the burden of proof on the state is beyond a reasonable doubt. Applying a lessor burden, as in a civil case, and requiring proof by a preponderance of the evidence we find no credible evidence to ponder. The accuser is unable to say when, and where the rape happened, or who was present, i.e., those she thinks were present do not recall the occurrence.

    Seems to me Kavanaugh ought to prevail in an action against Ford for slander.

  • David2411||

    Thank you.

  • EZepp||

    Amen!

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