Opinion

Who among us? What the Kavanaugh hearings can teach us about forgiveness

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying during the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/Pool Image via AP)

(RNS) — After credible allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were made public two weeks ago — allegations that Christine Blasey Ford recounted in a live Senate testimony Thursday (Sept. 27) — many Americans thought warily back to their teenage years: Could we withstand a public trial of our worst actions from decades ago?

Who among us? has been the refrain, especially, it seems, from men who grew up in the same era and prep school environment as Kavanaugh.

“I do not understand why the loutish drunken behavior of a 17-year-old high school boy has anything to tell us about the character of a 53-year-old judge,” tweeted American Conservative commentator Rod Dreher two weeks ago. “By God’s grace (literally), I am not the same person I was at 17. This is a terrible standard to establish in public life.”

“It’s just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did as a teenager close to 40 years ago,” said president of Samaritan’s Purse and prominent Trump supporter Franklin Graham.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., points at Democrats as he defends Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Image via AP)

In a fiery criticism at Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham assured Kavanaugh, “You’ve got nothing to apologize for.”

In other words, Kavanaugh’s more recent behavior should tell us far more about his fitness for the Court than any alleged behavior from three-plus decades ago. Graham and others have stressed the length of time that has passed since the alleged assault and the immaturity of Kavanaugh at the time it would have occurred.

“These are two teenagers and she said no and he respected that so I don’t know what the issue is,” said Graham. (According to Ford’s testimony, she wouldn’t have been able to say no because Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.)

At Thursday’s hearing, Kavanaugh has powerfully and categorically denied the allegations from Ford and claims innocence. But even if it were somehow confirmed that he did assault Ford in 1982 — by an independent FBI investigation or testimony from witnesses, such as Mark Judge — many onlookers have stressed that forgiveness is possible and indeed necessary for our common life.

Christians affirm that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23–24).

Here and elsewhere, Christian teaching makes clear that in one sense, all humans stand on the same moral playing field. No one can judge another’s actions without pointing the finger back at himself.

Teachings on forgiveness have played a strong role in how Christian communities react to sexual harassment and assault allegations. But without a proper, biblical understanding of justice, forgiveness can easily, and wrongly, become about protecting the accused without seeking restoration for victims. The Bible makes clear that God hates oppression and violence against the vulnerable.

In Kavanaugh’s case, forgiveness from God or from any alleged victims would not mean he deserves a seat on the highest court in the land, no matter how skillfully he interprets laws or how good and well-liked a student he was in his youth.

In January, Tennessee pastor Andy Savage apologized to his congregation for a “sexual incident” that he stressed took place 20 years ago — coercing a 17-year-old girl in the youth group into performing oral sex while he was youth pastor. After his confession, he received a standing ovation from churchgoers.

Pastor Andy Savage addresses Highpoint Church during a Sunday service in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo courtesy of Highpoint Church via YouTube)

Here was a man humbly acknowledging his horrible behavior as a 21-year-old and earnestly seeking absolution. As Christians who have received unlimited grace from God, how could they not offer it?

But Jules Woodson, the victim, said that Savage hadn’t apologized after it happened and that church leaders at the time asked her not to talk about it. While Savage eventually resigned from his pastoral role, the church’s response to the assault focused on restoring the perpetrator rather than the victim.

Clearly the order is backward.

Ironically, Savage, who had experienced forgiveness for his past misdeeds, seemed unwilling to extend that mercy to others. After news of Matt Lauer’s misconduct broke in November 2017, the former megachurch pastor took to Twitter to condemn him.

In response, Woodson emailed him. “Do you remember that night that you were supposed to drive me home from church and instead drove me to a deserted back road and sexually assaulted me?” she asked. Savage never replied. So Woodson made her story public.

Do you remember…? It was clear that, despite all that had happened in the 20 years that had passed, what transpired in the car between them was fresh and painful. Time might make memories fuzzy, but it doesn’t erase physical, emotional and spiritual wounds.


RELATED: Jules Woodson to abuse survivors: ‘You are strong, you are brave and your voice matters’


This was also clearly true for Ford while she told of Kavanaugh pushing her into a bedroom, groping her and trying to remove her clothing, and covering her mouth to stop her from screaming. While some of the circumstantial details were forgotten to memory, the most pertinent, and painful, details remained, 36 years later. “Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life,” said Ford, who says post-traumatic symptoms have stayed with her.

Christine Blasey Ford speaks during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Michael Reynolds/Pool Image via AP)

Kavanaugh has forcefully denied all the allegations against him.

In the Christian tradition, forgiveness begins with confession. The simple act of acknowledging wrongdoing can go a long way.

Caitlin Flanagan, a contributing writer at The Atlantic, recently told of her own experience as a victim of attempted rape in the late 1970s. The trauma led her to attempt suicide. The reason she was able to heal and move forward — in a way that’s not been granted to Ford — was that the young man took responsibility for his actions and sincerely apologized.

There was an honest account of the violation of one image bearer by another — and that led to freedom, Flanagan said.

“Forgiveness is really crucial to find paths forward in the midst of brokenness, pain, suffering, wrongdoing,” says theologian L. Gregory Jones. “But it’s both a gift that is offered and something that requires a commitment to repentance.”

Christians understand that forgiveness — by God or others — is not a free pass. It’s not cheap. We believe it cost the life of the Son of God.

“Repent” means to turn away from wrongdoing and to seek amendment of life and help to any injured parties. When done well, with honesty and humility, it can heal the deepest of wounds, including the wounds of sexual violence, a uniquely personal and humiliating violation.

But it will undoubtedly cost the alleged offender a lot — perhaps, even, a seat on the Supreme Court.

(Katelyn Beaty is former managing editor of Christianity Today and the author of “A Woman’s Place.” The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

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Katelyn Beaty

85 Comments

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  • Forgiveness is one thing, and it’s healthy for the person doing the forgiving. Remembrance is another matter altogether. Kavanaugh has (a) “baggage” for a SC nominee, (b) an entitlement attitude from his rich, preppy background, and (c) a preference for executive privilege. Dr. Ford was credible. I’m sure Kavanaugh believes in his heart that he has been truthful all along. What accounts for his truthfulness: (a) alcohol drinking back in the day, (b) psychological denial, or (c) honesty?

    The Senate should do better. Trumpsky? Nope.

  • “After credible allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were made public ….”, noting of course that “credible” does not mean “true”.

    Obviously Dr. Ford believes her allegations.

    Her therapist has not opined.

    The only example of forgiveness to this point is Judge Kavanaugh’s daughter, who told her loving father she prayed for Dr. Ford.

  • It doesn’t help that the guy is perjuring himself at the hearing. Today we learn that there was never a time when Kavanaugh, himself, was 18 years old that drinking was legal in Maryland at 18 years old.

  • She can’t remember where and when the alleged assault took place, how she got to and from the party, and she’s been inconsistent about the number of people who were there . Those are not “circumstantial details”.

  • Oh, give it a break.

    Anybody who did NOT understand drinking in high school was both common and illegal in every state in the USA has been living in a cave.

  • “Obviously Dr. Ford believes her allegations.”

    I don’t. And I don’t believe she does either.

    There are libs who are so rabid about the right to abortion that they will commit any kind of mayhem in order to protect it and convince themselves that they’re justified because they are “saving women’s lives” or somesuch nonsense. They call themselves social justice “warriors” for a reason.

    She’s already demonstrated her dishonesty about her supposed fear of flying, which dragged the process out longer as was the intent. That’s all I need to hear.

  • I believe she is sufficiently neurotic to believe her own story.

    Until you encounter someone like that, it is hard to believe anyone can be that self-deluded.

    The Dems have probably put her in an internal crisis, to her detriment.

    In fact they’ve thrown her under the bus. If Kavanaugh becomes a justice, and that now seems probable, I fear for her sanity.

  • You’re welcome, and a link is better. Now we go on to a one-week pause where we can ponder whether the reputations of the FBI and the Supreme Court can also be blown up along with those of the presidency and the Senate.

    After Kavanaugh’s on-air performance, he has no chance whatsoever to be anything but despised on the Court for the rest of his life by at least half of the people in the country. Aside from the main accusation, there were too many “tells” that this is a vindictive man, a dishonest man at the root, a genuine jerk on many levels, completely unsuitable to be any kind of judge.

  • Did you actually listen to her testimony?

    In the run-up to the hearing she was unable to provide a single witness prior to the early 2000s who heard her mention any names.

    The first notation of a name was in her therapist’s notes.

    She did not release her therapist to provide a diagnosis, but based on her need to drug herself to fly and other comments she made it is reasonable to conclude whatever it is, it is among the anxiety disorders.

    Sad situation. She should change therapists.

  • Shawnie her fear is actually claustrophobia, being in a confined space. Airplanes are confined spaces. Therapists are able to help people deal with their fears, we don’t know what techniques she might use! So don’t judge her as a liar because she has learned to deal with something that makes her uncomfortable.

  • That her fear is actually claustrophobia, being in a confined space, is pure conjecture.

    We have not been given, nor has she given permission to her therapist to provide, an actual diagnosis of what has led her to three decades plus of assorted anxiety disorders.

    There is no need to judge her a liar.

    All that is required is to note that she cannot prove or support her allegations.

  • Nothing that points to the claim that it was a recovered memory. Just that she didn’t tell anyone who it was. That isn’t evidence that she didn’t know who it was.

    Her diagnosis and that it may be an anxiety disorder isn’t evidence that it’s a recovered memory.

    You’ve decided that it’s a recovered memory and will grasp at straws to support that, even things that have no bearing.

  • The complete absence of the name of Judge Kavanaugh for over three decades in any note, memoranda, counseling record, or any other corroborating support is the very first indication she did not know who it was.

    Given three decades of various counseling on her part and her description of multiple anxiety symptoms, a diagnosis would be the first thing a defense attorney would demand.

    She does not remember the date of the alleged assault.

    She does not recall how she got to the party.

    She named three others who she said were in attendance at the gathering where the assault took place and said there was also a fourth person there whose identity she cannot remember.

    All three deny any recollection of the gathering Ford describes, and the woman allegedly present said she has never met Kavanaugh.

    The absolute first reference to the alleged “sexual assault” arose during couples therapy with her husband almost three decades later.

    I’d rather believe she genuinely believes this story because, in counseling, she resolved a deep-seated free-floating anxiety with it than accept the notion that she’s simply a malicious liar, primarily because I have actually encountered this in a courtroom, but if you’re making the case she’s a liar or simply bananas, go for it.

  • Sorry but i don’t buy that she needed to drive cross-country to testify but was just fine with flying to Hawaii for vacation (a grueling trip even for the fearless) as well as yearly cross-country flights to Delaware for family visits, all of which she admitted in her testimony. Mere delay was and is the aim.

  • “On August 25, 1706, when Ann Putnam Jr., one of the most active accusers [at the Salem Witch Trials], joined the Salem Village church, she publicly asked forgiveness. She claimed that she had not acted out of malice, but had been deluded by Satan into denouncing innocent people, mentioning Rebecca Nurse, in particular.”

    Remember the production of the theatrical play “The Diary of Anne Frank” that cast ICE as the Nazis? Someone ought to do a new production of “The Crucible” with Kavanaugh and his accusers. I wonder how many of Kavanaugh’s accusers will eventually follow Ann Putnam’s example. Whether they do or not, they will eventually have to stand before our Final Judge to explain their actions.

  • Well, since this isn’t a criminal investigation, I believe during the FBI probe Prof. Ford, her witnesses, including Mark Judge, and Judge Kavanaugh will remember more. Especially, under the threat of perjury.

  • Of course … you BELIEVE.

    Evidence, nah.

    Proof, nah.

    Presumption of innocence, nah.

    Here is what the FBI will report: “she said, he said”.

    And will that shut you and your friends up?

    Nah.

  • Christians affirm that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23–24).
    We must also remember Jesus said in Matthew 7:1 judge not lest you be judged.
    Which person in that Judicial Hearing Room could withstand the same scrutiny? Every one of us have had our failures, faults, and sins in the past. Jesus Christ has the power to change that for the better.

  • Well done, Katelyn Beaty. Yes, forgiveness is possible. But it requires confession and reparations to the person who was harmed. I am tired of the “easy out” offered by so-called religious people – priests/bishops, protestant ministers, rabbis, congregations of any extreme sort – and well-respected senior politicians who think they are Christians, all of whom don’t think either one matters. Kavanaugh has shown himself unfit to serve not because he committed youthful pecadillos or attempted rape but because he refuses to admit it. We have enough stories now to know he was not all that straight-laced as he wants people to believe.

    this is not about Democrats seeking to upend a particular appointee. But it is about wanting people of integrity on the Supreme Court. What is absolutely wonderful now, with the #MeToo movement, is that sexual assault/abuse of women is now high enough on the radar to be seen for what it is. It is not “boys being boys” – it is abusive, ritualized behavior and it is not necessary as a passage to what little boys imagine “manhood” to be. What we need now are men, real men, who will own up to the bad behavior of the past, name it for what it was, and therefore teach young boys of today that it is not okay. Ask for forgiveness, Kavanaugh.

  • It is good to see you ATF45 and I enjoy your writings. I like how you provide a key for understanding and your unfailing insight. I do not have sufficient intelligence to penetrate the superficial and I am not able to get to profound levels as you do. I have a brain injury, left side of my brain is dead, but when I read intelligence I recognize it. I just want to say thank you for taking time to write and getting to profound levels quickly, as I can turn my mind around in your words.

  • Since when did you start prescribing psych meds? I thought you believed the whole psych field was mindless bullshit. Or is it more credible when you can use psych meds to discredit a female witness?

    Kavanaugh should have just shut up after the first 15 minutes of his rant, but he couldn’t stop himself and proceeded to make an ass of himself. Go back and watch his interaction with Senator Klobachar. He’s in flat denial that he has a drinking problem. She tried to warn him when she talked about her father, but he never caught her drift. Someone else did, and that’s why he came back and apologized to her. The man doesn’t belong on the Supreme Court.

  • Then you need to use this same standard with anyone coming forward against Cardinal McCarrick. The abuse happened decades ago, they hadn’t talked to anybody about it, how could they know it was him when they have no witnesses and it was so long ago, blah, blah, blah, blah.

  • Why in world would Trump and McConnell hang onto Kavanaugh when they have other nominees perfectly suited to the pro life cause with out all his baggage? Your argument makes less sense coming from you than it did from Kavanuagh. At least Kavanaugh had vested interests for pretending he was a saint as a teenager…the very daughters he got so wheepy over. This is not about the pro choice crowd going after Kavanaugh because it wouldn’t make any difference. Trump is going to get his second supreme court pick. This is pure politics and the GOP is playing it hardcore every bit as much as the Dems. Just like the GOP played hard core when they refused to bring Merrick Garland out of committee and did away with the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees.

  • Oh, but THERE WERE witnesses, and THERE WERE complaints, and THERE WERE warnings.

    And with all of that, THERE WAS a finding, THERE WAS disgrace, and there was punishment with the same standard.

    As a member of the presumption-of-guilt fan club, which seems to have more mind maven members than their percentage of the population would seem to warrant, you’ve already had the trial and are looking forward to the lynching:

    “… I think Kavanaugh is more threatened with an FBI probe of his drinking than he is the sexual assault complaint. I don’t know that the FBI will be able to find definitive proof on any of the assault allegations, but they certainly will about his binge drinking, puking, black outs, and consumption habits. Kavanaugh lied more about his drinking than any other aspect of his life in his testimony. This leads me to believe to this day he still drinks excessively and frequently, and the FBI will discover that and it will finally be the reason he’s disqualified.”

    but six previous FBI investigations have not led to evidence of “binge drinking, puking, black outs, and consumption habits”.

    What I would like to see a diagnosis of Dr. Ford, who has been I and out of treatment for what appear to be a range of anxiety disorders, who has has to drug herself to get an airplance.

  • He wasn’t there to impress you.

    My own impression is that she had a free-floating anxiety dating back to going to a party somewhere without her parents’ permission, drinking to excess, perhaps getting “felt up”, and then “resolving” this with a therapist along your lines – feminist, gullible, loving that weekly fee – by affixing to someone she saw in the newspaper or on the news.

    I’ve seen this before:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/religious_women_push_lawmakers_to_investigate_kavanaugh_halt_confirmation/#comment-4116853313

    What Dr. Ford needs is a competent therapist.

  • “Why in world would Trump and McConnell hang onto Kavanaugh when they have other nominees perfectly suited to the pro life cause with out all his baggage?”

    Other than this unsupported allegation, he has no “baggage”.

    Why in the world would anyone change horses now?

    Feinstein already tipped her hand on Barrett in Yoda-like fashion.

    Schumer et al destroyed their own ability to filibuster.

    Kavanaugh came fully vetted, with a sterling record, and so far all he’s facing is Borking.

    He’ll probably get on the Court.

    The Republicans will never trust these Senators again.

    The polls show the Republicans’ favorability increasing and the Democrats’ decreasing as a result of this stunt.

  • I’d love for some of these shrinking violets to attend a real law school party some time.

    Law students are the hardest partiers and the heaviest drinkers on any given university campus, with extremely high stress levels. And all of our judges and most of our congressmen used to be law students.

    It is highly unlikely that we’ll ever succeed in eliminating drinkers from government unless we can find a way to have some other group besides lawyers dominating it.

  • The allegation against McCarrick by a minor in the New York diocese was unwitnessed but deemed credible. It is this charge that Francis acted on.

    As for my assessment of Kavanaugh, I would like an apology from you when it proves out. Dr Ford provided her therapist’s notes, and passed a polygraph test with flying colors. Let me know when St Brett finally takes a polygraph test. I sincerely hope the FBI hooks him up in the next seven days.

  • Kavanuagh also came with baggage as a GOP political operative. Or did you forget that? It might be another reason the Dems don’t trust his impartiality….that and he lies under oath.

  • Elena Kagan served as Solicitor General of the United States under the Obama Administration.

    She was Associate White House Counsel for Bill Clinton from 1995–1996.

    And so on.

    Justice Breyer was an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973. Breyer was a special counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1974 to 1975 and served as chief counsel of the committee from 1979 to 1980.He worked closely with the chairman of the committee, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been one of our most political justices, commenting both in her opinions and outside the Court.

    No, he did not lie under oath.

    There was and remains zero nominees acceptable to the Democrats unless she or he has a track record of substituting personal judgments and beliefs for the written law and Constitution.

    Zero.

  • She did NOT pass a polygraph test with “flying colors”.

    A bona-fide polygraph test involves an exhaustive battery of questions designed to establish a baseline on the signs measured by the machine, and then the questions designed to establish veracity.

    The test she underwent had TWO questions.

    In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a report entitled “The Polygraph and Lie Detection”. The NAS found that the majority of polygraph research was “unreliable, unscientific and biased”, concluding that 57 of the approximately 80 research studies that the American Polygraph Association relies on to come to their conclusions were significantly flawed. These studies did show that specific-incident polygraph testing, in a person untrained in counter-measures, could discern the truth at “a level greater than chance, yet short of perfection”. However, due to several flaws, the levels of accuracy shown in these studies “are almost certainly higher than actual polygraph accuracy of specific-incident testing in the field”.

    A neurotic individual who has been coached to believe a “recovered” memory or a new “memory” to explain an anxiety cannot be reliably examined using a polygraph.

  • The opposition to Kavanaugh is grasping at straws and manufacturing excuses.

    Ted Kennedy, for example, a canonized saint of the same people was hardly ever seen sober.

  • Three: Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitcamp (N.D.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.). All three were in states that went solidly for Trump.

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/3-democrats-break-ranks-vote-confirmation-gorsuch

    A likely scenario this time will be similar since there are three Democrats in similar situations.

    My statement, btw, was:

    “There was and remains zero nominees acceptable to the Democrats unless she or he has a track record of substituting personal judgments and beliefs for the written law and Constitution.”

    which your response disregarded.

  • What they do NOT use polygraph testing for by itself is to determine the veracity of an individual.

    Ford did NOT undergo a standard polygraph test.

    In some courts polygraph tests as evidence are banned outright, e.g., military courts.

    https://fas.org/sgp/othergov/polygraph/scheffer.html

    States like California, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Florida allow the tests if everyone agrees to them.

    https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/admissability-of-polygraph-tests-in-court.html

    Aldrich H. Ames, convicted master spy for Russia, who as a CIA employee routinely passed polygraphs, wrote this from Allenwood federal penitentiary to Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists:

    https://fas.org/sgp/othergov/polygraph/ames.html

    “Having had considerable experience with the polygraph (well beyond that which you referred to), I read your very sensible essay in “Science” with great interest. I offer you a few comments on the topic for whatever interest or use they may have.”

    “Like most junk science that just won’t die (graphology, astrology and homeopathy come to mind), because of the usefulness or profit their practitioners enjoy, the polygraph stays with us.”

    “Its most obvious use is as a coercive aid to interrogators, lying somewhere on the scale between the rubber truncheon and the diploma on the wall behind the interrogator’s desk. It depends upon the overall coerciveness of the setting — you’ll be fired, you won’t get the job, you’ll be prosecuted, you’ll go to prison — and the credulous fear the device inspires. This is why the Redmond report ventures into the simultaneously ludicrous and sinister reality that citizens’ belief in what is untrue must be fostered and strengthened. Rarely admitted, this proposition is of general application for our national security apparatus.”

    Overall, except in some very special circumstances, polygraph testing is about as reliable as flipping coins.

  • People who value honesty seek to learn.

    Dr. Ford’s memories – in which some things are seared into memory while lesser details are forgotten – is totally consistent with the experience of most sexual assault survivors.

    Her memory gaps confirm she is being honest.

    Liars naturally try to create a coherent story and fill in gaps. A story without gaps indicates a liar.

    Please take the time to learn something about sexual assault survivors.

  • But we can still demand honesty.

    Kavanaugh is trying to sell an image of himself that simply is not true, according to dozens of people who knew him in HS and college and his own words in his HS yearbook. He is a liar.

    Now if he had said, “Yes, that description of me is true. And I did have blackouts. I do not remember the event described by Dr. Ford, but I am mortified to think I may have caused such harm. In 19xx, I realized that my drinking and behavior were wrong, and since that date have not been engaged in that behavior.”

    If Kav had said that, he would probably already be on the SC. But he was incapable of honesty, or even seeing the need for honesty.

    Kav is not qualified for the SC, based on his current conduct.

    And that’s before the anti Democrat prejudice and conspiracy theories he expounded at the hearing.

  • I disregarded it because it wasn’t worth responding too. I could have said something to the effect the great Scalia was also subject to substituting personal judgments and beliefs rather than stick to the written law and the constitution. He was fond of giving corporations personal rights when in fact the Constitution never mentions corporations as persons.

    Go ahead and hang me because I happen to think people have personal rights and corporations do not. Corporate rights should be limited to civil issues and not extended to political rights and religious rights. That’s my personal opinion, the ‘conservative/corporate’ judges have a different personal opinion.

  • You disregarded it because it pointed out one of the fallacies in your construction of excuses.

    To gain some idea of how Scalia was “subject to substituting personal judgments and beliefs” read his opinions on abortion, which he resolutely refused to decide on lines consistent with his church’s positions. Comment like that always come from individual who never read court decisions.

    There is entire series of court decisions supporting the existence of corporate persons going all the way back to the first corporate entitities in the USA. With that in mind, for an example of ” substituting personal judgments and beliefs” I submit “Corporate rights should be limited to civil issues and not extended to political rights and religious rights.”

    What your posts, and Alexandra’s, and some others demonstrate is that the Democrats carefully crafted this attack to suit a target in their base: #MeToo not anti-abortion feminist who know what they like but a have thin grasp of facts.

    Dead-center hit.

  • This is not about democrats seeking to upend a nominee….
    Boy, you are either ignorant of the facts, a partisan democrat or intellectually dishonest.
    Based upon your boys will be boys comment, I suspect you are all three.

  • She never told anyone about it until 2012. The story she’s telling today does not match the story she told her therapist.

  • But Ted Kennedy was effectively disqualified for the presidency, due to an incident likely related to drinking, which he covered up, for which he faced few legal consequences, and about which he never fully told the truth. Thanks for the analogy!

  • But Kavanaugh did not engage in drunk driving, leave anyone behind alive in an automobile underwater, does not have an adult life marked by drunkenness and womanizing, and other this contrived allegation which is in the process of falling apart, appears to be a perfect candidate for justice of the Supreme Court. Thanks for trying to make the analogy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0CAWUgA6qo

  • Yeah, Kavanaugh’s drunken rage at the hearing reminded us all soo much of Anne Frank. What was it she said in her diary? “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really Soros-funded Clinton allies out to get poor poor me. Now I’ll have to spend my life as nothing more than a lifetime-appointed federal appellate judge with millions of dollars to buy anything I want.” /s

  • It is not clear to which post you’re responding.

    Quote whatever in one of mine you’re referencing and I’ll see what I can do.

  • Oh, do perfect candidates for the Supreme Court automatically get confirmed now? #MerrickGarland. Perfect candidates for the Supreme Court don’t interrupt senators and betray their partisan bias at the hearing in the rankest of ways.
    If we’re nitpicking analogies, Kennedy’s womanizing in general didn’t really defeat his presidential ambitions. Both Clinton and Trump proved that such can be easily overcome. And Kennedy was running for President *before* the Gary Hart saga changed the game on these matters. Kennedy was derailed by Chappaquiddick.
    And none of us will ever really know what happened on that night, or at the party Ford is talking about. But we can judge on how Kav reacted to the allegations. And it was not in a manner that suggests good judicial temperament. If anyone did at a trial what he did on Friday, they’d be in cuffs for contempt.

  • Even if you remove Ford’s allegations from the equation, we’re still stuck with a candidate who demonstrated how unfit he is for the job. Lying under oath, angry, condescending, mean-spirited, and likely an alcoholic to top it off. Can’t we do any better than this? Had he behaved this way for a position at McDonald’s, he would have been shown the door.

  • “Oh, do perfect candidates for the Supreme Court automatically get confirmed now?”

    No. Why? You left the impression that Ted Kennedy was the cut-off.

    “#MerrickGarland”

    What about Merrick Garland?

    Did the Republicans gin up fake accusations against him?

    “Perfect candidates for the Supreme Court don’t interrupt senators and betray their partisan bias at the hearing in the rankest of ways.”

    I always assume everyone is partisan. What do you assume?

    “If we’re nitpicking analogies, Kennedy’s womanizing in general didn’t really defeat his presidential ambitions. Both Clinton and Trump proved that such can be easily overcome.”

    Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were womanizing during their campaigns?

    “Kennedy was derailed by Chappaquiddick.”

    Actually he was derailed by the fact that each and every stalwart in the party knew that he never stopped partying, would not if nominated, would not if elected.

    His team on the Hill was the very best money could buy, a staff from the gods so to speak.

    He personally, depending on the time of day and the prior night’s events, could not be counted to conduct a coherent conversation.

    “But we can judge on how Kav reacted to the allegations.”

    I thought he did a fine job. I would be been more outspoken at this lynch party.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZURHD5BU1o8

    Clarence Thomas demonstrated that the statement “And it was not in a manner that suggests good judicial temperament.” is silliness.

    What demonstrates good judicial temperament is conduct on the bench, and the Dems could not lay a glove on him.

    Justice Thomas restrained himself, and yahoos are still calling him a sexual predator.

    He was not in court, and the Dems did not move for contempt for good reason.

    Feinstein was aiming to channel the #MeToo movement, and instead channeled Leo Frank’s lynching.

    The public is simply appalled at her conduct.

  • Clinton and Trump’s womanizing was brought up during their respective campaigns. Not sure if they still were actively pursuing other women after the formal declarations of their candidacies. Certainly they were doing so during the time they were at least aspirants to a presidential run.
    Even in 1980, Democratic voters unhappy with Carter were still mentioning Chappaquiddick as a reason they couldn’t support Kennedy in the primary. I’m sure the higher-ups in the party were generally supporting Carter for various reasons. For example, Tip O’Neill, House Speaker at the time and Kennedy’s good friend but lukewarm toward Carter, declined to endorse anyone feeling that as convention chairman it would be unfair.

  • “Clinton and Trump’s womanizing was brought up during their respective campaigns.”

    Correction:

    “Clinton and Trump’s PRIOR womanizing was brought up during their respective campaigns.”

    It turned out in Clinton’s case it was more than prior.

    In Ted Kennedy’s case it never stopped.

    “Even in 1980, Democratic voters unhappy with Carter were still mentioning Chappaquiddick as a reason they couldn’t support Kennedy in the primary.”

    They weren’t told he was still drinkin’, drivin’, and d-ckin’.

  • I believe Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh instead of Amy Coney Barrett because Kennedy went to bat for him.

    But to cave on this would of course condone and guarantee more unsupported smear campaigns and liberal shenanigans in the future. Those of us who are old enough to remember the Anita Hill debacle have seen enough of this. It needs to end now.

  • “After credible allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were made public two weeks ago — allegations that Christine Blasey Ford recounted in a live Senate testimony Thursday (Sept. 27)”

    People that claim she is credible must give reasons why. Racheal Mitchell’s questioning of Dr Ford found 28 inconsistencies. Including how old she was, where the party was, who was there, how she got there, how she got home, there is no corroboration by anyone that the party took place etc. You can read all of this in her memo. What reasons do you have for claiming her story is credible?

  • Yes, but which one of “every one of us” is being considered for placement on the Supreme Court??

  • Those of us who remember Merrick Garland are just in awe of the right wing ability to forget just how ‘political’ the GOP can get. And oh by the way, Thomas was confirmed under a Dem controlled Senate, but I bet you don’t remember that either.

  • Dream on, Bob. Your comment ignores the fact I recognized civil corporate personhood, because I was recongizing partial personhood in terms of liability issues. I’m done with you Bob. You are not worth the effort I expend arguing with you…..and back in the day you were.

  • Back in what day?

    I began posting for the first time in January.

    You can’t defend your position, I understand why you’re done.

  • Especially, apparently, if he is on the opposite side of what you perceive as a partisan issue.

    I think we both understand this line of discussion is not worth pursuing.

  • “Kavanaugh has shown himself unfit to serve not because he committed
    youthful pecadillos or attempted rape but because he refuses to admit
    it.”

    That’s a pretty slick box you’ve got there.

    a. Make an allegation.

    b. Declare the accused unfit if she/he refuses to admit it to be true.

    Both Alexandra and colkoch made much the same argument.

    Bizarre.

  • This author just assumes he is guilty, otherwise the premise makes zero sense to seek forgiveness for something he didn’t do.

    I guess I’ll be the one to point out there is zero evidence that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted anyone. Other than that, great article Katie!

  • Have you bothered to read about sexual assault victims? This topic has been topic has been studied.

    Have you bothered to read up on typical behavior of people telling the truth versus people telling a tale? This also has been studied.

    Short answer – people telling the truth usually admit to gaps in memory. They admit to uncertainty. They differentiate between details they are certain of and details that are less clear. They include information about their own mistakes. They worry about telling the truth and let the chips fall.

    Liars on the other hand try too hard. They make sure gaps are filled in. They claim perfect certainty. They avoid details that make themselves look bad. They make sure the story is complete and tied with a bow. Memory simply doesn’t work that way. They worry about looking like they are telling the truth.

    Think about times when you were a kid when you told the bare truth versus times you lied through your teeth.

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