For a seat on Supreme Court, is a four-decade long allegation fair game?

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Recently I spent several days away from the so-called grid. I have to say it really does invigorate one’s sensibilities and sanity. With so much news spinning wildly on a daily basis, the mind and body need a break once in a while.

That being said, we have a hurricane wreaking havoc in the Southeast, a Supreme Court nominee in trouble, and a certain president of the United States who continues to dominate the news like no other in the history of America. Yep, it’s great to be back.

While the hurricane is still making news, especially with catastrophic flooding, an escalating death toll, and extensive environmental damage, we have a potential Supreme Court justice who has just been accused of sexual assault. Believe it or not, I see a link between these stories, and I’ll address that in a separate post. But first, a thought on the current saga surrounding Brett Kavanaugh, the man in question who is currently awaiting what he hopes will be an affirmative vote for confirmation to sit on the highest court in the land. That prospect just got a little more complicated.

Fair game?

My best friend and I had a text conversation last night concerning the whole issue of the sexual assault accusation put forth by Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old California professor. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of groping her and trying to take her clothes off when they were both attending suburban Maryland high schools in the early 1980’s. She described Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, a second boy in the room, as being “stumbling drunk” at the time of the alleged incident.

My friend, who describes himself as a registered ”independent” Republican, put forth an interesting theory regarding what is fair game and what isn’t fair game as it pertains to politicians and in this case, a possible Supreme Court justice. According to my friend, he once pushed a kid to the ground when he was in the fourth grade in the 1970’s. His question to me was, that was an assault … does that mean he should be disqualified for sitting on the Supreme Court?

Yes, my friend was being sarcastic here. But the truth is, he brings up a good point: Where do we draw the line? Should we ignore something that allegedly happened nearly four decades ago as merely a youthful indiscretion? What if it were an attempted murder? What if he had robbed a liquor store or assaulted a homeless person?

All are serious crimes. And that’s where we have to draw the line. No, pushing a kid to the ground in the fourth grade shouldn’t prevent someone from a seat on the Supreme Court. But an attempted sexual assault is a serious crime. When someone is 17 years old, should he not know the difference between right and wrong, regardless of his intoxication level? Is it not an indication of a possible character flaw? Do we know for sure there aren’t other incidents in Brett Kavanaugh’s life that might give us pause?

So the answer I gave to my long-time friend was that we need to get to the bottom of what really happened. Yes, I did many things when I was 17 years old that I’m not proud of. But I can honestly say I never attempted to sexually assault someone either … and my intoxication levels were pretty high on a consistent basis. We need to have answers in this case. My question to our conservative friends is: What’s the hurry? We have a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land at stake here. Let’s leave no stone unturned. 

2 comments

  1. The thing of it is, your friend seems to be applying a kind of flawed logic which I think is prevalent among supporters of Kavanaugh… that what we do as kids should be excused since it’s all part of ‘growing up’. Your friend gives an apples-to-oranges comparison. Pushing a kid down on the playground is NOT the same as pinning a girl on a bed, trying to pull her clothes off and cupping her nose and mouth so she’s unable to scream (while nearly suffocating her.) A better comparison would’ve been if your friend had severely beaten the kid after pushing him to the ground, so badly that his nose was broken and his eyes were swollen shut.

    I think many Kavanaugh supporters minimize this to the level of a teenage boy trying to get to “first base” in a car at a drive-in theater, where the girl smacks his exploring hand, gives him a firm “NO!” and it’s finished with no harm done. This is NOT the same thing. If these allegations are true and accurate, then Kavanaugh was trying to rape a helpless 15 year old girl while being encouraged by a complicit friend. There’s no minimizing or excusing it. Many of us do change from how we were as kids, but an act so vile as pinning a girl down and trying to rape her may point to something still deep within Brett Kavanaugh. It goes without saying that our Supreme Court needs none of that.

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  2. So true my friend. It doesn’t help that we have a POTUS who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by at least 16 women, and who continuously stands by men who have been accused of such things… Roy Moore…Kavanaugh… etc.. This guy shouldn’t even sniff the Supreme Court, let alone sit on it. This is just one more nail in the coffin as far as I’m concerned. But, he’s their guy. He’s Trump’s guy. Sadly, I’d be shocked if he isn’t confirmed. And if he is… we will rue the day he takes the oath. Another hit to our fragile democracy.

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