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I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Whether you accept as true that Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (I do) or whether you believe Judge Kavanaugh’s account of himself as a wholesome teenager dedicated to school, sports, and service (I don’t), in all the tumult of the last week we’ve lost sight of the fact that Brett Kavanaugh’s record both on the bench and during hearing testimony is in itself disqualifying.
First, let's take a step back from what’s happening now. It bears notice that past nominees to high ranking positions have withdrawn for far, far less than what has been alleged against Kavanaugh. Remember Nannygate? In 1993 President Clinton’s nominee for Attorney General, Zoe Baird, withdrew her name from nomination because it was discovered she hired undocumented immigrants to serve as chauffeur and nanny and had not paid their Social Security taxes. After Baird withdrew, Clinton tried again with Judge Kimba Wood. She too had hired an undocumented immigrant as a nanny, but unlike Baird, Wood had paid the taxes and her actions were within the law at the time. Nevertheless, Wood also withdrew. Then there was Douglas Ginsburg, nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1987 after Lewis Powell retired. When reports surfaced that Ginsburg had smoked marijuana as a student in the 1960’s and later when he was an assistant professor at Harvard, he backed out of the nomination process. (Coincidentally, after Ginsburg withdrew, Anthony Kennedy went on to a seat on the court.)
I won’t go into detail here about Kavanaugh’s record. I’d just like to point out a few key facts:
But more importantly, Brett Kavanaugh has a problem with the truth. Please reread my August 14th blog post “Exhibit A”. In it I pointed out that Kavanaugh’s appointment by George W. Bush in 2003 to the position he currently holds on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was held up for three years due to a contentious hearing and charges by Democrats that he was too partisan to sit on the bench. (Sound familiar?) I also wrote that during the current hearings, Senators Durbin and Leahy noted that Kavanaugh may have perjured himself when he was up for the circuit court post regarding his role in the Bush White House. And astute observers have noted serious inconsistencies in Kavanaugh’s testimony last Thursday. (See "How We Know Kavanaugh is Lying")
In today’s contentious atmosphere of partisanship (think Lindsey Graham’s apoplectic rant) and the extremely serious and possibly criminal charges against Kavanaugh, the foibles of past nominees like Baird, Wood, and Ginsburg seem quaint.
The lesson for Kavanaugh is that those nominees admitted to what they had done and responsibly moved on. Zoe Baird is now president of the Markle Group, a charitable organization which promotes the use of information technology to address public needs and improve people’s lives. Kimba Wood is now Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and is presiding over high-profile cases such as the one against Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Douglas Ginsburg continues to serve as Senior Judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (That’s the same D.C. Circuit on which Merrick Garland and Kavanaugh currently sit.)
An individual seeking a lifetime position on the most powerful court in the land, a position with which comes the responsibility of making decisions that potentially affect each and every citizen, should be a person of impeachable character and a spotless record on the bench. Just as Dr. Ford felt it was her “civic duty” to come forward with her story, Brett Kavanaugh should do the country a favor and step down.
posted by Amy Levengood