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Justice Kennedy Retires, July 31.


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Hey Fozzie, it might be a little too early, but I have your new avatar picked out (assuming you don't think it's so awesome that you want to use it whichever way it goes, anyway)....    

How are the Dems going to stop it? Unless the Republicans want to keep it as a campaign issue, it's going to be done before the midterms. Even if it isn't resolved before then, I wouldn't want to bet

I didn't believe conspiracies when that Kenyan was in office.

Guest El Chalupacabra

I don't get the Kavanaugh hate, then. I am of the opinion that SCOTUS should have a balance of power, with equal amounts of liberal and conservative judges, with one justice who could go either way to break a tie, when there is one. I think that best represents the US. Just saying.

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I don't get the Kavanaugh hate, then. I am of the opinion that SCOTUS should have a balance of power, with equal amounts of liberal and conservative judges, with one justice who could go either way to break a tie, when there is one. I think that best represents the US. Just saying.

I tend to think a conservative Supreme Court is closer to moderate than the one you describe. Conservatives have a philosophy where they try to stick to the laws as written and how they were originally meant to be understood. Liberals are a lot more outcome based. Watch a liberal talking head attacking Kavanaugh sometime. It's often "Kavanaugh sided with big evil corporation against the little guy". Nothing in such a statement giving any thought to whether the law might have been on big evil corporation's side. To accommodate that worldview the concept of a "Living Constitution" came about whereby interpretation is malleable for modern times. This basically means we don't have a Constitution at all, just a series of "pragmatic" dictates that invariably end set up limits and mandates in line with the opinion's author's personal beliefs. This is how you get the head-scratching conclusion from the entire liberal wing of the Supreme Court that the 14th Amendment declares gay marriage a right, but the 2nd Amendment somehow doesn't contain an individual right to bear arms.

 

To quote Scalia, the only good Constitution is a dead Constitution.

 

Was the Supreme Court balanced with Kennedy around? I would argue not. Kennedy had a grandiose edge to his rulings that led him to make pronouncements that weren't in the Constitution. The law basically came down to one man's feelings. Regardless of whether you agree with he outcome, it shouldn't be that way. The courts, should simultaneously be the most independent and dependent branch of government. Independent from the political branches interference, but slaves to the hierarchy of laws that they cannot change by themselves.

 

In a perfect world, Democrats and liberal judges would also be textualists as well and respect the law as it's written, not how they wish it were written. If that were the case, the courts would stop being so political. But as of now, I don't think Democrats should be allowed by Republicans to appoint any judges whatsoever. None of them are actual judges, just politicians by other means.

 

I should make clear though that I don't think Kavanaugh will be another Kennedy. I believe he'll fall somewhere to the right of Roberts, who will take the mantle of the swing justice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This has gotten to the point to where if you don't think this all politics and this has anything to do with a possible sexual assualt are kidding yourselves. So the accused won't talk unless there is an FBI investigation AFTER the FBI already said this wasn't their job?

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Of course, Feinstein knew that before she even forwarded the info to the FBI in the first place. If you've taken middle school civics, you know that the FBI doesn't investigate local and state crimes. They're restricted to federal crimes. As senators and lawyers, they don't need anyone to tell them that.

 

As for the actual charge. Not sure. The therapy notes are at least something and it can't be denied that drunk teenagers do stupid, destructive things. But even the little bit of story and evidence have plenty of holes in it and really not much to go on. Definitely not enough to convict. But then, that's a much higher standard than whether you believe someone. And of course, there are three truths that are possible, he's lying, she's lying, or they're both telling the truth and something happened in a gray area but neither of them really remember what it was and it became more sinister as she grew older and reinterpreted the scene and probably long left his mind completely.

 

One thing I do know. I hope they clear the public from the seats. Things just got serious and I really don't have the patience for another circus. Either do this right and take things seriously, or don't do it at all. Many Republicans will be willing to listen to what she has to say. But if it becomes an exercise in politics, then we'll get no closer to any truth and Republicans might as well just vote affirmatively because you can't just start disqualifying everyone who has an accusation thrown their way.

 

That's one of the reasons I'm already a bit sour on believing her. It doesn't strike me as credible that she says she didn't want to come forward publicly, but at the same time contacted politicians (no surer way to have something leak) and the Washington Post, hired a layer, and took a lie detector test (which, BTW, are pretty much useless) even though she says she made the decision not to come forward. It doesn't strike me as credible that the leak happened after the hearings and she came forward the week of the committee vote. It doesn't strike me as credible that they're not returning the committee chairman's phone calls and instead issuing press releases making demands to delay the process using political language straight out of the Dem playbook and demanding the completion of an investigation that wouldn't even be legal.

 

I'm willing to listen, but I can smell political manipulation and talking points. Regardless of the veracity of the claim, either her lawyer is playing political games at her instructions, or her lawyer is playing political games against her client's interests. That needs to stop immediately. These are serious charges and should be met with stone cold seriousness from everyone involved. I shouldn't have to say that the alleged victim should want that most of all.

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As I understand it, she doesn't remember what year the alleged incident took place, nor the location. There is no corroborating witness. There is nothing for the FBI to investigate. That request for an investigation before she testifies makes her motive clear, delay as long as possible the confirmation in hopes of stealing the seat. The only evidence is her testimony, we don't need the FBI to collect it.

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I suspect she testifies, and in public.

 

In the end, we're really back to where we were three weeks ago. Complaining about process and why everything needs to be delayed. Except now it's for an investigation that's not happening instead of releasing more and more documents.

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Kavanaugh has Roy Moore in his corner, so at least he has that.

 

But seriously, evangelicals are pressuring Republicans to get it done. So it'll be interesting. The question is, if they don't get him through, do the leaders have enough away to actually impact the election, and do they really try. "You didn't give us exactly what we want so we're going to help ensure people will get elected who will give us nothing we want."

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The Dems take a huge risk with this. Say Kavanaugh doesn't get confirmed or steps back. If they don't gain the Senate Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett. So now you have not only a woman, but a woman who is likely to vote to overturn RvW. Democrats don't have a problem going after conservative females, but there hypocrisy will be magnified.

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I'll hold out until confirmation, but if that report about demanding Kavanaugh testify first as a precondition for her testimony, we're definitely still in the playing games stage. Obviously, Kavanaugh can't go first because then he'd just be sitting there without much to say and no questions you could really ask him. And it's only fair that the accused be allowed to rebut. If true, this strikes me as a poison pill demand where they can try and claim that "We were willing to testify but" because the demand for an investigation fell flat and isn't playing well.

 

Also included in the report was a demand that the politicians ask the questions not a lawyer. This tells me that they want to make sure to get the "old men" on camera being mean to a victim, even though a non-politician lawyer would lower the circus atmosphere.

 

And, for the one bit we can substantiate, the email sent to the committee includes a demand to provide for safety. Again, this is cynical. Of course they'll provide for safety. I'm sure every person involved has received death threats, Kavanaugh himself more than all. The only reason to include this is to get it out into the news cycle again that she's received threats.

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Whelp, Trump just joined the battle. And I think I speak for everyone when I tell the president to shut up. It's like Ted Kennedy pontificating about Clarence Thomas 25 years ago.

 

Grassley's handling this about as well as it could be all things considered. For goodness sake, let him take the point.

 

Also, I don't know what possessed Ed Whelan to toss all his credibility down the drain like he did last night by trying to blame another guy, but I hope it was worth it. Too bad, Bench Memos is one of the few blogs I read with some regularity anymore. The guy's not a provocateur or anything and he certainly knows better.

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Trump is the bait. He doesn't realize his role of course, but if he shuts his mouth as you wish he hides the worm. It's painful to watch, but it serves it's purpose. Look at the swamp revealing itself on a daily basis because of his clowning. He has done more to expose corruption and hypocrisy than anyone, by accident.

 

The Democrat members of the Judiciary Committee look like ****ing retards over this deal to anyone with any intelligence. They have done away with the presumption of innocence, a staple of justice for almost 4,000 years. They've made a mockery of the entire process by inventing the rules as they go. They are making fools of themselves to a LOT of voters.

 

They had a poll on the local radio show this morning about this. They took that retarded Hawaii senator's advice and the men sat down, ladies only poll "do you believe the accusation against Kavanaugh?". They didn't give a final tally that I heard, but last count was 43 no and 1 yes. The yes was a guy trying to fake a girl voice, told the host he wasn't John Wayne while he was at it. The presentation has been suspicious as ****.

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Only three people can have first hand knowledge of this alleged attack against Dr. Ford by Judge Kavanaugh. Everyone elses account /or opinion is second hand and kazillion hand. The two involved first parties, Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, are both willing to testify. No one has set a date or place to hear their testimonies.

 

Political games? Regarding the lack of a date for both to talk, it can certainly and fairly be argued so.

 

Anything else is just a million people posturing and postulating conspiracy with their opinion about the event already formed.

 

That is madness, I tell you, madness. ;-)

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Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, are both willing to testify.

 

Here's the problem. One has already testified under oath about this (Democrats didn't show up or even send staffers btw) and is willing to do it again in public at command. The other says she will, but then doesn't answer the phone when the chairman tries to make contact to arrange it and then makes multiple inappropriate demands that they know can't and won't be accepted.

 

No one has set a date or place to hear their testimonies.

 

The date has been set twice now. The latest deadline to agree passed over an hour ago.

 

Anything else is just a million people posturing and postulating conspiracy with their opinion about the event already formed.

 

Actually, no. Like I said at the beginning of this, I know that drunk kids do stupid things, Kavanaugh did get drunk as a kid, and there is at least minimal evidence. I'm not coming here with conspiracy theories that have been tossed around like it's revenge for Mama Kavanaugh foreclosing on her parents' house and I just actively buried a writer (who I like) because he made a conspiracy theory that was absolutely inappropriate and I wouldn't protest if he was fired from his position for it or sued. I'm not running around spouting off about how she should have made her accusation 30 years ago and since she didn't she should just shut up.

 

Sunday night I was thinking about joining the side of asking the nomination to be pulled. I literally had this thread open to start the post and decided it would be best to let it sit. That night I got downvoted on a conservative forum to the point where my posts had to be moderated by the administrators so they could be seen because I backed up Jeff Flake in saying that we demanded the person come forward and they have, now the committee would have to investigate this before they voted. Got called "you libs" too.

 

However, we can only evaluate things based on whose story is more credible. And when actions are nakedly political, I can't help but say that cuts into the question of credibility. I don't think it's a conspiracy theory either. As I said earlier, this is the exact same playbook Democrats were running three weeks ago during the hearings. Make an impossible demand, pretend it's reasonable when they know it's not, call Republicans big meanies for not giving it to them, and above all delay, delay, delay. Just substitute ever more documents for an investigation or more time for whatever.

 

Except this isn't games where Booker is running around calling himself Spartacus because he did something naughty and demonstrating that he obviously has no clue what "I am Spartacus" even means. This is real stuff. A person has been accused of a terrible crime and everyone, the accuser above all, should be stone sober about the whole deal.

 

At the moment, her representation bears the hallmarks of a political operator, not a sexual assault survivor. I don't think we should ignore that or pretend that it's not happening.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I am not necessarily defending Kavanaugh, and i have to be straight up in that because Trump likes the guy so much, he is suspect to me. But what I find disturbing with this #metoo movement is one simply needs to make the accusation, and it is so. Now, I am NOT defending perps, or diminishing true victims of sex assault in any way whatsoever, BUT, I find the trend of making accusations decades after the alleged action, and without proof, disturbing.

 

I thought our legal system was set up where the burden of proof was on the accuser, not the accused. Furthermore, a statute of limitations exists for a reason, and if these people didn't come forward 20 or 30 years ago, why should they now be allowed to come forward and throw out an accusation, long after said person can even be prosecuted? Simply put, if it wasn't important enough to go to the police 30 years ago, why should anyone listen now? To be clear, I am not talking about people who DID make the accusation 30 years ago, that fell on deaf ears. And what happened to people who champion civil liberties in cases like this. Is it because the ACLU is traditionally left, and they feel that people either considered to be right leaning, or are of a wrong gender and ethnicity ( white and male) need to have their comeuppance, like some bizarre form of reparations, and justice be damned? I wonder what happened to all those people who thought allegories like the Oxbow Incident or The Crucible are cautionary tales of what happens when people use accusations to deprive other people of their civil liberties for personal gain or greed?

 

I am not talking about people like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, or Kevin Spacey due to the shear numbers of independently corroborated victims coming forward. But examples like Kavanaugh, Les Moonves, or even (so help me, am I really defending him?) Trump, where no proof exists (at least with Stormy Daniels), and it has literally been after the statute of limitations runs out, before some woman comes forward with allegations. What proof is there? It seems like it is some social engineering program to decapitate all political leaders or high profile people with an allegation of sex abuse, and remove people of influence from their positions. It literally seems like a witch hunt.

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Furthermore, a statute of limitations exists for a reason

 

I'll point out that there doesn't seem to be a statute of limitations in Maryland for attempted rape. The problem is that even if you take the accuser's words at face value, there were several more steps to go before even the victim would know if rape was in the cards. Things hadn't progressed beyond groping and disrobing crimes which do have statute of limitations.

 

Personally, I'm less concerned about MeToo than I was about the changes in Title IX regulations for colleges that resulted in stripping the accused of even basic due process during the Obama administration like presumption of innocence, lowering the burden of proof from clear and convincing to preponderance of the evidence (if you think it's mostly a coin flip, but slightly believe the accuser, then you convict), having legal counsel available, given the ability to review or challenge the accuser's story much less the accuser, present exculpatory evidence in some cases, or even appear before the panel deciding their fate to defend themselves at all in other cases.

 

Courts rarely get involved in such matters, but the due process abuse was rank enough that a flurry of decisions came down against universities a couple years back because the inherent unfairness of the process was just too obvious to be ignored.

 

DeVos took some heat for rolling back the Dear Colleague letter that started it last year, but it's easily the action she's taken that has been most necessary.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Metoo was just one example I cited, and you are correct there are many other examples that could be. But I agree, the lack of due process is a serious problem. That is what is alarming to me. Don't get me wrong, rape, sex assault, or even groping is a problem that needs to be dealt with. But through legal process. Not the court of public opinion. And it seems to me, at least, there is a growing trend where the mere accusation of victimhood is celebrated, and used as a means to take people down, without due process. If there is evidence that someone is guilty, I am all for prosecuting that person to the full extent, and the max punishment should be enforced if found guilty. But being able to simply make an accusation, especially in recent years, seems to supersede actual due process, and opens up the potential for someone being accused of something untrue, and still having their life, livelihood, and reputation damaged, without recourse. That is what I am concerned with.

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I'm going to flat out say that unless there's an eyewitness the NYT and The New Yorker missed (and they looked), I don't think the story from last night is credible. 35 years, alcohol, and a week spent reorganizing her memories where she went from telling people she wasn't certain, to willing to make the accusation nationally. Even if she now believes it, her memory is so tainted that there's a good chance that it's all a false memory.

 

Ford, I'll keep in consideration, but the Ramirez story, as it stands, I can't even call it "he said, she said". It's just a black hole.

 

In other news, Kavanaugh claims he was a virgin at the time. So, that's fun. His ex-girlfriends are running around on television. Should be easy enough for them to confirm or call BS considering he opened that door.

 

His interview tonight turned out to be a few talking points just repeated over and over though. Not a good look.

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