Saturday afternoon, Judge Brett Kavanaugh became Justice Brett Kavanaugh after being confirmed by the Senate in a 50-48 vote.
Two weeks ago I appeared on Dave Congalton’s radio show to talk about my two previous posts on the Kavanaugh confirmation process and the more recent live testimony by Kavanaugh and his primary accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. You can listen to that here:
(As always, you can find all my radio appearances by following the link at the top of the page.)
Upon further review
I stand by most of the comments I made in that radio interview with a couple of exceptions.
First, based upon Sex Crimes Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s memo to the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee that was released last weekend, after my appearance, that my analysis of her questioning of Ford as largely ineffectual was incorrect. If you haven’t read the full report, I encourage you to. Mitchell’s point-by-point recounting of the discrepancies and inconsistencies and convenient changes to Ford’s testimony leads me to change my opinion, expressed in the radio interview, that Ford had been attacked, but she was wrong about who did it (namely, Kavanaugh). I now believe that Ford was, at some point in her life, sexually assaulted, but that it wasn’t by Kavanaugh and that she knows that.
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Mitchell lays out a compelling case that Ford’s testimony does not even meet the “more likely than not” standard that is usually required in civil cases, and is a far cry from something a prosecutor would attempt to bring charges on.
I was also incorrect in my prediction on what the final vote would be in the Senate. I predicted 52-48. Instead it was 50-48 with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (RINO-Alaska) not voting and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) absent due to his daughter’s wedding.
Once again, I’m unsure whether Ford’s lawyers—both longtime Democratic Party activists—were always putting Ford’s best interests ahead of those of the Democratic Party. Their failure, apparently, to fully inform Ford that she needn’t appear publicly on TV before the Senate, but could instead give her testimony in private, and be questioned by, committee staffers in California.
It’s also pretty apparent that her lawyers attempt to delay the hearing because of Ford’s alleged fear of flying was completely dishonest. Ford flies more often than the vast majority of Americans, and certainly more than would be done by someone with severe claustrophobia or a real fear of flying.
Ford and her lawyers have repeatedly cited her therapy notes and her polygraph examination as evidence to bolster her credibility. However, they have repeatedly refused to turn them over to the committee as Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has asked repeatedly. Their final offer (in another effort to delay last weekend’s confirmation vote) was that they would provide those documents to the committee if the FBI interviewed Ford as part of its supplemental investigation done at the behest of Sen. Jeff Flake, RINO-Ariz.
I suspect this request was made because additional “explanations” would be needed for where those two documents diverged from Ford’s previous testimony.
During my radio appearance, a caller attempted to make much of Ford’s testimony that Leland Keyser, Ford’s longtime friend and one of the people she had identified as being at the party where she was attacked, had apologized to her for stating that she wasn’t at the party and had never met Kavanaugh. I took it to mean that Keyser was sorry that she couldn’t corroborate Ford’s allegation. The caller took it as a renunciation of her letter to the committee. My take on the apology was the correct one.
The missing link
No one Ford named as a witness has corroborated her story. As Mitchell noted in her report, Ford does not know how she got home after she was attacked at the party. In a time before cell phones, before Uber and Lyft, it wouldn’t have been easy to get a ride, especially since Ford testified that she didn’t make a call before leaving the house where the party was taking place.
Someone gave her a ride home. Who was it? Even if Ford doesn’t remember, you’d think a friend who picked her up at, say, a 7-Eleven parking lot some summer evening where she was disheveled and distraught would remember the incident and come forward. This would certainly be something memorable for the driver, even if Ford shared no details of what happened.
Media behaving badly
Perhaps the worst actors (aside from Senate Democrats) in this entire debacle has been a mainstream media that shed all pretense of objectivity and joined up with the Democrats in an effort to slander and libel Kavanaugh. This isn’t something that they would have done had the political parties been reversed.
AGConservative on Twitter has a pretty impressive rogue’s gallery list of the worst of the media’s misdeeds here. The msm has done more self-inflicted damage to their own credibility over the past two weeks than President Donald Trump has done over the past two years.
The good news is that even with all of this baseless muck-throwing, 50 senators approved the appointment of an eminently qualified jurist to the court. While I doubt that we will see Roe v. Wade overturned anytime soon (I think at least one more conservative jurist will have to be appointed to the court before Chief Justice John Roberts would let that happen), there’s a lot better chance that the court’s 2nd Amendment jurisprudence will rein in the willful misreading Heller and McDonald that seem to be infesting many lower courts.