Right and wrong in the Kavanaugh debate

Brett Kavanaugh will be one of the most pro-choice, pro-contraception, anti-executive-power justices in the recent history of the Supreme Court.

This is not the lunatic raving of an embittered supporter of the truly conservative Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s supposed runner-up pick for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Anthony Kennedy and the unanimous choice of Americans who wish to see Roe v. Wade overturned. It is the unequivocal testimony of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) during a lengthy — and painfully over-the-top — floor speech on Friday ahead of the final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination in the Senate.

Is Collins telling the truth? Her own pro-choice views about abortion are well known. It is difficult to imagine one of the GOP’s most rebellious senators lying on behalf of the most controversial nominee to the high court since Robert Bork. It is also, of course, possible that Kavanaugh was himself less than truthful about his views in his conversations with her. But what if both of them were telling the truth? More than one source in conservative legal circles has assured me that Kavanaugh would, if given the chance, overturn Roe.

The truth is, when it comes to Kavanaugh’s views about the handful of moral questions that are the actual substance of our wide-ranging public debate about the judiciary, we are in the same position we are in addressing the sexual assault accusations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford — he said, she said.

Earlier on Friday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) argued that the question of Kavanaugh’s nomination should not be allowed to become “a proxy war” for the #MeToo movement, of which he considers himself an ally. I am sure he was speaking in good faith. But he was also wrong — it has already become one. It became one in part because the majority of Kavanaugh’s supporters outside the Senate responded, on the basis of no evidence, in the absence of any testimony, that Ford was either obviously lying or confused or that holding a woman down on a bed, attempting to strip off her clothes, and covering her mouth to muffle the sound of her screams is, in the words of a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, “not one of the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance,” which I assume this moron thinks is code for “no big deal.”

Do not misunderstand me. While I have written on numerous occasions that Ford’s accusations were worthy of being taken seriously, I believe that it is virtually impossible on the basis of her and Kavanaugh’s competing testimonies to arrive at anything like certainty about the allegations. I consider myself an agnostic whose prejudices make my own conclusions unworthy of sharing. Meanwhile I respect anyone who argues that given the lack of corroborating evidence from each of the alleged witnesses the judge is likely innocent. But this is not the same thing as an ipso facto insistence upon his innocence, which was almost unanimous in conservative circles. …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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