The Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS nomination are, at long last, concluded. In what has been a hotly contested process that has at times, plunged headlong into absurdity, the country has been held hostage, clinging to every sound byte like an Venezuelan peasant clutching a chicken leg, hoping to hear some hint that would confirm or deny their personal bias.
The preceding two days have given us dramatic, tear jerking tales of a horrific incident purported to have happened 36 years ago. Absent from the proceeding we’re any fragments of corroborative evidence beyond hazy anecdotes. Professor Ford was successful at deflecting any possibility of being locked into her story with details, stating that the basic assault is etched in her memory, but anything that might pin down the who-where-when is lost in the peripheral haze of her hippocampus.
We all have suffered some traumas through the span of our lives, whether it be monumental events like 9/11, the assassination of JFK, or something more personal like the unexpected loss of a loved one. Many have even been attacked, brutalized and assaulted. It’s been my experience that one element consistently rings true. That is the fact that when these things happen, barring some head injury or psychotic break, the chain of events leading to, and subsequently, tend to etch deep in our memory, playing over and again like a movie. To say that something occurred, that you remember the event, but nothing more, is highly suspect to me.
We also saw, from Judge Kavanaugh, compelling exculpitory evidence. His journal-like calendars chronicling the fairly typical life of a teenage kid of above average means. Sports, school, beach outings, and yes…beer. His calendars show an uncanny, and yes, definitely odd habit of relaying his comings and goings in fastidious detail. The entries show very little free time to devote to sexual predation.
Judge Kavanaugh also presented sworn affadavits from those people named in the accusations. The affadavits refuted claims of anything even similar to what Professor Ford suggests.
While all of this certainly made for compelling,rivetting television, it’s all meaningless. At the end of the day, it’s one person’s word against another, and one party wrongly trying to adjust the burden of proof to defend a weakened position.
As it stands, the nomination has cleared the Committee, and will advance to the Senate Floor. The story will continue to unfold, and I will update as developments happen.
In an interesting development, in the hours since the Senate Judiciary adjourned, NMC has learned that Ariana Kelly, Democratic Caucus Chair, received a letter from the Chief of Police and States Attorney in Montgomery County Maryland pursuant to a request made by the Caucus to open a formal investigation into Professor Ford’s allegations. Here is a copy of the response from Montgomery County
This response is hardly what Senate Democrats want to hear, as they are quickly approaching the call for a vote on the Senate Floor. Republican Senator Jeff Flake indicated his desire to see a focussed FBI inquiry prior to a floor vote. If the results from this inquiry offer no new information, Senate Democrats will face an uphill battle to stonewall the confirmation.