Anybody who gets into the fray over Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process will immediately be considered either “one of us” or “one of them.” “Us” to some is “those who will stop at nothing to keep this man from becoming a Supreme Court Justice.” “Us” to others is “those who think this man is imminently qualified and should be confirmed.” “Them,” of course, is “anybody who isn’t one of “us.”
Since regardless of whatever else I write at this point, I will be classified by any given reader of this post as either “one of us” or “one of them” and in one of the two camps I just described, I’ll simply express very succinctly my own opinion and then insert verbatim a letter Judge Kavanaugh wrote to Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein of the Senate Judiciary Committee about this matter. To any readers who, after reading this post, consider me one of “us,” thanks. To any who, after reading it, consider me one of “them,” thank you for reading it anyway.
How This Looks To Me
You could not find a better example than this whole confirmation process of how polarized our government is — and the way I see it, how polarized our country is. I honestly hope sanity prevails, and this man’s nomination is confirmed. If the accusations about him from 30 years ago are ultimately confirmed to be facts, then there is a process for dealing with that if the facts indicate a need for “dealing with that.” As it sits right now — if for no other reason than the fact that this whole thing arose from something that Senator Feinstein knew about two months ago but chose to go public with only as it was becoming clear that Judge Kavanaugh was about to be confirmed — I’m for having an up or down vote one way or the other, whether he is confirmed or not. Let Senators who vote one way or the other because of their political decision about how their vote may affect them answer later, when the facts are known, for what will ultimately be viewed as either their mistake or their good judgment.
The remainder of this post is Judge Kavanaugh’s letter — nothing else I’ve written. …
Judge Kavanaugh’s Letter
September 24, 2018
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
When I testified in front of the Senate three weeks ago, I explained my belief that fair process is foundational to justice and to our democracy.
At that time, I sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 31 hours and answered questions under oath. I then answered more questions at a confidential session. The following week, I responded to more than 1,200 written questions, more than have been submitted to all previous Supreme Court nominees combined.
Only after that exhaustive process was complete did I learn, through the news media, about a 36-year-old allegation from high school that had been asserted months earlier and withheld from me throughout the hearing process. First it was an anonymous allegation that I categorically and unequivocally denied. Soon after the accuser was identified, I repeated my denial on the record and made clear that I wished to appear before the Committee. I then repeated my denial to Committee investigators—under criminal penalties for false statements. All of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening. I asked to testify before the Committee again under oath as soon as possible, so that both Dr. Ford and I could both be heard. I thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling that hearing for Thursday.
Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring.
These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.
As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.
I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.
Brett M. Kavanaugh
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Charles M. Jones