Tag Archives: #MeToo

Despite massive opposition, Republicans are set to confirm the most unpopular judicial nominee in American history

More than 2,400 law professors sign letter opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation:

Signatories included Martha Minow — the former dean of Harvard Law School, where Kavanaugh taught a popular course — other law school deans and former deans, and some scholars who previously supported Kavanaugh.

“As someone who knew and liked Brett Kavanaugh when we clerked together, I have tried very hard to stay out of this process and to give him the benefit of the doubt,” said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School. But Kavanaugh’s behavior at the hearing last week “was not what we should expect of a Supreme Court Justice. Telling obvious lies about his background, yelling at senators, refusing to answer questions, and blaming his troubles on others is not appropriate behavior.”

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Another letter, signed by about 900 female law professors, asked the Senate to reject Kavanaugh’s appointment. As a law professor, “it is my responsibility to teach my students the highest standards of professionalism and decorum,” Karla McKanders, a professor of law at Vanderbilt University Law School, said in an email. “Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony undermines the legal profession and would undermine the authority of the Supreme Court.”

In an unprecedented move, life-long Republican and Former Justice John Paul Stevens said Judge Kavanaugh is not qualified to sit on the court:

Justice Stevens said he came to the conclusion reluctantly, changing his mind about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination after the second round of the judge’s confirmation hearings last week. Judge Kavanaugh’s statements at those hearings, Justice Stevens said, revealed prejudices that would make it impossible for him to do the court’s work, a point he said had been made by prominent commentators.

“They suggest that he has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential litigants before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities,” Justice Stevens said in remarks to retirees in Boca Raton, Fla. “And I think there is merit in that criticism and that the senators should really pay attention to it.”

“For the good of the court,” he said, “it’s not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job.”

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12 Angry Men: pity the privileged white male patriarchy

Twelve Angry Men is a gripping courtroom drama about a murder trial in which a single dissenting juror holds out from a unanimous verdict of guilty because he has reasonable doubt.

Last week we saw a different context for “Twelve Angry Men”: eleven privileged white male Republican senators and privileged white male Judge Brett Kavanaugh in a collective primal scream against the outrage of anyone, especially this woman, challenging their privileged white male patriarchy, nay their God-given right to rule over our us.

It was a defense of the old world order of privileged white male patriarchy, to paraphrase William F. Buckley, Jr., “standing athwart the tide of history and demographics yelling Stop at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

If Christine Blasey Ford had behaved the way that Judge Kavanaugh or Senator Lindsey Graham behaved, she would have been immediately dismissed as a shrill harpy who was being hysterical (typical male stereotypes for a woman who speaks up). But Republicans cheered this behavior in the Twelve Angry Men defending the privileged white male patriarchy. Why?

The Washington Post reports, ‘The trauma for a man’: Male fury and fear rises in GOP in defense of Kavanaugh:

The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh have sparked a wave of unbridled anger and anxiety from many Republican men, who say they are in danger of being swept up by false accusers who are biased against them.

From President Trump to his namesake son to Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), the howls of outrage crystallize a strong current of grievance within a party whose leadership is almost entirely white and overwhelmingly male — and which does not make a secret of its fear that demographic shifts and cultural convulsions could jeopardize its grip on power.

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Michael Avenatti drops a bombshell on Judge Kavanaugh

True to his word, attorney Michael Avenatti dropped a bombshell on Judge Brett Kavanaugh this morning. Talking Points Memo reports, Avenatti Client Emerges With New Allegations Against Kavanaugh:

Another woman has come forward with new sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, detailing his alleged inappropriate behavior toward women at high school parties in a sworn declaration released by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti.

The client, Julie Swetnick (above), alleges in a sworn declaration that in 1980 and 1981 she attended house parties with Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s accused accomplice in the alleged attack of Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s.

Swetnick paints a picture of heavy alcohol consumption and non-consensual sexual activity at the parties, alleging that Kavanaugh drank heavily and acted aggressively towards women present, both in word and action. She claimed that male party attendees participated in “gang rapes,” where they would, in turns, violate a woman who had been incapacitated with spiked drinks. Swetnick said that she herself was a victim of this specific crime, and that Judge and Kavanaugh were “present” when the alleged attack took place.

These dramatic allegations have surfaced just a day before Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford are due to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her sexual assault allegation.

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(Update) A sham hearing and a denial of due process

This. Is. Not. Normal.

This is unprecedented for a confirmation hearing.

The eleven privileged white male Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are going to hide behind the skirts of a hired gun female prosecutor to question Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh because they cannot contain their obvious contempt for a woman who is the victim of a sexual assault and express their view that the real victim here is privileged white male Brett Kavanaugh.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) concedes that GOP men can’t be trusted to treat Dr. Ford appropriately during hearing:

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is praising the move by GOP Judiciary Committee members to use outside counsel to question the accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during Thursday’s hearing. It’s pure genius, he said, because, frankly, GOP men simply can’t be trusted to act culturally appropriate toward a woman.

“I think it’s really smart of them to get outside counsel,” Corker told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday. When asked why he thought the all-male Republican members of the panel shouldn’t handle the questioning of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford themselves, Corker responded:

“Somebody will do something that you guys will run 24/7 and inadvertently somebody will do something that’s insensitive.”

Gee, “insensitive” like calling Dr. Blasey Ford “mixed up” such as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did or saying her sexual assault claims have been a “drive-by shooting” of Kavanaugh like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did? Both are members of the Judiciary Committee but, really, how could any man be expected to know that dismissing a PhD and trauma victim as “this woman” or “that lady” is sexist? C’mon, give the fellas a break—people are so touchy touchy these days about basic human decency.

“Gee, what could possibly be more sexist than hiring a woman to do the dirty work while the men ultimately continue to retain all the power?”

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Now we know why the GOP refused an FBI investigation and wanted to rush the Kavanaugh nomination to a vote

The White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley refused to request an FBI background check in light of the sexual assault allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This is standard operating procedure for the committee but was refused in this instance, despite Dr. Blasey insisting on an FBI investigation before she presents her testimony.

Sen. Grassley has bullied and threatened Dr. Blasey over presenting her testimony, even threatening to proceed to a confirmation vote as early as Monday without her testimony unless Dr. Blasey agreed to Sen. Grassley’s unreasonable demands.

Legal minds have asked “why refuse an FBI background investigation?” and “what is the rush to confirmation?” since there is no actual deadline, other than the GOP’s political calendar for the midterm election.

Now we know the answer to those questions: the GOP is engaged in a cover-up.

On Sunday night, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer published an article detailing a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Republican Supreme Court nominee. Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate from Kavanaugh’s undergraduate years, described a drunken freshman-year dormitory party during which she claims he exposed himself and thrust his penis into her face, causing her to touch it accidentally as she pushed him away. None of it, she said, occurred with her consent.

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GOP’s privileged white male patriarchy exposed by its bullying of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Over the past week, the GOP has revealed itself as the party of privileged white male patriarchy in its bullying of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. As the New York Times editorializes, G.O.P. Leaders Can’t Even Fake Respect for Christine Blasey Ford. Or for any women.

Senator Orrin Hatch, who so thoroughly disgraced himself during the Anita Hill hearings, suggested Dr. Blasey was “mixed up” (as in “a little bit nutty.”)

Those promoting Brett Kavanaugh concocted a doppelgänger theory to defame a classmate of Brett Kavauagh by accusing him of a criminal sexual assault. Conservative Pundit Points Finger at Another Man to Deflect from Kavanaugh (Ed Whelan has been involved in helping to advise Kavanaugh’s confirmation effort and is close friends with Kavanaugh and Leonard Leo, the head of the Federalist Society, who has been helping to spearhead the nomination); Kavanaugh ally says he did not communicate with White House or Supreme Court nominee about theory of another attacker. (In the wake of Ford’s allegation, Kavanaugh told White House officials and Republicans on Capitol Hill that it was potentially a case of mistaken identity, according to people who heard his comments or were familiar with the discussions.) Nothing suspicious there.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley, who also thoroughly disgraced himself during the Anita Hill hearings, has feigned that he wants Dr. Blasey to testify while doing everything in his power to make certain that she does not, or that she testifies under terms that are neither fair nor impartial. Grassley has issued threats and arbitrary deadlines to intimidate Dr.Blasey. His “take it or leave it” approach is dismissive of Dr.Blasey’s credible claim. “Let’s hear what the little lady has to say – blah, blah, blah – then let’s vote to confirm.”

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