Let me just say this up front, Fuck Chuck Grassley. Fuck Orrin Hatch and their entire old white guys club and Fuck Brett Kavanaugh in particular. We all know why, but I just think I’ll let John Oliver explain why instead of going over it all once again.
The bottom line here is that the Kav’s ridiculous partisan ragefest from last week is going to have lasting repercussions. It’s prompted former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to recind his support, it prompted literally over 1,200 law professor to sign on to a letter to opposing his confirmation for the same reason and the ABA has considered recinding his “Well Qualified” rating.
All of this could spell major trouble for Kavanaugh going forward.
There is the small possibility that Kavanaugh’s Non-apology op-ed to the WSJ where claimed that his “what comes around goes around” and “this was revenge for the Clintons” statements doesn’t mean that he’s a bitter biased partisan who can’t rule fairly on cases, and that just to prove that he’s NOT a partisan in the future he might actually rule fairly because if he doesn’t no one will trust the legitimacy of those decisions.
As I explained that night, a good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no political party, litigant or policy. As Justice Kennedy has stated, judges do not make decisions to reach a preferred result. Judges make decisions because the law and the Constitution compel the result. Over the past 12 years, I have ruled sometimes for the prosecution and sometimes for criminal defendants, sometimes for workers and sometimes for businesses, sometimes for environmentalists and sometimes for coal miners. In each case, I have followed the law. I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.
The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. As I have said repeatedly, if confirmed to the court, I would be part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player.
But yeah, basically no one seriously believes any of that because it’s quite obvious that you are pro-Conservative and anti-Liberal.
A bigger problem is that his outburts actually violated his own personal standard for how Judges are supposed to behave.
“In 2015 he talked about what a federal judge must be,” Scarborough said. “Must be nonpartisan, must be sure they don’t act like jerks, must be sure they stay calm and stay measured. Again, his supporters could always say, ‘Well, he was under a lot of pressure, he had been attacked unfairly.’”
“I think history has shown us the great leaders,” he continued, “the great jurists, the great public figures are the one who in the darkest moments keep their head and are Churchillian about these challenges like Churchill was in 1940. Brett Kavanaugh did the exact opposite under extreme pressure of what he told law students just three years before that they should do.”
Also, Just to point out something that hasn’t been highlighted, the ABA current reconsideration of Kavanaugh’s rating isn’t the first time they’ve had second thoughts, they had previously lowered his rating back in 2006 over temperament issues.
WASHINGTON — When Brett M. Kavanaugh was preparing for his second confirmation hearing for a seat on a federal appeals court in 2006, he got some unwelcome news. The American Bar Association, which had earlier given him its highest rating, had reconsidered.
The revised rating, the group explained, was prompted by new concerns about Mr. Kavanaugh’s demeanor and veracity, foreshadowing some critiques of his testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to accusations of sexual misconduct.
But the group’s 2006 statement, based in large part on confidential interviews, has received renewed attention in light of recent questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s temperament and truthfulness.
“The 2006 interviews raised a new concern involving his potential for judicial temperament,” Stephen L. Tober, the chairman of the bar association’s standing committee on the federal judiciary, told the Judiciary Committee at the time.
Mr. Tober summarized a handful of unflattering comments from unnamed judges and lawyers to support that conclusion. One judge called Mr. Kavanaugh simultaneously unprepared and sanctimonious. A lawyer said he had dissembled in his handling of a case. A third interviewee questioned Mr. Kavanaugh’s “ability to be balanced and fair should he assume a federal judgeship.”
So this past Friday wasn’t the first time that the “real” Brett Kavanaugh had come out for a stroll even though he apparently tries to keep his politically bigoted inner rage-monster well hidden.
And I think the most serious issue, on top of a mountain of serious issues, was the reason that Sen. Murkowski gave for her “No” vote on confirmation. Kavanaugh violated Judicial ethics rules with his testimony during the Ford hearings.
The Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 1.2 requires that a judge ‘act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.’ And I go back and I look to that. It is pretty high, it is really high, that a judge shall act at all times—not just sometimes when you’re wearing your robe—in a manner that promotes public confidence. Public confidence. Where’s the public confidence?
“So it is high. And even in the face of the worst thing that could happen, a sexual assault allegation; even in the face of an overly and overtly political process, a politicized process; even when one side of this chamber is absolutely dead set on defeating his nomination, from the very get-go, before he was even named; even in these situations, the standard is that a judge must ‘act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.’
So what would happen if Kavanaugh was found to have violated the Code of Judicial Conduct?
The Code of Judicial Conduct was formulated by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1972. The code itself does not have the force of law, but federal and state governments have adopted it and use violations of its rules as the basis for punitive action against judges.
When the judicial council of a federal circuit receives a complaint of judicial misconduct, the chief judge of the circuit court of appeals conducts an initial review of the complaint. The chief judge may dismiss the complaint as baseless. If the chief judge finds that the complaint has merit, she or he assembles a special committee, which makes findings and refers the complaint to the entire judicial council. If the council finds that the judge in question has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, it may suspend the judge from office, or it may publicly or privately reprimand the judge.
The aggrieved judge may appeal the judicial council’s order to a review committee known as the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee to Review Circuit Council Conduct and Disability Orders. The decision of this committee is final and may not be appealed. Every state maintains a similar process to govern its state court judges.
A federal circuit judicial council may not remove a judge on its own. If removal is considered by the judicial council, the matter is referred to the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Courts. If the Judicial Conference finds cause for removal, it refers the matter to the U.S. House of Representatives, which holds hearings on the proposed removal.
If a Federal Judge is recommended for removal the House holds hearings on it?
Well, there just happens to be the fact that House Democrats have already vowed to investigate Kavanaugh if they take control after the midterms.
Democrats vowed to open an investigation into Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations if they take control of the House of Representatives in the November midterms.
The New York Times reported that Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the congressman poised to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee if Democrats flip the House, announced the forthcoming investigation in a statement made on Friday.
“It is not something we are eager to do,” Nadler told the newspaper. “But the Senate having failed to do its proper constitutionally mandated job of advise and consent, we are going to have to do something to provide a check and balance, to protect the rule of law and to protect the legitimacy of one of our most important institutions.”
So that means the 28 or so witnesses that were noted by Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez just might be interviewed and testify before the House even though they were ignored by the FBI.
That’s not counting all the walk-ins and call-in witnesses that tried to reach the FBI but didn’t get through.
Secondly there’s the problem of why didn’t the FBI actually do their job? We were told both by Trump and by the various GOPers such as Sen. MIke Lee and John Cornyn that the FBI was allowed to look at “all credible claims and witnesses”, even though we know they were initially given a list of just 4 people to interview, which was “slightly expanded” to just 9 witnesses.
Well, it appears that despite what both Trump and Mike Lee said, the FBI witnesses list was limited by White House Counsel Don McGahn who had warned Trump that it would be “disastrous” if too many witnesses were interviewed.
WASHINGTON — An exasperated President Trump picked up the phone to call the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, last Sunday. Tell the F.B.I. they can investigate anything, he told Mr. McGahn, because we need the critics to stop.
Not so fast, Mr. McGahn said.
Mr. McGahn, according to people familiar with the conversation, told the president that even though the White House was facing a storm of condemnation for limiting the F.B.I. background check into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a wide-ranging inquiry like some Democrats were demanding — and Mr. Trump was suggesting — would be potentially disastrous for Judge Kavanaugh’s chances of confirmation to the Supreme Court.
It would also go far beyond the F.B.I.’s usual “supplemental background investigation,” which is, by definition, narrow in scope.
The White House could not legally order the F.B.I. to rummage indiscriminately through someone’s life, Mr. McGahn told the president. And without a criminal investigation to pursue, agents could not use search warrants and subpoenas to try to get at the truth.
Mr. Trump backed down, although he said publicly the next day that the F.B.I. “should interview anybody that they want within reason.” But the episode on Sunday was further evidence of the confusion, including on the part of the president, about what would happen after Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, forced a one-week delay in the confirmation vote of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by calling for a new F.B.I. investigation.
One of Brett Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates has revealed a new text message showing that the Supreme Court nominee attempted to tamper with a potential witness to one of the sexual assaults he allegedly committed.
NBC News reported that in the days leading up to the second sexual assault allegation published in The New Yorker, Kavanaugh’s classmate Kathy Charlton learned from another of his acquaintances that the nominee called him and asked him to tell press “no bad” if they inquired about the incident.
On September 21, two days before The New Yorker went live with the allegations made by accuser Deborah Ramirez, that same acquaintance texted Charlton in all-caps about the admission.
“Don’t F****** TELL PEOPLE BRETT GOT IN TOUCH WITH ME!!!” the acquaintance — whose identity was not revealed, but was confirmed by, NBC — reportedly texted her. “I TOLD YOU AT THE TIME THAT WAS IN CONFIDENCE!!!
So we have violations of the Judicial code of conduct, we have potential witness tampering and we have potential perjury for the 30 lies that Kavanaugh told during the various hearings which is something that Sen. Bernie Sanders has already called for.
Kavanaugh claimed in his opening statement on September 27, “I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service.”
As Kavanaugh’s own calendar indicated, there were a lot of parties and gatherings. As the Washington Post noted, “But it does have one interesting entry: “Go to Timmy’s for Ski’s.” That’s a slang term for “brewskis” = beer, and he includes other friends who Ford alleges were at the party — or in the room, in the case of Mark Judge — when the incident occurred.”
Kavanaugh stated, categorically, that he “never attended a gathering like the one Dr. Ford describes in her allegation.”
Kavanaugh himself admitted that his calendars “show a few weekday gatherings at friends’ houses after a workout or just to meet up and have some beers.
Kavanaugh argued that “none of those gatherings included the group of people that Dr. Ford has identified.”
A July 1 calendar entry included the same people that Dr. Blasey Ford said attended the gathering.
Kavanaugh testified, “When my friends and I spent time together at parties on weekends, it was usually with friends from nearby Catholic all-girls high schools — Stone Ridge, Holy Child, Visitation, Immaculata, Holy Cross. Dr. Blasey did not attend one of those schools. She attended an independent private school named Holton-Arms, and she was a year behind me. She and I did not travel in the same social circles.”
According to the New York Times, “Judge Kavanaugh’s implication is that students at Holton-Arms, an all-girls school, didn’t mingle much those who attended Georgetown Prep. Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s former schoolmates said on Friday that this was not true and that Holton-Arms students were routinely present at parties with Georgetown Prep boys.
‘Holton-Arms was definitely part of our social scene,’ Mr. Barbot said. Another Georgetown Prep alumnus who was in Judge Kavanaugh’s class said, ‘Holton was as much a sister school as the others.’”
According to the Intercept, “Nine times during Thursday’s hearing, Kavanaugh claimed that four of the teenagers, including himself, made statements affirming that Ford’s version of events didn’t happen.”
For example, Kavanaugh claimed that “[a]ll four witnesses who are alleged to be at the event said it didn’t happen.”
“I just want to reemphasize: All four witnesses who were allegedly at the event have said it didn’t happen, including Dr. Ford’s longtime friend, Ms. Keyser.”
“It’s been investigated and all four witnesses say it didn’t happen.”
This is untrue. Dr. Blasey Ford claimed that Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, a boy named P.J., and one other boy whose name she could not recall were present at the party. She also said her friend Leland was present. Though P.J and Leland have both said they could not recall the event, neither have said that it did not happen and Leland said she believed Ford.
Kavanaugh claimed in his opening statement on September 27, “Dr. Ford’s allegations are not merely uncorroborated, it’s refuted by the very people she says were there.”
Associated Press: “THE FACTS: The statements in question do not corroborate Ford’s allegations, but they also do not exonerate Kavanaugh. They leave open the possibility that people at the small gathering forgot about it or were not in position to witness the assault.”
Kavanaugh claimed to be simply a social drinker.
“I — passed out would be — no, but I’ve gone to sleep, but — but I’ve never blacked out. That’s the — that’s the — the allegation, and that — that — that’s wrong.”
Many of Kavanaugh’s high school and college classmates contest this, claiming that Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker who was often incoherent and even belligerent.
Even Trump himself admitted at a recent press conference, “He did have difficulty as a young man with drink[ing.]”
“We have heard your college roommate say that you did drink frequently…,” Klobuchar said. “Another classmate said it’s not credible for you to say you didn’t have memory lapses.”
“I don’t think I, I actually don’t think that’s, the second quote’s correct,” Kavanaugh replied.
Washington Post: “It is [correct]. The classmate was Liz Swisher, who knew him in college. She told The Post that he was a ‘sloppy drunk,’ adding: ‘There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.’”
When asked about his high school year book’s reference to him being “Beach Week Ralph Club — Biggest Contributor,” Kavanaugh claimed that it was a reference to his weak stomach.
When Sen. Whitehouse asked Kavanaugh how to pronounce “boofed,” Kavanaugh stated that it referred “to flatulence. We were 16.”
As the New York Times reported, “‘Boofed’ in the 1980s was a term that often referred to anal sex, and that is how Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates said they interpreted his comment. They said they had never heard it used to refer to flatulence.”
When asked about “Devil’s Triangle” and what it was, Kavanaugh said it was a “Drinking game.”
As the New York Times reported “the phrase was regularly used to describe sex between two men and a woman.” As a classmate at Georgetown Prep, Bill Barbot said “the spin that Brett was putting on [the yearbook] was a complete overstatement of the innocence with which they were intended.’”
He could be disbarred for what he did during the Ford hearings, he could be reprimanded and possibly even removed for violating the judicial code, because he’s shown judicial bias future plaintiffs could demand that he be recused, he could be investigated and prosecuted for perjury and witness tampering and all of hat is before we get to Impeachment by the House or (a fairly doubtful) removal by the Senate, and there is the possibility that the Montgomery County officials might still file a case against him for sexual assault — which they’ve already begun apparently with yet another victim who came forward.
Kavanaugh’s letter came after additional allegations against him surfaced this weekend, from his time in college and in high school. Government investigators confirmed Monday they’re aware of a potential second sexual assault complaint in the county against former Georgetown Prep student and Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.
While investigators weren’t specific and spoke on background, they said they are looking at allegations made against Kavanaugh during his senior year in high school after an anonymous witness voluntarily came forward to speak with them this weekend.
This would potentially bring the number to four women accusing Kavanaugh of wrongdoing and comes after Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale college student, stepped forward this weekend to accuse Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her in college, and after attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted out a message saying he represents a woman with “credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.”
Kavanaugh being confirmed today isn’t the end, it’s just the very beginning of a long painful road for him — and it couldn’t happen to a more appropriate screaming petulant entitled asshole.
One piece of bad news, Supreme Court justices aren’t subject to the ethics rules of Federal district and appellate justices, so although there already are multiple ethics complaints against Kavanaugh, they will be essentially null and void once he’s confirmed to the SCOTUS.
This can be changed either by the SCOTUS themselves or by Congress, but we’ll have to wait to see if they have the intestinal fortitude for that.
Ok, so it appears that Chief Justice John Roberts has been sitting on a dozen ethics violations against Kavanaugh for the past three weeks.
A fellow judge on the panel, Karen LeCraft Henderson, forwarded more than a dozen misconduct complaints to Roberts after concluding that the reports were substantive enough that they should not be investigated by fellow judges on the same panel.“The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge,” Henderson said in a statement. “The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”“The situation is highly unusual, legal experts and several people familiar with the matter said,” The Post explained. “Never before has a Supreme Court nominee been poised to join the court while a fellow judge recommends that a series of misconduct claims against that nominee warrant review.”
Roberts was appointed by then-President George W. Bush, who revealed in his memoir that Kavanaugh had helped him decide to nominate Roberts to the court.“If Justice Roberts sits on the complaints then they will reside in a kind of purgatory and will never be adjudicated,” New York University Law School Professor Stephen Gillers explained. “This is not how the rules anticipated the process would work.”
This gives even more reason for the SCOTUS to reform their ethics rules to match the rest of the judiciary. We need to get Congress on this STAT.