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All things Kavanaugh - updates and background

All the hail mary’s are coming …it is going to be down to the wire.


Another hail mary…

A massive coalition of U.S. Christian churches attended by 40 million people wants Brett #Kavanaugh to withdraw his Supreme Court nomination.


The flood gates have opened as organizations across the country scramble to distance themselves from Kavanaugh. If only Republicans senators felt the same way.


The nail in the coffin…(just like they planned it…)
WSJ Report…

Paywalll but the first two paragraphs…

White House Finds No Corroboration of Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Kavanaugh in FBI Report
It is unclear whether White House had finalized its review of FBI interview reports
By Rebecca Ballhaus,
Michael C. Bender,
Kristina Peterson and
Natalie Andrews
Updated Oct. 4, 2018 12:19 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The White House has found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after examining interview reports from the FBI’s latest probe into the judge’s background, according to people familiar with the matter.

It was unclear whether the White House, which for weeks has raised doubts about the allegations, had finalized its review of the FBI interview reports. Officials were expected to be sending the FBI report to the Senate Judiciary Committee later Wednesday.


Hail Mary pass…#NoOnKavanaugh

The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4. It will be updated as more signatures are received.

Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”

We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.

The question at issue was of course painful for anyone. But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners. Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as “a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators.


And then there’s the clock…a race against the clock.



Prediction - more like a bet. I will be curious to see if it comes true:

  • Kavanaugh will fail in confirmation. Very quickly Amy Coney Barrett will be nominated and then confirmed because at election time my fellow Democrats will be unable to say the thing that troubles them most, that she is too Catholic. So paradoxically this fall’s opera will result in an even more conservative and even younger right-wing justice on the court.

This is in @matt 's report today, but I thought I should post it here as well. What is there to say?


Results from the Cloture vote. 51-49 Kavanaugh advances to the final vote.


The Washington Post reports two Senators are still undecided.

Undecided or unclear
These senators are undecided about whether they will support the nomination, or have not made clear how they will vote.

Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Collins voted to proceed to the final confirmation vote but said she will announce her intention on the full vote later Friday. She said Thursday that the FBI investigation “appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I’m going back later to personally read the interviews.”

Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.)
Manchin voted to proceed to the final confirmation vote — the only Democrat to do so. He backed Trump’s first nominee for the Court and was the first Democratic senator to meet with Kavanaugh, but he has not publicly announced how he will vote.


Both Collins and Manchin will vote yes to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.


The trap has nearly closed and democracy is close to death in the USA . With Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court by a slim majority, Trump controls the judiciary and has an unobstructed path to becoming a dictator. The elections will continue to be hacked, rigged, and gerrymandered. And since Trump is Putin’s puppet, the USA will effectively be run by the Russian mob.
Trump is labelling as troublemakers protesters exercising their first amendment right. He will be shutting down the news media that he doesn’t like next.
The FBI investigation into Kavanaugh was a sham.
Have a look at the senators who have supported Kavanaugh’s appointment, especially the women, and ask yourself: who is leaning on them?
Kavanaugh will try to overthrow Rod vs. Wade and outlaw abortion. This is the payback to the crazy right who have supported Trump despite the fact that he has no moral credibility. He is only interested in his own wealth.
This is scary: If America doesn’t wake up and get rid of Trump now, I can see America getting worse and worse until it needs another revolution, or states start seceding from the Union.

It’s over

A deeply divided Senate voted on Saturday to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, delivering a victory to President Trump and ending a rancorous Washington battle that began as a debate over ideology and jurisprudence and concluded with questions of sexual misconduct.

The vote, almost entirely along party lines, was 50 to 48, with Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — the lone Republican to break with her party — voting “present” instead of “no” to accommodate a colleague who could not attend and would have voted “yes.” Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia was the lone Democrat to support Judge Kavanaugh.

The final result was expected; all senators had announced their intentions by Friday, after the nomination cleared a crucial procedural hurdle in a 51-to-49 vote.


This was a painful day to watch Judge Kavanaugh GET the Senate to confirm him, given the struggle to bring to the front irrefutable evidence about his character.

Beyond the holes in bringing forth K’s paperwork from Bush era, and the known obfuscation on K’s possession of Dem research on opposing Judicial nominees, the most baffling was hearing him lie repeatedly to make him seem like a choirboy.The known BS was the most upsetting. :persevere:

But on a larger front, the credibility of the Supreme Court’s to operate fairly has been thrown into jeopardy.

Today has tested what is at stake here…and the process was so tainted, and power driven that it makes any cynic more deeply cynical. I hope that there will a be a momentum towards a Blue Wave, a more invigorated press and an invigorated population. Now is the time.

Excerpting some of a wrap up from the New Yorker

Would you say you’ve been through Hell?”

There was a pause at this, as Kavanaugh recognized, belatedly, what Graham had been after, and the relief it would supply. “I would say I’ve been through Hell and then some,” Kavanaugh said. “This was not a job interview. This was Hell.”

Kavanaugh is a practicing Catholic. Those words must have had some specific meaning for him, but his monologue had lingered on the damage to his reputation rather than the experience of his soul. The multiple allegations of sexual assault against him, each of which he has denied, will probably stick with him until the end of his life. He has received death threats. Of course, Ford, who credibly accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her when they were teen-agers, has received death threats, too, and had to relive her sexual assault in front of the nation, only to have the President of the United States enliven a political rally by questioning why she could not remember some of the details. And her own version of Hell did not end, as Kavanaugh’s almost certainly will today, with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. What Kavanaugh called Hell seemed, from another angle, like the consequence of his own quest for power.

As the invocations of perdition piled up from the partisans, a pattern of fretting set in among the few remaining Senate moderates. The spirit of their concern was easy enough to identify: Supreme Court nominations have long been billed as a solemn process of discernment, but Kavanaugh’s revealed a nakedly partisan endeavor, no different than the rest of power politics. Even so, there was an unusual intensity to the worries. In the final Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Chris Coons, of Delaware, told Kavanaugh, “We are here to determine whether your confirmation would compromise the legitimacy of the Court itself.” Last weekend, Coons joined with Senator Jeff Flake, of Arizona, to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote for a week so that the F.B.I. could conduct a brief investigation of Ford’s allegations. “This country is being ripped apart,” Flake said. “We have got to make sure that we do due diligence.”

We are in an unusual political situation right now. Republicans have managed to secure control of all three branches of government with only the barest and most contingent of majorities. In theory, this makes a partisan consensus possible, but there is also the danger of public mistrust. Senator Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, the lone Republican to oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation, alluded to this on Friday afternoon. “We need to have institutions that are viewed as fair,” Murkowski said. “If people who are victims feel there is no fairness in our system of government, and particularly within our courts, we’ve gone down a path that is not good and right for this country.”

On the crucial matter of Ford’s allegations, Collins said that the spirit of due process and the presumption of innocence should apply, so she fashioned her own evidentiary standard—for her to vote no, she would have to conclude that Kavanaugh’s guilt was “more likely than not.” Collins said that she could not find enough support for Ford’s claims to satisfy that standard: there were important gaps in what Ford could recall, and no witnesses could corroborate her account.

But there were gaps in Collins’s explanation, too. Had she wanted to, Collins could have used her leverage, as one of the few undecided senators, to insist on a more thorough F.B.I. investigation. As it was, the investigation was so brief and limited that it had the effect of sealing off the debate within the Senate chamber. Some public momentum had built behind Ford—a poll released by NPR/Marist on Wednesday found that forty-five per cent of Americans believed her, and just thirty-three per cent believed Kavanaugh. (More than twice as many Americans believed Clarence Thomas than believed Anita Hill, by contrast.) But Kavanaugh’s opponents could only protest at the Capitol, argue in the media, and confront senators in elevators and airports. What mattered was what was happening within the Republican caucus, and Ford’s supporters had no way in.

It is easy enough to anticipate what many liberals will do now. The midterm elections are only a month away, and the Democrats have a strong chance of winning control of the House of Representatives. Some liberals will canvass for candidates; many more will donate money. During the coming year, some will plan their own campaigns for public office. Moments after Collins’s speech ended, a Web site raising funds to challenge her in 2020 received so much traffic that it crashed, while collecting more than two million dollars in donations. Sara Gideon, the Democratic speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, suggested on Twitter that she might run; so, too, did Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national-security adviser.

The consequences won’t touch only Maine. This past Saturday, I attended a town hall with Elizabeth Warren in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where a schoolteacher asked Warren if she would be running for President. The surprise was not in Warren’s reply, in which she edged toward announcing her candidacy, saying that
she would take a “long, hard look” at the race immediately after the midterms
, but in her description of why she might run, which was all about Kavanaugh. “I watched eleven men too chicken to question a woman themselves,” she said. “I watched powerful men helping another powerful man. . . . I thought, Time’s up.’ ” Warren continued, “It’s time for women to go to Washington and fix a broken government, and that includes a woman at the top.” Liberals are anticipating the midterm and 2020 elections in part because they believe they can transform the politics of the country, and in part because waiting for the next election is all they believe they can do.


A slightly different viewpoint from Matthew Yglesias, well worth the read

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court — and that’s good
It’s time America woke up to the radical right that’s run the Court for years.

Maybe there is a silver lining to this ugly cloud

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court — and that’s good
It’s time America woke up to the radical right that’s run the Court for years.

Yes … but it will still be your Supreme Court, with all that entails. ie there can be no further appeal to a higher authority. Any amendment to the structure will mean Constitutional change, and that, in the US appears to be easier said than done.

Changing the number of Justices of the Supreme Court does not require a constitutional amendment, just an Act of Congress; at various times it has ranged between 5 and 10.

Article III, Section 1, starts with a broad direction to Congress to establish courts.

“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish,”

I am not a lawyer or constitutional scholar so the following should be filed under #IThink

An Act of Congress needs to pass both the House of Representatives (confusingly often referred to as Congress) and the Senate. Then it needs a Presidential signature. If the President refuses to sign it Congress can override a veto by passing the act by a two-thirds vote in both the House (287) and the Senate (67)

Anyone can be impeached, to be successful it would require the same super-majority vote

Always attack the messenger - The whistle blower (depends), or a David v. Goliath (also depends), Women (Deny them but attack first, have mind already made up, then appear to be listening)

This scar on our national psyche about what should matter - speaking one’s truth, has been undeniably harmed through this confirmation process. Supreme Court Justice says. “All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks”. What RBG said is the resolve.

Listen up R’s…they are coming after you.

Yet we seem to expect much less from the men in the Senate, who will walk away from this nomination unscathed.

How many people demanded that Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota or Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska defend their votes? Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska won plaudits for their hand-wringing and then predictably fell in line.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia — another red-state Democrat leading comfortably in his own re-election race — waited until Justice Kavanaugh had the votes and announced he’d vote yes. None of them will face consequences to their reputations or careers.

They are not alone. Throughout the process, men overlooked Justice Kavanaugh’s behavior to criticize the women who reported it. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California has been roundly vilified, both for withholding Dr. Blasey’s claim in accordance with her wishes and for the fact that it eventually leaked. Without a hint of irony, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina rejected an investigation into allegations against Justice Kavanaugh but demanded a “wholesale and full-scale investigation” into Senator Feinstein’s handling of the letter.

The Senate owes an apology to the women whose reputations have been ruined by coming forward, and must develop better procedures for reporting and investigating sexual assault claims in the future.

We need to hold men accountable. A bigger man than Justice Kavanaugh would have apologized to Renate Schroeder Dolphin for turning her into a high school joke. A more responsible Senate Judiciary Committee would have taken their claims seriously and demanded a thorough, fair investigation.

And all of us could direct the same energy and opprobrium that we level at moderate women at the men who prejudged the outcome of this process and proceeded accordingly.

Justice Kavanaugh won’t have to answer for the damage his confirmation process inflicted. We still should.
Opinion | Women Will Pay for the Mess of the Kavanaugh Confirmation - The New York Times


Is anyone else here completely unimpressed by the fact that he’s hired an all-female staff considering his past hiring practices?


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