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Expect Kavanaugh Hearing to Be Inconclusive, Circus-Like

September 18, 2018 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

It’s fine for the Senate to drill down into the allegation
against Brett Kavanaugh, but the hearing now scheduled for Monday
will hardly accomplish anything. Even if Christine Blasey Ford
testifies, what we’ll likely be left with is a she-said, he-denied
that’ll put us no further than when this 11th-hour bombshell
dropped.

What we’ll likely be left
with is a she-said, he-denied that’ll put us no further than when
this 11th-hour bombshell dropped.

Unlike Anita Hill’s case against Clarence Thomas, which arose
out of a longtime working relationship, here the accuser can’t
recall facts that are key to establishing her claim, while the
accused has issued a categorical denial: not simply that he didn’t
do it, but, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that he wasn’t
even at a party like the one Ford described.

It’s certainly possible that, under oath, Kavanaugh will change
his story, but this is exceedingly unlikely given that he chooses
his words carefully and had time to ponder his statements.

Senators will have to proceed with the same information they
have now, weighing the claim’s veracity against the politically
suspect circumstances in which it arose. They’ll also have to
consider Kavanaugh’s exemplary adult life, as attested to by
copious character statements.

To be frank, few senators’ votes are likely to change. Susan
Collins – the moderate Maine Republican whose vote is key – has
already expressed frustration at the process by which the
allegation came to light, with Judiciary Committee ranking member
Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., discounting the allegation until pressed by colleagues last week.

Of course, the Democratic senators running in red states may
seize on this issue as providing just enough political wiggle room
to justify a no vote. We may thus see a completely party-line vote
to seat a Supreme Court justice.

That would mark a further rift in our nation’s political fabric.
Regardless, there can be no winners. After a presumptively
inconclusive (if not pointless and circus-like) hearing, it will be
time for the Senate to vote – and let the political chips fall
where they may.

Ilya Shapiro
is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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