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Here's How to Save the Supreme Court

September 30, 2018 in Blogs

By Paul Rosenberg, Salon

“Originalism” has always been a mask for blatantly political right-wing decisions. It’s time to rip off the mask

Last week's historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was primarily about sexual violence and accountability. But it was also about lies, and those issues are inextricably linked at many levels.

“What we saw this week was Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch trying to build the Me Too firewall,” Above the Law editor Elie Mystal said on MSNBC Saturday. “There are 18 archconservative judges waiting for Kavanaugh's job. They grow these people on trees. They could pick another guy. But they don't want another guy. That's because the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are a feature for them, not a bug. They want to prove that they can shove this guy through and tell women to shut up.” Exactly the same argument was made by Salon's Amanda Marcotte last week.

That much is painfully obvious. (Rape is about power, not sex. So too Supreme Court nominations.) But the role of lies is far more diffuse and various, ultimately reaching to the very heart of our judicial system and to the Supreme Court, to which Kavanaugh aspires. The lies Kavanaugh told are a useful reminder of how far from the truth we are as a nation.

Sometimes Kavanaugh’s lies to the Senate Judiciary Committee were ludicrous. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., called some of them called out.

“I don't believe 'boof' is flatulence, I don't believe a 'devil's triangle' is a drinking game, and I don't believe calling yourself a girl's 'alumnius' is being her friend,” Whitehouse said, regarding a just few of the countless lies, half-truths and bad-faith evasions Kavanaugh produced.

More often Kavanaugh’s lies pretended to common sense status.

Seven times he claimed that all four purported witnesses said “it didn’t happen,” with regard to his alleged assault of Ford in the summer of 1982. That's not true. Three times he specifically included Leland Keyser, Ford's friend, and that's also false. As Sen. Cory Booker, …read more


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