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This is how victims are isolated and silenced': Kavanaugh accuser reacts to his likely confirmation

Read the full statement from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Debbie Ramirez.

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KAVANAUGH ACCUSER DEBORAH RAMIREZ REACTED TO HIS LIKELY CONFIRMATION SATURDAY. (CREDIT: RJ SANGOSTI/THE DENVER POST VIA GETTY IMAGES) Debbie Ramirez, who attended Yale with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said the Senate's treatment of her was reminiscent of when the judge first assaulted her 35 years ago.
"[T]he other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh," Ramirez said in a statement released Saturday, just a few hours before Kavanaugh's final confirmation vote.
"As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I'm right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior."
Ramirez told the New Yorker that Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a college party, thrusting his penis in her face and making her touch it without her consent. She is one of three women who accused President Donald Trump's nominee of sexual assault.
Despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's credible testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which she described her own assault and reports that the FBI investigation into the allegations were far from thorough, enough senators say they are voting in favor of the nomination to confirm Kavanaugh.
Many senators have said they believe Dr. Ford was assaulted but that it wasn't Kavanaugh and that she's "mixed up" and "mistaken" meaning, they do not actually believe her. So Kavanaugh, a man who is opposed by a majority of the country, is all but certain to become the next Supreme Court justice.
Ramirez's statement echoed Dr. Ford's testimony. Dr. Ford told senators she could never forget the "uproarious laughter" from Kavanaugh and his college friend Mark Judge when the former assaulted her in high school. Using her expertise as a psychologist professor, she said "indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter the uproarious laughter between the two and they're having fun at my expense."
Read the full statement from Kavanaugh's accuser, Debbie Ramirez:
Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh. As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I'm right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior. This is how victims are isolated and silenced.
But I do have corroborating witnesses speaking for me, although they were not allowed to speak to the FBI, and I feel extremely grateful for them and for the overwhelming amount of support that I have received and continue to receive during this extremely difficult and painful time. There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors. This is truly a collective moment of survivors and allies standing together.
Thank you for hearing me, seeing me and believing me. I am grateful for each and every one of you. We will not be silenced.
We stand in truth and light,
Debbie Ramirez

[INDENT=6]I BELIEVE IN the presumption of innocence. As an American, a lawyer, and a black woman, I believe it is perhaps the most important principle in our criminal justice system a last bulwark against the structural momentum that incentivizes convictions over justice and minimizes the value of some lives under the pretext of protecting others.
The presumption of innocence is, in fact, the fundamental project of Black Lives Matter. The controversial movement, born from a controversial hashtag, was intended to elevate black lives not above others, but so that they are considered equally valuable. It's a movement intended to call attention to the fact that some Americans, disproportionately black and poor, are frequently presumed guilty in extrajudicial contexts killed by police officers who rarely face consequences; they are denied due process and the presumption of innocence.
The political right in this country has typically aligned itself behind law enforcement as a principle, regardless of how faithful individual officers have been to the duties that come with their shields. As a result, the presumption of innocence and other constitutional protections intended to safeguard the life and liberty of ordinary citizens have been of secondary importance to them, if they register at all.
That is, until Brett Kavanaugh.

[Image: brett-kavanaugh-series-promo-1538502322-...=440&h=220]Read Our Complete CoverageSupreme PrivilegeA few weeks ago, news broke that a psychology professor named Christine Blasey Ford had come forward with an accusation that the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her at a house party in 1982. Last Thursday, both Ford and Kavanaugh offered testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh denied Ford's accusations, but to most observers, Ford measured and sincere where Kavanaugh was evasive and angry appeared to be the more credible of the two.
Since the hearings, Republicans have rushed to explain and defend Kavanaugh's furious testimony, framing his rage as the rational response of an innocent man falsely accused. Some conservatives have even abdicated the pretense of Kavanaugh's innocence, writing articles arguing that "Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court even if he's guilty." The standard by which we should judge Kavanaugh, they seem to say, is beyond guilt or innocence. It's something more. It's beyond credibility. He's literally beyond a reasonable doubt.
Tuesday night, at a rally in Mississippi, President Donald Trump expressed concern about what precedent a failure to confirm Kavanaugh would set. He lamented what it would mean if a stranger could cause a person to lose their job by merely making an accusation. "Guilty until proven innocent, that's very dangerous for our country. That's very dangerous for our country," he repeated, emphasizing that in America, due process comes first.
Of course, he used to feel differently.
[Image: GettyImages-97231509-1538620570.jpg?auto...768&h=1024]Angela Cuffie speaks with reporters after a judge overturned the conviction of her brother, Kevin Richardson, and four other men who had been jailed in the Central Park jogger case. Behind Cuffie, Councilman Bill Perkins holds up an advertisement taken out by Donald Trump after the crime.
Photo: Mike Albans/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

ON APRIL 19, 1989, Trisha Meili was assaulted, raped, and nearly beaten to death while jogging in Central Park. Subsequently, five boys, then ages 14 to 16, were arrested and jailed for the assault. On May 1, 11 days later, and before the conclusion of any investigation, much less a trial, Trump spent $85,000 on a full-page ad in all four of New York's major newspapers, including the New York Times, calling on New York to "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!"Even if you remember the ad from when it ran, it's worth taking another look at the small print today. "They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence," Trump inveighed. "I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them. If the punishment is strong, the attacks on innocent people will stop."
All five convictions were vacated in 2002, after Matias Reyes, a serial rapist and convicted murderer, confessed to raping Meili, and DNA evidence confirmed his guilt. To date, Trump has never apologized for calling for the deaths of these innocent children.
"At what point did we cross the line from the fine and noble pursuit of genuine civil liberties," asked Trump in his 1989 ad, "to the reckless and dangerously permissive atmosphere which allows criminals of every age to beat and rape a helpless woman and then laugh her family's anguish. And why do they laugh? They laugh because they know that soon, very soon, they will be returned to the streets to rape and maim and kill once again and yet face no great personal risk to themselves." They laugh, in other words, with impunity.
This week, in Mississippi, Trump was the one laughing. With an enthusiastic crowd behind him, Trump joked about Ford's inability to remember certain details about the night of her alleged assault, 36 years ago: "How did you get home? I don't remember.' What neighborhood was it? I don't know.' Where's the house? I don't know.' Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don't know. But I had one beer.'" As the crowd behind him jeered, it was difficult not to recall Ford's fragile testimony, during which she said one thing she could never forget was the laughter of her attackers, "indelible in the hippocampus," still echoing 36 years later.
At last Tuesday's rally, Trump seemed to consider, for a moment, that the claims against Kavanaugh might have merit. But it didn't seem to matter. "People are saying, well maybe it's true.' And because of the fact that maybe it's true, he should not become a United States Supreme Court Justice," he said. "How horrible is this? How horrible is this?" It wasn't a denial. It was a rejection of the premise that anything, even a credible assault claim, should stand between Kavanaugh and his destiny.
[Image: BMK-at-Yale-Commencement-1538621756.jpg?...1024&h=712]Judge Kavanaugh at his Yale commencement with his parents.
Photo: White House

How horrible is it for one extremely powerful man to be barred from ascending to an even higher, more influential position at least while a credible claim of assault is investigated? Is it more horrible than condemning five minors to death without due process, 11 days after their arrest? A concern for "due process" was no bar against Trump's public ire then. What does it say about Trump's interest in deterring sexual predators that he won't deny Kavanaugh a job promotion even temporarily? What does it say about his concern for women and young girls who, like Ford, have been pinned to beds muzzled by a forceful hand while another searches frantically for the borders of their bathing suits?
Kavanaugh is being cast as not just innocent, but chosen. "No. 1 in his class at Yale, perfect human being," is how Trump described him Tuesday night. He was "destined for the Supreme Court." "Top in his class at Yale Law School," he emphasized again. "He's led, like, a life that's unbelievable. He's had no problems." How dare Democrats accuse him of a "gang rape!" averred Trump.
It was a rejection of the premise that anything, even a credible assault claim, should stand between Kavanaugh and his destiny.
It's a heavy accusation indeed. But when the targets were Hispanic and black teenagers, Trump didn't hesitate to declare that "CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!" Today, the impulse to curb civil liberties in favor of safety is no more. Gone is the goal of disincentivizing bad behavior. There's no "bad behavior" that merits keeping a good ol' boy off the bench.
Trump finds it unconscionable that Kavanaugh raised in a wealthy family, sent to a prestigious prep school, admitted to Yale as a legacy student, plucked to sit on the second most powerful court in the land (without ever having spent a day as a judge), and now nominated to the Supreme Court might not get exactly what he wants. Who but the most egoistic narcissist would feel entitled to a job that only 113 Americans have ever had? Trump is angry on Kavanaugh's behalf not because Kavanaugh earned a position on the Supreme Court, but because he sees infinite privilege as their shared birthright. It's clear that Trump, who was recently exposed by the New York Times as having benefited enormously from his father's fortune, both legally and illegally, relates personally to Kavanaugh in more ways than one. "I've had dozens of accusations like this against my myself," Trump repeated several times last Tuesday. The conclusion to be drawn from that admission was tacit: I've been accused, yet I am president. Why should we start holding anyone responsible for sexual assault now?
Perhaps if the Central Park Five had gone to a prep school Trump would have been more sympathetic. But they spent their high school years, and beyond, in Rikers. Perhaps if Trump saw their lives as valuable, he would have hesitated before accusing children of "gang rape." Perhaps he would not have casually tossed aside the importance of the presumption of innocence if one of those boys were in a position to help him, the way Kavanaugh is poised to protect Trump from the criminal consequences of the Mueller investigation. Perhaps.



[Image: Professional-headshot--1526671716.jpg?au...&h=60&w=60]
Briahna Gray

October 6 2018, 5:00 p.m.

[INDENT=6]SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI of Alaska admitted on Friday what no other Republican senator would: The standard for joining the elite ranks of the Supreme Court is higher than "he probably didn't attempt to rape that 15 year old."
For the past week, conservatives have argued that if Democrats can't prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, he should be appointed to the Supreme Court.
But of course, this is not a trial, and it is not appropriate to apply the level of proof meant to protect criminal defendants from having their life or liberty stripped to a judicial confirmation process.
In fact, the appropriate standard isn't even the lesser preponderance of the evidence or the "more likely than not" standard that Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she relied on in deciding to confirm Kavanaugh. That civil standard is lower because less is at stake in civil matters one's property can be taken away, but not one's liberty. But even that standard is too high. As Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor hired by Senate Republicans to question Ford, said at last week's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: "A Senate confirmation hearing is not a trial, especially not a prosecution," and "there is no clear standard of proof for allegations made during the Senate's confirmation process."

But regardless of whether you agree that the stakes here are ultimately comparable to a (very important) job interview, as many, including myself, have argued, it is undeniable that neither Kavanaugh's personal liberty nor property is at risk. Although his own behavior during last week's hearing might put his reputation in jeopardy the American Bar Association is revisiting its positive evaluation of Kavanaugh based on "new information of a material nature regarding temperament" if Kavanaugh's confirmation were to have failed, he would lose nothing tangible that he already had. Like Merrick Garland, whose nomination was stalled for months until former President Barack Obama was no longer in office, he would simply go back to being a judge on the second most powerful court in the country.
That being the case, it was refreshing to hear a conservative acknowledge that the Supreme Court is an institution whose members should engender a high level of respect rather than merely meet a low bar. During her remarks Friday night, Murkowski seemed to acknowledge that the burden was not on Democrats to conclusively prove Kavanaugh was a sexual predator, but on Kavanaugh to demonstrate that he was qualified for a position that only 113 Americans have ever held a position that has the power not only to influence the lives of millions, but to provide an important check on the other branches of our government, and establish confidence in our political system.
"I have a very high bar for any nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States," she began. Unlike other conservatives, who appropriated criminal law standards that were self-servingly lofty, Murkowski relied on the only truly relevant standard: the Code of Conduct for United States Judges the nonpartisan benchmark set by the legislature the standards to which all of the senators in the chamber have implicitly signed on.
"The code of judicial conduct," she read, "states that a judge should 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.'"
"I go back and I look to that," she said, looking at her notes as if continuing to wrestle with the words. "It is pretty high. It is really high. That a judge shall act at all times not just sometimes when you're wearing a robe but a judge should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence."
"The standard is that a judge must act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
"Even in the face of an overly and overtly political process, a politicized process," she continued, anticipating a common Republican refrain, "and 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. . . the standard is that a judge must act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety." After Kavanaugh's hearing testimony, Murkowski didn't believe he satisfied that standard.
Murkowski took on the popular talking point that Kavanaugh's partisan, red-faced remarks were justified in light of the seriousness of the accusations levied against him. "I've been deliberating agonizing about what is fair is this too unfair a burden to place on somebody that is dealing with the worst, most horrific allegations that go to your integrity? That go to everything that you are?"
But as Murkowski later pointed out, judicial temperament is not conditional: "I am reminded that there are only nine seats on the bench of the highest court in the land. And these seats are occupied by these men and women for their lifetime. And so those who seek one of these seats must meet the highest standard in all respects at all times."
Murkowski returned time and time again to one particular phrase from the code of conduct: "public confidence." After Kavanaugh's remarks, in which he called the sexual assault charges against him and the consequent hearing "a calculated and orchestrated political hit … revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups," it seemed obvious even to many conservatives that the blush of impartiality was off the rose.
In light of the failure of public confidence endemic to the Trump administration and also, said Murkowski, to the Obama years, "this judiciary must be perceived as independent, as nonpartisan, as fair and balanced in order for our form of government to function. And it's that hope, it's that hope that I seek to maintain. And I think that's why I have demanded such a high standard to maintain or regain that public confidence."

With Kavanaugh confirmed, nearly a quarter of SCOTUS has been accused of sexual misconduct

The highest court in the country now includes multiple men with credible accusations of sexual misconduct against them.

FRANK DALE OCT 6, 2018, 4:10 PM

SUPREME COURT JUSTICES CLARENCE THOMAS AND BRETT KAVANAUGH. (DIANA OFOSU/THINKPROGRESS)Brett Kavanaugh is the 114th justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
In a 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday, 49 Republicans and one Democrat voted to confirm Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment to the highest court in the country despite numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him.
Following Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's congressional testimony about her accusation that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in high school, the White House approved a "supplemental background investigation" of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. However, that effort was widely considered to be woefully incomplete since the scope of the probe was limited by Republicans and the FBI didn't interview Ford, Kavanaugh, or dozens of other people of potential interest.
Ford's testimony evoked comparisons to Anita Hill, who also spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a nationally-televised hearing about accusations of sexual misconduct by a Supreme Court nominee.
In October 1991, Hill detailed how a former male co-worker in the federal government had allegedly engaged in repeated sexual harassment. According to her testimony, Hill's then-boss subjected her to remarks about "his own sexual prowess," "the size of his own penis as being larger than normal," and "pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals, and films showing group sex or rape scenes."
Women who claimed to corroborate the accusations were not allowed to testify before the Senate. Despite the allegations, Republicans rarely wavered in their support of the conservative judge who had been nominated by a Republican president, as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) claimed the accuser was confused while Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) complained about the allegations being made public. After a questionable FBI investigation and an angry denial by the conservative judicial nominee, Clarence Thomas was narrowly confirmed to the Supreme Court.
With Kavanaugh's confirmation, nearly a quarter of the Supreme Court has now been credibly accused of sexual misconduct since Thomas remains on the bench 27 years after Hill's allegations of sexual harassment.
The laws of the land on reproductive rights, as well as other health issues that affect women and gender minorities, are now subject to a Supreme Court on which a third of the male justices have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct against women.

DIANA OFOSU/THINKPROGRESSAn October 1991 New York Times/CBS News poll found that only 24 percent of respondents believed Hill's accusations against Thomas. A Quinnipiac pollreleased earlier this week showed 48 percent of respondents believe Ford's allegations about Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh is the second judge nominated by Trump, who himself has been credibly accused of sexual assault and harassment by over a dozen women, to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.
Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, but Senate Republicans prevented President Barack Obama from filling the vacancy during his last year in office in an unprecedented show of obstruction. Trump then nominated Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed by a 54-45 Senate vote in April 2017, instead. Kavanaugh fills the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedys retirement this summer.


Sens. Susan Collins and Jeff Flake Are Frauds, Plain and Simple. Their Kavanaugh Votes Show It.

Mehdi Hasan
October 5 2018, 11:32 p.m.

[INDENT=6][Image: GettyImages-891070908-1538771483.jpg?aut...1024&h=683]Sens. Susan Collins and Jeff Flake arrive for the weekly Senate Republican's policy luncheon, in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12, 2017.
Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Never again believe Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., when they claim to be critics of Donald Trump or posture as "moderate" Republicans.
Never again let the media call them the "swing" voters in the Senate or "our best hope for profiles in courage in Congress."
Never again fall for their "I'm torn between my party and my principles" schtick or let them write books with shamelessly dishonest titles.
Conscience of a conservative? Don't make me laugh. There was no conscience on display from either Republican senator when they announced their support for Brett Kavanaugh on Friday, only naked partisanship coupled with breathtaking cynicism.
The debate is over: Collins and Flake are frauds, fakes, pretenders. Their high-minded claim to bipartisanship was always an act; a (melo)dramatic performance. Unlike their fellow so-called swing voter Sen. Lisa Murkoswki who will vote against Kavanaugh thanks, in part, to "Alaska's complicated politics" Collins and Flake were never going to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

[Image: brett-kavanaugh-series-promo-1538502322-...=440&h=220]Read Our Complete CoverageSupreme PrivilegeThey made the right noises along the way, because they knew that was what they needed to do to protect their carefully cultivated image as moderates, as pragmatists, as reasonable Republicans.
The demand for the FBI to investigate, as Splinter's Rafi Schwartzobserved last week, for example, was "a classic Jeff Flake move to cover his ass." So too was Flake's condemnation of Trump for mocking Christine Blasey Ford earlier this week. He said it was "appalling;" Collins called it "plain wrong."
But you know what might actually be worse than mocking or attacking Ford? Piously proclaiming that "her voice needed to be heard" (Flake) or labeling her allegations "sincere, painful, and compelling" (Collins) but then voting to confirm, as the 114th Supreme Court justice of the United States, the man that Ford said she was "100 percent certain" had assaulted her.
How about also calling for the FBI to conduct a "supplemental investigation" into Ford's allegations, as Flake did, while pretending not to notice how deeply flawed and limited that investigation was?
"It appears to be a very thorough investigation," Collins told reporters on Thursday. Flake told CNN that he agreed with Collins and that "we've seen no additional corroborating information" to support Ford's testimony. This is the kind of brazen Trumpian dishonesty we have become accustomed to from the president of the United States not from self-styled conservative critics of the president.
To be clear: The FBI probe, time-limited to a single week and micromanaged from the beginning by the White House, was far from "thorough." It beggars belief that the FBI did not re-interview Kavanaugh as part of its investigation. Nor did the agency speak to his main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, or the other two named accusers, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. Nor did Collins or Flake expect the FBI to do so.

In fact, we owe a debt of gratitude to the numbers-crunchers at FiveThirtyEight and their invaluable "
Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump" project, which keeps an updated tally of "how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president."COLLINS AND FLAKE'S
grandstanding on the Kavanaugh nomination is just the latest example of their hypocrisy. Yet they have somehow come to be adored by the U.S. media in recent years. They put out moderate-sounding statements and give numerous interviews in which they appear pained or torn, and what do the members of the Washington press corps do? They lap it up. U.S. political journalism still centers on the horse race narrative who is up and who is down, and which politician has switched from this camp to that camp.
Flake and Collins have sucked up media oxygen over the past two years, and dominated both newspaper headlines and cable news chyrons over the past two weeks by raising the hopes of naive liberals who so desperately want to believe that there might be a few decent human beings left inside the Republican Party. They have made alliances and friendships with Democrats across the aisle (hello, Chris Coons!) who are obsessed with fetishizing comity and bipartisanship.
The media, and some Democrats, might have been kind to Flake and Collins but history won't be. In decades to come, people will look back and wonder why, with the single exception of the Collins vote to save Obamacare in 2017, neither senator used their considerable power or influence to derail Trump's toxic and reactionary agenda.
In a Senate split so narrowly along partisan lines, 51 to 49, these two senators could have united not just to block Kavanaugh a nominee accused of sexual misconduct by three women and opposed by former Republican Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, among others but to hold a lawless president to account.
Talk is cheap. As the Washington Post's "Never Trump" conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, pointed out a year ago, senators like Flake and Collins "can demand hearings on Trump's conflicts of interest, potential violations of the Constitution's emoluments clause, self-enrichment and nepotism. They can even demand a vote on legislation to require the president to release his tax returns. Remember: They hold the cards in the Senate."
What cards, though? Which votes? Collins and Flake have proved, time and again, to be shameless cowards who talk a good game but much prefer words to action. They're also diehard conservatives: Trump's agenda, more often than not, is their agenda.
So, yes, they express concern and regret, they call for compromise and bipartisanship, they sigh and frown.
And then?
Then, they vote with the president. On his cabinet nominees. On tax cuts. On Neil Gorsuch. And, yes, on Kavanaugh too.

Even prior to affirming their "yes" votes on Kavanaugh, the FiveThirtyEight data put a lie to the claim that Flake and Collins are anti-Trump Republicans.
Collins, in fact, has voted with Trump 79.2 percent of the time or 4 out of every 5 votes. And Flake? The retiring Arizona Republican has voted with Trump 84 percent of the time.
"Never Trump?" Well, maybe, but only 15 or 20 percent of the time.
"Believe women?" Well, maybe, but not Christine Blasey Ford.
Trump, as we all know, is a con man. But Collins and Flake have been engaged in their own long con. They want us to heap praise on them as the Republican adults in the Senate. Yet they are Trump enablers as much as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders or chief of staff John Kelly maybe even more so, given they have the constitutional power and responsibility to check Trump. To demand justice. To prevent the lifetime appointment of a blatant liar like Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land.
It's past time that we start calling them out for the frauds that they are.


[Image: Ryan-Grim-2-bw-crop-1521473736.jpg?auto=...&h=60&w=60][Image: download-1537393236.jpg?auto=compress%2C...&h=60&w=60]
Ryan Grim, Akela Lacy

October 6 2018, 1:12 a.m.

[INDENT=6]THE ANNOUNCEMENT FRIDAY by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was about family. Namely, the Bush family.
George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush have both been welcomed into the ranks of the resistance to President Donald Trump, but their most consequential action since his election has been to help lift Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court.
Collins is an honorary member of the Bush family. She got her start in politics as a congressional aide to Rep.-turned-Sen. William Cohen. The Maine Republican was close to George H.W. Bush, who has long maintained a presence in the state.
At the end of the first Bush administration, Collins was appointed New England regional director of the Small Business Administration. In 1996, she was elected to the Senate to replace her mentor, Cohen.

Read Our Complete CoverageSupreme PrivilegeKavanaugh, too, has longstanding ties to the Bush family. He served as an attorney for George W. Bush's campaign, playing a major role in the legal battle between Bush and Al Gore. He then served as staff secretary in the Bush White House, a position of intimate influence the staff secretary attends most Oval Office meetings and is a trusted sounding board for the president.
Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 and Democrats put up a serious fight, arguing that he was far too partisan to be within striking distance of the Supreme Court. The pushback dragged the confirmation process out for three years, and he wasn't confirmed until 2006. Bush stuck by him throughout it, and Kavanaugh refused to withdraw. In 2004, while his nomination languished, Kavanaugh married Ashley Estes, who had been George W. Bush's personal secretary dating back to his days as Texas governor. They had met in the Oval Office, and the Bushes attended the wedding.
Fast-forward to Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. In the weeks after Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault during his high school and college years, Bush personally called wavering senators, lobbying on the nominee's behalf. Collins, who had said she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, was one of those wavering senators. In August, HuffPost reported, citing a source close to Collins's staff, that Collins had assured the White House that she would support Kavanaugh if he were nominated. (She has denied that.)
Collins has since said that the decision was a difficult one, though there was no hint of that agonizing in her Senate floor speech Friday, which was a full-throated defense of Kavanaugh and a prosecution of Christine Blasey Ford's allegations.
Collins calmly laid out her arguments for Kavanaugh's fitness for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. She said she believed he would maintain protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions seeking medical care; that he would not hesitate to vote against the favor of Trump should the situation arise; that he would support same-sex marriage and access to contraceptives; that he would honor the precedent set in Roe v. Wade "as a constitutional tenet that has to be followed." Of course, if all of those things were true, conservatives would not have enthusiastically embraced Kavanaugh as their man for the Supreme Court.
The Maine senator went on to laud the organizations that have supported Kavanaugh throughout his judicial career, including the American Bar Association. It became clear as Collins made this point that she had not yet seen the letter from the ABA to the Senate Judiciary Committee released Friday morning, announcing a plan by the group's standing committee to reopen its evaluation of Kavanaugh.
When the subject turned to Ford, Collins was careful to make clear that she did indeed believe Ford was sexually assaulted. She just didn't think it was by Kavanaugh. She went out of her way to break down each point in Ford's testimony that did not "meet a standard of more likely than not," conflating a Senate confirmation process for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court with a civil trial.
Collins took pains to point out that Ford's own friend who she had placed at the party where her alleged assault occurred, Leland Keyser, said she didn't know Kavanaugh. The senator asked why, if Ford left the party early without saying bye to anyone, no one called the next day to ask why she left, or if she was OK. "It is when passions are most inflamed when fairness is most in jeopardy," Collins said, arguing that due process concerns drove her thinking.
In the end, Collins suggested that she hoped Kavanaugh's nomination would restore the faith of Americans in the Supreme Court, easing partisan tensions and decreasing the number of 5-4 decisions the court handed down.
It's difficult to rationalize the idea that a nomination as contentious as this would usher a return to a more harmonious era of bipartisan collaboration.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, meanwhile, said that she hadn't made her decision to vote against Kavanaugh until she walked onto the Senate floor on Friday morning. The decision for her, she said, was based on two competing values Kavanaugh's qualifications as a judge, and the defense of the integrity of American political institutions not just the Senate, but also the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh, during his hearing last week, put on a vitriolic display of partisan anger not seen in the modern confirmation process. He called Democrats on the panel "you people" and said that his critics were part of a well-financed conspiracy to enact "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."
On Thursday night, he took the extraordinary step of publishing a semi-apology for his outbursts in the Wall Street Journal, acknowledging that he may have been "too emotional." But he did not take back his own threat of revenge "what goes around, comes around," he told the committee nor did he acknowledge that his outburst was a part of his prepared remarks, not a spontaneous reaction to being challenged.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who on Friday also said he'd be voting to confirm Kavanaugh, said earlier this week that Kavanaugh's tirade should be considered as part of the the decision-making process. He said, "We can't have that on the court."

If it feels like you have been a victim of terrorism, then you have been a victim of terrorism.

The Skull and Bones, Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, CFR people just put a person on the Supreme Court who would be liable for time in the penitentiary for attempted rape if there had been an adequate investigation.

To put a likely "attempted rapist" on the Supreme Court amounts to terrorism against the American public. "We're going to put the criminals in charge of the courts and the jailhouse, and you can't stop us." In fact, WE ARE THE CRIMINALS---TOO BAD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!

This is the nether-world of the Bush family, the dark hidden forces, the Deep State where criminality is not just a virtue, it is an absolute requirement. How better to terrorize the American public than to push criminals right in their face?

Apparently, for Bush-Cheney and Deep State operatives, "TO GOVERN MEANS TO TERRORIZE". This was the watchword for Hitler-Himmler-Muller and also their friends the Bush family, specifically Prescott Bush and company. Allen Dulles, and their friend who supervized the lockup of the WWII Japanese, John J. McCloy, also both enabled Nazi terrorism, although not participating personally in Nazi activities.

We are all now living in a huge downscale neighborhood where the equivalent of MS-13 rules the streets. And we're afraid to go out. But the gang that rules the streets is called the Bush family, the Skull and Bones people, the murderers of JFK, the folks who framed-up Nixon.

As in the American Revolution, the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution, the little people can gain power. The only thing holding them (us) back is our own naivete, our own failure to keep informed and up to date on these evil forces.

Don't give up the ship! Never say "die". We have to dust ourselves off, get up out of the dirt and keep on our mission. After all, would you rather spend your life as a Dick Cheney type of person?

Not me. At least I can sleep at night.

James Lateer
A national nonpartisan group has turned into a website dedicated to supporting survivors in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's conformation to the high court, amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The homepage has a picture of the court and proclaims, "We believe survivors."
"The start of Brett Kavanaugh's tenure on the Supreme Court may look like a victory for one interest group or another," the site reads. "But, more importantly, it is putting a national focus on the issue of sexual assault and how we as a country can and should do more to prevent it and to support those who have experienced it."
The site goes on to applaud survivors who came forward with their stories of sexual assault and harassment in the midst of Kavanaugh's confirmation fight and offers a list of resources for people in need, including the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, End Rape on Campus, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
The .org and .net sites under Kavanaugh's name also redirect to the .com site.
Gabe Roth, the executive director of Fix the Court, the group that set up the site, said in a statement that he purchased the domains three years ago, along with others he thought might be "useful in any forthcoming Supreme Court confirmation battles."
"I believe Dr. Ford. I believe Prof. Hill. I also believe that asking for forgiveness is a sign of maturity and strength, not weakness," Roth said in his statement about the site. "Watching the White House ceremony… and listening to the President again cast doubt on the veracity of Dr. Ford's claims, while not hearing a word of contrition from the newest justice, was difficult for many Americans who have experienced sexual misconduct firsthand."
Kavanaugh's confirmation this past weekend was held less than two weeks after Christine Blasey Ford, the first of three women to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a "gathering" in high school.
Both in an interview with The Washington Post last month and during her testimony, Ford said Kavanaugh forced her into an empty bedroom where he groped her over her clothes and tried to pull off her clothing, covering up her mouth and turning up the music in the room to muffle her screams. She said she was able to escape and lock herself in a bathroom when Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, who was allegedly in the room during the attack, jumped on the bed, jostling them apart.
The second woman who came forward, Deborah Ramirez, told The New Yorker that, at a party in college, Kavanaugh thrust his penis to her face against her wishes, forcing her to touch it. A third woman, Julie Swetnick, later wrote in a sworn affidavit that she was gang raped at a party where Kavanaugh was present. Though she did not implicate Kavanaugh in the attack, she claimed Kavanaugh was among a group of boys with whom she associated that frequently spiked women's drinks or drugged them in order to rape them.
Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations against him.
The FBI conducted a brief investigation into the accusations, but they were severely restricted by Senate Republicans and the White House. The investigation lasted less than a week and Ford's lawyers told reporters that she was never questioned as part of the inquiry.
Just one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted against Kavanaugh, and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined the GOP to confirm Kavanaugh.
Protests against Kavanaugh's confirmation continued this week, though in more muted form. In addition to the domain names held by Fix the Court, a number of protesters showed up outside the court on Kavanaugh's first official day on the bench, silently demonstrating and holding signs that read "We will not forget" and "We do not consent."

Roberts refers judicial misconduct complaints against Kavanaugh to federal appeals court in Colorado

Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh took an oath delivered by retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy at the White House swearing in ceremony on Oct. 8. (Reuters)

By Ann E. Marimow and

Tom Hamburger

October 10 at 4:36 PM

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Wednesday referred more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints filed recently against Brett M. Kavanaugh to a federal appeals court in Colorado.
The 15 complaints, related to statements Kavanaugh made during his Senate confirmation hearings, were initially filed with the federal appeals court in Washington, where Kavanaugh served for the last 12 years before his confirmation Saturday to the Supreme Court.
The allegations center on whether Kavanaugh was dishonest and lacked judicial temperament during his Senate testimony, according to people familiar with the matter.
Last month, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asked Roberts to refer the complaints to another appeals court for review after determining that they should not be handled by judges who served with Kavanaugh on the D.C. appellate court.
In a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Roberts said he selected the court in Colorado to "accept the transfer and to exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to the identified complaints and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter."
[D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh's testimony to Chief Justice Roberts]
The Denver-based appeals court is led by Chief Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, the former solicitor general of Colorado who was nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush. The 10th Circuit handled another recent judicial misconduct case from Washington involving the former chief judge of the District Court.
It is unclear what will come of the review by the 10th Circuit. The judiciary's rules on misconduct do not apply to Supreme Court justices, and the 10th Circuit could decide to dismiss the complaints as moot now that Kavanaugh has joined the high court.
"There is nothing that a judicial council could do at this point," said Arthur D. Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and expert on the operation of federal courts.
He said it was unprecedented for a new justice to face such a situation. Hellman predicted that the 10th Circuit will likely close the case "because it is no longer within their jurisdiction," now that Kavanaugh has been elevated to the Supreme Court.
The letter from Roberts does not mention Kavanaugh by name. On Saturday, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson of the D.C. Circuit, whooriginally requested the transfer, said in a statement that the court had received complaints about Kavanaugh since the start of his confirmation hearings.
"The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge. The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States," said Henderson, a Bush nominee.
Complaints made against judges are usually handled by the chief judge. Henderson took over from Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who recused himself from the matter.
When complaints were filed in late September and early October, Henderson dismissed some but concluded that others were substantive enough to refer to another judicial panel for investigation.
Roberts received the first transfer request on Sept. 20, followed by four additional requests on Sept. 26, Sept. 28, Oct. 3 and Oct. 5, according to his letter. He did not immediately move to refer the filings to another appeals court.
People familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity say the allegations had already been widely discussed in the Senate and in the public realm. Roberts did not see an urgent need for them to be resolved by the judicial branch while he continued to review the incoming complaints, they said.
The complaints landed with Roberts because of his role as chief justice of the United States, not because Kavanaugh is now a member of the Supreme Court.
Such complaints are usually confidential unless the judicial council investigating issues a public report about its findings.
The existence of misconduct complaints and the procedure can be disclosed, according to the rules, "when necessary or appropriate to maintain public confidence in the judiciary's ability to redress misconduct or disability."
The public nature of a case last year involving former 9th Circuit judge Alex Kozinski, who was accused of sexual misconduct, was unusual. The chief judge of the 9th Circuit asked Roberts to transfer the case for review after The Washington Post reported allegations against Kozinski.
Roberts referred the case to the appeals court in New York City. The judicial council of that court publicly announced it was closing its investigation because Kozinski had retired, saying that because he "can no longer perform any judicial duties, he does not fall within the scope of persons who can be investigated."
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