The Senate’s Kavanaugh Confirmation Process: Lost Opportunities

by | Sep 26, 2018 | Articles

The process regarding the accusations against Judge Kavanagh has failed. The Senate Judiciary Committee is conducting itself in a manner that is inconsistent with a search for the truth. The Republicans controlling the Committee seem determined to only to make it appear as though they have given some sort of a fair process to Judge Kavanagh and his first accuser. They are obviously racing to quickly to a confirmation vote. They appear to have already prejudged the outcome.

In these circumstances, the additional accusers, Ms. Ramirez and any additional women who may come forward, have only one choice. They need to present their facts to the American people, through appearances on television. There is no explanation as to why Dr. Ford would be given an opportunity to testify, but not Ms. Ramirez or others.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is unwisely passing up an opportunity. If Ms. Ramirez and others appear on television, they will not be subjected to vigorous cross examination by Committee members or their designated outside counsel. Indeed, a vigorous cross-examination could reveal the accusers to be not credible. If the Committee members are actually interested in getting at the truth, they should preempt any television appearances and invite the additional accusers to testify and be cross examined. After all, cross examination is one of the best ways to get at the truth. The strong indication here is that the Republicans fear that a second or third witness would doom the nomination. And that is unacceptable to them

In the absence of appearances by Ms. Ramirez and perhaps others, the Republicans will down go in history as having conducted an extremely unfair and dismissive process while pushing their political agenda — at all costs.

They could pay for this at the ballot box – dearly. But beyond electoral consequences, they will have done lasting damage to the process for selecting Justices and perhaps damage to the credibility of the Supreme Court itself.