The President and the Judge

The last time there had been such an engrossing drama over a presidential appointment of a judge to an important position in the government was in 1993. President Clinton had tried to ram through Kimba Wood, a respected distinguished Federal district court judge, as his Attorney General. She was knocked out of the box as a nominee because she had employed an undocumented immigrant to look after her child, and questions were raised about appropriate tax issues. The “Nannygate Tax Case,” as it was called in the papers, ended with the judge’s withdrawal from consideration.

I was reminded of the Kimba Wood fiasco while watching the exciting fight to save the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who presumably has been paying taxes on all of his gambling action. For the last fortnight or so, We the People have been serving as a jury of his peers, weighing whether we want a Supreme Court justice with a possibly credible accusation of attempted rape cloud over his head sitting on the Highest Court of The Land.

As they say in Danish jurisprudence, something may be rotten.

As anyone who watches “Law & Order: SVU” knows, sexual abusers tend to have a pattern. It usually sticks with the perpetrator until they are too old to abuse—or too broke,

The question for our future Supreme Court associate justice: was Dr. Ford the first in the hit list or is she a one-off by a drunken teenager?

Either way, if he lies under oath to get the judicial plum of a job, he is not qualified to serve in any court, let alone the US Supreme Court. Some of us would not want put such a miscreant on the Animal Control Court.

If the case presently being studied fits the pattern, it is likely that other women will come forward now that Dr. Ford has broken the ice. But even if Dr. Ford was the one-off drunken indiscretion of a rich kid who had one too many brewskis and is accused of pinning her to a bed, grinding his body against her, and muffling her screams at a teen age gathering in the early 1980s, he has to come clean. If he is without other possible demerits, some wonder why the Republican members are so dead-set against an FBI investigation?

Had we learned anything from “Law & Order: SVU,” we know that many abused people of all genders do not report the abuses for many years. There are many kinds of reasons, but the most common is shame. If there is any unresolved credibility issues, in the opinion of some, Judge Kavanaugh doesn’t belong in the judiciary if he can’t be trusted.

The president is not one of them.

As we ruminate over the case, by the week’s end it got even more morally challenged by the arrival of a witness for the alleged perpetrator. Mister Veracity himself was attesting to the qualifications of his nominee, “a fine man with an impeccable reputation.”

His advisers had warned him to keep his mouth shut. They didn’t want to give voters, especially women, the impression he was bullying an innocent alleged victim.

Perhaps not the best judge of character, given that seven members of his brain trust already have been indicted or found guilty of lying to the FBI and other crimes, our POTUS couldn’t abide standing by idly while an issue was being debated in the media that wasn’t about him!

Straight ahead on red is the policy of the Trumpoholic administration. Throwing caution to the wind, the First Prevaricator went to his bully pulpit (the official Twitter feed), and did what he does best: “Attack the attacker.”

He had the chutzpah to question the truthfulness of Dr. Ford.

What we see in action is a basic principle of media law, the greatest liar in the history of the presidency learned at the Roy Cohn School of Law: denial. No matter how many charges of alleged groping, for example, they are all lying. In his case, there were 14 liars during the campaign. The road to the White House was paved with denials. “ Deny… deny…deny… (Insert the other 11 denials) as the groper-in-chief’s immortal defense went, followed by a “See you in court,” a legal term for him meaning “never.”

As a friend of the court, I have a suggestion. I see the nominee as a fine man with an impeccable reputation who would not choose to serve as the designated rookie on the Supreme Court Nine with the gray cloud of suspicion hanging over his head. It would be the honorable thing to tell his friends and supporters that he has decided to stick to coaching girls’ basketball, betting on baseball games, being in debt by spending over his means, like any other red-blooded patriotic American. He did not want to be yet anther blot on the integrity of the court, which already has Clarence Thomas sitting in the corner on the bench.

Yes, Virginia, he is doing the right thing by withdrawing his name for consideration. Let POTUS who is beating the rap for sexual abuse, nominate the second most reputable person he knows.



Marvin Kitman,
Sept. 23, 2018

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Making of the Preƒident 1789.” “George Washington’s Expense Account” by Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.) was the best-selling expense account in publishing history.