Some thoughts on the Kavanaugh nomination

This is not going where you think it is.

You find out that a man was recently accused of attempted rape when he was a teenager. You learn that there’s a video clip floating around of him giving a speech in which he says about his high school, for which he was a varsity athlete in the 1980s, “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep.” His high school yearbook quote identifies him as the Keg City Club (Treasurer) and he makes other jokes about alcohol abuse in the yearbook. His high school classmate and friend published a book entitled Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, in which he details the heavy drinking culture at the high school and presents a vignette starring someone with a very similar name to this man’s vomiting in a car.

But of course, the man is older now and a respected professional. However, you learn that in college, he joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, an organization with a checkered history with regard to women. One of his college classmates characterized the frat as an “animal house,” and during his time as a member, the brothers were photographed marching across campus with a flag created from possibly stolen women’s underwear and bras. He also joined a men-only secret society with a similarly unsavory reputation regarding women.

The man then attended law school and earned a judicial clerkship that paved a path to a more prestigious clerkship. The second clerkship was with Alex Kozinski. He would become one of the man’s most significant mentors and promoters. Kozinski retired from the bench last December under a wave of accusations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. The accusations go back to before the time that the man served as Kozinski’s clerk, and Kozinksi maintained an email list to which he frequently distributed “sexually graphic and racially offensive jokes.” While the man has not admitted to being part of the email list, the list is large and includes people to whom his mentor had more tenuous connections. The man recently hired Kozinksi’s son to serve as his own law clerk. He claims that he knew nothing about Kozinski’s bad behavior.

But perhaps even this relationship was far enough in his past that he’s had time to change and mature. However, an email from 2001 surfaces in which the man discusses an all-male boating trip with friends. In the email sent after the trip he writes, “Reminders to everyone to be very, very vigilant w/r/t/ confidentiality on all issues and all fronts, including with spouses.”

You then learn that a professor at his former law school has been giving women the advice to attend carefully to their appearance if they were fortunate enough to gain interviews to clerk for the man. The word among students, driven by faculty advice, is that he only hires women who “look like models.”

Your daughter has been assigned by the basketball league to a team for which this man will be the head coach. Do you contact the league and ask them to put her on another team?

If so, why would you trust him to protect the lives and welfare of millions of women as a Supreme Court Justice?

 

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