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Trial by fire


10/10/18



 Elections have consequences. Donald Trump became the president by winning more electoral votes than his opponent. Like it or not, those are the rules. As a result, when openings occur, he gets to nominate folks to be Supreme Court justices. His first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, won a seat on the highest court in the land by a 54-45 vote, largely along party lines. Most Democrats voted against him – not because he wasn’t qualified, but because they fear his future decisions.

Now comes Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s second Supreme Court pick. One would expect the Democrats to vote against him just as they did with Gorsuch. But this time is different. Besides Democrats’ fear of his future decisions, there are issues with his actions as a young man. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.  He vehemently denies it.
In the days before the most important day of his life, Brett Kavanaugh had the opportunity to prepare to answer Judiciary Committee questions that he knew would be coming in order to look convincing that the charges leveled at him were false. He also needed to convince the Senate committee that he could be a fair arbiter of some of the most pressing issues facing America. Instead, he attacked Democrats for their attacks on him. Huge mistake! It’s par for the course that the opposing party will attack the nominee with everything they can. Regardless, the nominee must avoid the temptation to strike back. He failed that test.
I don’t know if he committed sexual assault in high school, but his testimony sure portrayed a guilty man.
When asked if he ever got so drunk in high school that he may have passed out, he denied it and then asked the questioning senator if she had ever done that. Stupid!
He was asked about definitions of terms that he penned in his yearbook, ones that some claim to be sexual in nature. He claimed that they weren’t. My guess is that whether or not he was telling the truth may be very provable.
He testified that he was never at the party where his accuser claims the assault happened. This, too, after an FBI investigation, may be provable. Whether he remembers of not, if he was at that party, my guess is that, despite stellar judicial qualifications, his quest to be a Supreme Court justice will fail.
Fred Bramante is the past chairman and member of the NH State Board of Education. He speaks and consults on education redesign to regional, state, and national organizations.





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