For those questioning Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness as a justice due to his temperament during his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: You cannot be serious. He acted exactly the way an innocent person accused of such a horrific act would have. He acted exactly like he should have when Democratic senators were condescending and belittling to him while his family sat behind him listening to these allegations. He acted the way I would expect anyone to act when being personally attacked with allegations so severe they have the potential to not only cost him the position he’s been working toward his whole life but also destroy the current life he and his family have already built.
This is not indicative about how a judge would act in any normal case — normal being one that does not directly involve him and his family (which he couldn’t be a part of anyway) — and is a total false equivalence. You have the right to be a little angry when your life is being torn apart in front of the entire country. It would have been bizarre and actually more suspicious if he hadn’t shown appropriate emotion when being accused of such serious wrongdoings. For everything he has been through, he actually showed a lot of poise and restraint. This is not just about his nomination, it is about his life, his family, his reputation and his entire future — Supreme Court or not — so let’s not even try to make his “temperament” in this debacle one of the issues.
Geri Grant, Minnetonka
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Granted, having an unpleasant event in Judge Kavanaugh’s early life brought to the public stage is difficult, whether true or untrue, verifiable or not. An emotional response can be expected, but his anger and defiance speaks volumes about character and how he handles difficult issues. I would have expected thoughtful and measured responses to questions, not be lambasted with angry and partisan accusations of a conspiracy. Neither did I need to hear repeated references to his childhood achievements.
Kavanaugh’s angry rebuttal to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, his demeanor and the evasive way he avoided answering questions do not demonstrate the judicial character or comportment we expect and need from members of the nation’s highest court.
Llewellyn Hille, Buffalo, Minn.
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Both the positives, his above-reproach behavior toward female classmates and female clerks, etc., and the reported sexual assault could be true. Many middle-aged and older women, if not most, have witnessed inconsistencies in individual men’s behavior toward women. When a boy or man is someone who doesn’t treat girls and women well, it is almost never all girls and women he treats badly — that is how he gets away with it.
Diane Adair, St. Louis Park
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Although I am a Democrat and a liberal, I thought, when Ford’s allegations first surfaced, that Kavanaugh should nevertheless be confirmed (knowing that if he were not confirmed, President Donald Trump would just nominate someone else just as conservative). This was not based on any “boys will be boys” excuse, but because I have seen more than one high school acquaintance who had committed unspeakable acts turn out to be a reputable person and citizen as an adult.
But Kavanaugh himself gave us good grounds to believe he cannot be an impartial Supreme Court justice on issues that have political implications. He chose to characterize Ford’s good-faith, credible testimony as part of a political plot, in part to serve “the Clintons” (presumably as retaliation for his having an important role in Kenneth Starr’s investigation that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment). Hypothesizing a political conspiracy as an explanation for Ford’s allegations shows us his deep partisan, political nature. And that, I submit, is ground enough to disqualify him.
Edward J. Schwartzbauer, Edina
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Kavanaugh’s response to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s straightforward question spoke volumes. Would he have been as sneering, glib and evasive if the question had been posed by a male? I highly doubt it. That basic attitude toward women is precisely why we’re watching this circus unfold. And the righteous indignation of the men who defend him is equally nauseating.
His tenure on our highest bench will likely outlive me, but I pray my granddaughters will have a better shot at truly equal citizenship in this great country.
Katherine Baufield, Minnetonka
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So, Friday morning I open the paper and the first thing I see is a snarling Judge Kavanaugh and a sniveling, poor-me picture of Ford. If that isn’t enough to tell people where this paper stands, nothing will. Self-righteous bigots.
I will tell you right off the bat where I stand. Ford is a liar and a fraud put in place by the Democrats. They can’t get over the fact that Trump won, so they will ruin a good man’s life and reputation to regain power. This can happen to anyone who has husbands, brothers and sons. The Trump haters will be all over this, but they are insignificant in my book. They spew hate every time they speak. Have a good day.
Karen Linsmayer, Minneapolis
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Thank you, Dr. Ford, for your courageous, incorruptible and credible testimony made even more believable and powerful by your willingness to undergo a polygraph test and which supported the fact that you were telling the truth. May you and your family heal from this, become stronger from this, and be happier with this cloud in your life now identified and exposed, while all of your millions of believers hold you and yours up.
Betty Hartnett, Wayzata
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A clinical psychologist with 45 years of experience, I’m troubled by the fact that the explanations have essentially come down to “Dr. Ford is mistaken” vs. “Judge Kavanaugh is lying.” Another possible explanation is that, as someone who obviously sees himself as an extremely virtuous person, Kavanaugh psychologically rejected as impossible the “that’s just not who I am” conduct he engaged in while he was drunk. All I can say for sure is that people are psychologically capable of pretending to themselves that such behavior didn’t occur, and when they do, they can act and truly feel outraged when confronted with “evidence” of what they’ve done. I can’t say that this is indeed the case for Kavanaugh, but I think it would be a big mistake not to further explore this possibility.
Steve Levinson, Newfolden, Minn.
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It is quite possible that Kavanaugh has no memory of the multiple incidents of sexual aggression alleged against him. Often heavy drinkers can’t recall what they did when they were drunk. I am also very troubled by how Trump and most Republican congressmen are totally oblivious to the traumatization women experience when they are physically overpowered by a man, while they blindly press on to overturn Roe vs. Wade at any cost. Their regard for women is deplorable.
One cannot separate the case of Brett Kavanaugh from the case of Keith Ellison. That Ellison was endorsed for Minnesota attorney general after he won the primary election is regretful. I am a Democrat who will not cast a vote in the attorney general race. I e-mailed everyone on the DFL state committee asking them not to endorse Ellison, saying an endorsement would be reprehensible to me as a woman and could lead to negative political consequences for the party. I am ashamed of the Minnesota DFL state committee.
Andrea Johnson, Lake Elmo