Trump’s selection of Brett Kavanaugh for a position on the US Supreme Court has resulted in the accusation that he groped, assaulted, and attempted to rape a woman when he was a teenager.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusations.
Thus the question is who to believe. I don’t assume that women always tell the truth. However the fact that the accuser is a professor at Stanford University certainly gives her credibility. The fact that she tried to remain annonymous also gives her credibility. However the most persuasive evidence are the notes revealed by her psychologist from 2012 which confirm that she reported the incident long before Trump even announced he would run for office. However the history of Kavanaugh clerking for a Federal Judge who retired amid overwhelming accusations of sexual harassment allegations is frightening.
Kavanaugh clerked for Federal Judge Alex Kozinski.
Kozinski has retired due to his inability to deny years of history of sexual harassment. He even hired female clerks based on appearance. Alex Kozinski, then a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, was known to sexually harass his clerks. Kozinski retired in December amid accusations of harassment.)
Kavanaugh has denied knowing about Kozinski’s reputation with women. The fact that Kavanaugh worked for such a predator doesn’t necessarily mean that he himself was a predator. However his denial of knowledge regarding Kozinski’s reputation is itself unbelievable. Kozinski evidently made no effort to hide his preference for pornography and harassment of women.
Kavanuagh has repeatedly denied that he ever witnessed Kozinski “engaging in inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature.” His denial are almost certainly lies.
If you want to understand just how nightmarish it was to clerk for Kozinski — especially for women — read Heidi Bond’s account of her own experience in Kozinski’s chambers. Kozinski summoned her into his office on at least three occasions, ostensibly so that she could fix a problem with his computer, only to show her pornographic images. In one of these cases, he asked her “does this kind of thing turn you on?”
Another time, Kozinski learned that Bond was reading romance novels during her dinner break. He ordered her to stop, telling her: “I control what you read, what you write, when you eat. You don’t sleep if I say so. You don’t shit unless I say so. Do you understand?”
Kozinski’s sense of humor was so vulgar and so frequently directed at his subordinates that “when I first arrived in chambers, the outgoing clerks suggested that we should watch The Aristocrats, a documentary about a notorious dirty joke, to prepare ourselves for the upcoming year.”
Kozinski told one of his female clerks that he viewed her as a “slave.”
Kozinski did not hide behind the confidentiality of his chambers to sexually harass his law clerks. He openly flouted it. After Kozinski finished speaking at a legal conference, a car pulled up outside the conference hotel and two attractive blonde-haired women exited the car. Judge Kozinski took the two women’s arms, and they escorted him into the car and away from the conference. The two women were both his former law clerks.
In 2008, Kozinski had to recuse himself from an obscenity case he was hearing after he accidentally published his porn stash online. This stash included “a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows.”
Imagine what Judge Kavanaugh must have heard while he was Kozinski’s law clerk. Yet when asked specific questions, Kavanaugh denied any knowledge of even the allegations that Judge Kozinski was a serial sexual harasser. Sen. Chris Coons asked him:
When asked if Kozinski ever used “demeaning language when discussing women,” Kavanaugh responded that he did not recall Kozinski using “demeaning language of a sexual nature.” That’s not a complete answer to Coons’ question.
Kavanaugh’s repeated claims that he has no recollection of Kozinski making sexually inappropriate comments to a law clerk — or that he never even heard anyone raise concerns about such behavior by Kozinski — are quite literally unbelievable. And even if Kavanuagh somehow did not see his boss’ behavior while he was Kozinski’s clerk, it is equally unbelievable that Kavanaugh could have traveled in these elite circles of the legal profession and somehow avoided hearing it discussed. Again, Kozinski’s behavior was so brazen that he would inappropriately kiss prominent members of the media in public settings.
The mere fact that Kavanaugh was less than truthful about Judge Kazinski makes his denial of his own conduct appear to be a lie. While we may never know the truth, the appearance of impropriety is itself enough to err on the side of caution. Because a Justice on the Supreme Court is appointed for life, we should confirm only a Judge that is unquestionably truthful and of indisputable character.