Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Introduction

Instead of opposing the Kavanaugh nomination on grounds of judicial philosophy, some on the Left are resorting to smearing Judge Kavanaugh by contending that he lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee on various topics both at his hearings in 2004 and 2006 on his D.C. Circuit nomination and at his hearing last week. See, for example, this Mother Jones article from last Friday, titled “Five Times Brett Kavanaugh Appears to Have Lied to Congress While Under Oath.” (See also, in response to such dreck, David French’s “The Character Assassination of Brett Kavanaugh.”)

No one who paid attention to last week’s hearing could think that Senate Democrats made any actual headway on these charges. Above the Law’s David Lat has done some excellent Twitter threads on the topics, and I’ve added some threads as well. But given how broadly these smears have circulated, I think it important to address and expose them in comprehensive stand-alone blog posts.

As I will show, no intelligent and fairminded person would peddle these smears. On a full understanding of each matter, there is no basis whatsoever for calling into question the truthfulness of Kavanaugh’s testimony.

I’ll add here that I am grateful to count Brett Kavanaugh as a friend. I’ve known him for some 25 years and have worked with him both in the private sector and in government, including in the early years of the George W. Bush administration, when I was principal deputy in DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and Kavanaugh worked in the White House. My high regard for him gives me additional motivation to refute the smears against him. But as you will see, my arguments stand on their own and do not depend on my personally attesting to his character.

Adding links to posts in series here:

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Manny Miranda Controversy

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—NSA’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Interrogation

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Pryor Nomination

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Pickering Nomination

Most Popular

Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More
Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More

Stalin, Famine, and the New York Times

‘The world is being invaded by monsters, but I suppose you don’t want to hear about that,” Both clauses of that sentence are devastatingly true: The reference is equally to the horrors of the Soviet Union’s mass murders -- and to the West’s determination to turn its back to the monstrosity. The speaker ... Read More

Stalin, Famine, and the New York Times

‘The world is being invaded by monsters, but I suppose you don’t want to hear about that,” Both clauses of that sentence are devastatingly true: The reference is equally to the horrors of the Soviet Union’s mass murders -- and to the West’s determination to turn its back to the monstrosity. The speaker ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More