The Corner

Law & the Courts

So Now What?

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 5, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

So now what? We have a name and an accusation, which is an improvement over the status quo ante. If you’re going to make an allegation of misconduct, this is how you do it: publicly, and attached to as much information as you have. Eternal shame on those who made specific calls before they knew what was being alleged. Now, not last week, is the time for discussion.

Trouble is, while this is closer to how this is supposed to work, there’s still nothing much to investigate. The accuser has summoned a vague memory of an event from thirty years in the past — a memory she didn’t mention until six years ago, to which she cannot attach a time or place, and that is recorded in notes that neither line up cleanly with her current story nor name Kavanaugh as the perpetrator. The two other parties have both categorically denied it, and nobody else from that era has weighed in. In addition, there are no other accusers, and every thing else we know about the accused is positive. That doesn’t mean the accuser is not telling the truth, of course. But it does mean that there’s no way of preventing a classic he said/she said dispute.

Which is all to say that this has now become a political question. Unfair as it may be, the core calculation now will not be whether the charges are true (we don’t know) or whether the timings and assumptions are fair (they are not), but what the various players consider the least dangerous course politically. Perhaps Republicans will want to make clear that they will not be bulled by eleventh hour half-charges. Or perhaps they will cut their losses lest they help Democrats turn out women in the midterms. Who knows? Either way, this is a low moment in the history of the Senate — and one that has little to do with justice.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Mob Gets Kevin Hart

This week, shortly after being tapped to host the Oscars, Hollywood star Kevin Hart found himself on the wrong side of the woke social-justice warriors. His great sin: Years ago, he tweeted jokes referencing homosexuality. More egregiously, in 2010, he did a comedy bit in which he discussed not wanting his son, ... Read More
PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
Film & TV

Aquaman Stinks Like Last Month’s Fish

A  major plot point in Aquaman is the tidal wave of garbage with which the undersea folk attack us surface dwellers. These two groups are spoiling for a fight, but I always thought Warner Bros. and I got along pretty well. What did I do to deserve the tidal wave of garbage that is Aquaman itself? I refuse to ... Read More