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Brett Kavanaugh

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Steve3007
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2018, 3:28 am

Greta wrote:My understanding is that the issue is less what happened all that time ago but the lies he told in a hearing just now and that is not appropriate for a person applying to have one of the most important jobs in the land for life.
Leaving aside for a minute the argument over the facts as to whether he actually did lie, I think you're right to point out that this isn't simply a sexual assault trial in which a jury or judge tries to decide whether to convict a person who is accused of a crime. Kavanaugh was not on trial, as such. The end result was not going to be an acquittal or a conviction for a crime. As I also understand it, the point was to try to establish something about his credentials for performing the role of one of the country's most important arbiters of justice, potentially for the rest of his life. Therefore, presumably even if it had somehow been established that he hadn't committed the offence of which he was accused by Ford, if, in so doing, it was established that he lied in front of Congress I presume that would fatally damage his credibility in that role. So I guess this was a test of his integrity, not specifically of his guilt or innocence of a particular crime.

Steve3007
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2018, 3:32 am

If what I've said above is true, I wonder if the converse is also true? If someone commited an offense in their youth and admitted it, and genuinely repented for it, and did not lie about anything, ought we to allow them to become an arbiter of justice? Or should judges be "whiter than white"?

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 11th, 2018, 4:10 am

Steve3007 wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 3:32 am
If what I've said above is true, I wonder if the converse is also true? If someone commited an offense in their youth and admitted it, and genuinely repented for it, and did not lie about anything, ought we to allow them to become an arbiter of justice? Or should judges be "whiter than white"?
Is the USA capable of finding an honest and decent man?

Steve3007
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2018, 5:47 am

Is the USA capable of finding an honest and decent man?
I dunno. Is anyone? Can any of us find a judge with the (metaphorical) wisdom of Solomon?

Maybe it's just another way in which we're all doomed.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 11th, 2018, 5:53 am

Steve3007 wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 5:47 am
Is the USA capable of finding an honest and decent man?
I dunno. Is anyone? Can any of us find a judge with the (metaphorical) wisdom of Solomon?

Maybe it's just another way in which we're all doomed.
In a system that rewards ruthless greed and corruption, you might want to look further down the social scale where you can find honesty and decency in buckets.
The failure is not in the people, but in the systems.

Steve3007
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2018, 5:57 am

How about Judge Judith Sheindlin (a.k.a "Judge Judy")? But they'd have to tell her to stop all that very ill-mannered shouting that she does on her TV show.

Eduk
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Eduk » October 11th, 2018, 6:26 am

Oh by the way, whether Kavanaugh did or didn't do as alleged (or something in-between). He does seem to have told some pretty preposterous lies.
Also he seems to be extremely Republican. I don't think someone in his position should have open staunch party allegiance. For example I dislike all political parties in the UK, I may at one time or another dislike one less than the others. That would be an appropriate sentiment for someone in his position I think.
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Fooloso4
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Fooloso4 » October 11th, 2018, 10:12 am

The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh
Signed, 2,400+ Law Professors
OCT. 3, 2018

The following letter was presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4.

Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”

We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.

The question at issue was of course painful for anyone. But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners. Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as “a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators.

As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. As Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.

We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.

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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Eduk » October 11th, 2018, 10:42 am

Does anyone think he's non-partisan?

I mean if I was being swallowed by globalisation. Seeing my job disappear. Seeing my community change (perhaps beyond recognition). Watching myself become side lined. Seeing my family torn apart. Recognising the existential threat to the core of my very being. Then I too would fight to survive. I just don't get how welcoming an authoritarian regime in to power is helping this goal? If you take sides to the point that that side can do anything then, predictably, they will do anything.
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Steve3007
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2018, 10:42 am

Fooloso4 wrote:The following letter was presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4...
It seems to me that one issue with what they say here about the importance of judicial impartiality is that in this case Kavanaugh was not the judge. He was the accused. So clearly it's impossible for him to be impartial. So the question is: What degree of calmness, civility, etc should someone who is hoping to be appointed one of the highest judicial authorities in the land display when he himself is the accused?

I think that's a difficult question to answer.

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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Fooloso4 » October 11th, 2018, 11:32 am

Steve3007:
It seems to me that one issue with what they say here about the importance of judicial impartiality is that in this case Kavanaugh was not the judge. He was the accused. So clearly it's impossible for him to be impartial.
His defense was to become an accuser.

The issue is not impartiality with regard to his own defense but with regard to his accusations of, as the letter quotes him saying:
a calculated and orchestrated political hit
He also said it was being fueled by pent-up anger over President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory and outside groups stoking fear about his judicial record and revenge on behalf of the Clintons.

None of these things speak to the issue of Ford’s allegations. Even a judge being accused should be able to make a distinction between an attempt to get at the truth of an allegation and deflection by launching accusations against parties not involved in the incident.

The letter went on to say:
As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. As Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.
This was a point that Justice Stevens spoke to as well. Again, this is not a question of his impartiality regarding his guilt or innocence but with regard to cases that may come before him.

GE Morton
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by GE Morton » October 11th, 2018, 12:18 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 10:42 am

It seems to me that one issue with what they say here about the importance of judicial impartiality is that in this case Kavanaugh was not the judge. He was the accused. So clearly it's impossible for him to be impartial. So the question is: What degree of calmness, civility, etc should someone who is hoping to be appointed one of the highest judicial authorities in the land display when he himself is the accused?

I think that's a difficult question to answer.
Yes, indeed --- a point I made earlier. Impartiality, civility, composure, open-mindedness are all qualities essential for a judge when he's doing his job. Demanding them of a person accused of lurid crimes is absurd, especially when the accusation has obvious political motives and is unsupported by any corroborating evidence. Indignation and outrage are perfectly appropriate reactions to such an accusation.

No one (as far as I know) has accused Kavanaugh of any lack of temperament or impartiality while sitting as a judge. Hence the law profs' letter is misguided and irrelevant.

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LuckyR
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by LuckyR » October 11th, 2018, 12:20 pm

The funny thing is that there are two underlying truths that escape the media blowhards on this topic:
#1- No one expects Trump to NOT nominate a very conservative judge. Thus the reason for Kavanaugh's backlash was NOT because he is conservative, since if he were to not be approved he would just be replaced by another (perhaps even more) conservative.
#2- Before the current Post Factual era, since republicans knew #1, they would drop such a candidate to try to actually choose a high quality conservative justice, of which there is no shortage.
"As usual... it depends."

Eduk
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by Eduk » October 11th, 2018, 12:35 pm

a point I made earlier. Impartiality, civility, composure, open-mindedness are all qualities essential for a judge when he's doing his job. Demanding them of a person accused of lurid crimes is absurd
If you possess those qualities then you can't exactly turn them on or off at will. It's about who you are.
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GE Morton
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Re: Brett Kavanaugh

Post by GE Morton » October 11th, 2018, 2:43 pm

Eduk wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:35 pm
a point I made earlier. Impartiality, civility, composure, open-mindedness are all qualities essential for a judge when he's doing his job. Demanding them of a person accused of lurid crimes is absurd
If you possess those qualities then you can't exactly turn them on or off at will. It's about who you are.
No need to turn them on/off at will. They will be automatic when considering an issue in which the agent has no personal interest. But when falsely accused of something heinous, they will be replaced by a more appropriate demeanor.

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