Friday, September 21, 2018

May You Live In Interesting Times

Maybe postpone the fitting for that new robe....

Rachel Maddow pointed out recently that a Supreme Court justice can be investigated for a crime, arrested, and jailed while still sitting on the Bench.  And can suffer the consequences of a conviction without going through the process of impeachment, the only way to remove a justice from the Supreme Court (short of resignation/death).  Now, the odds of that happening to wannabe-Justice Kavanaugh are not great, especially over a case 36 years old.  But:

Which raises an issue above and beyond the he said/she said that obsesses D.C. just now (and exactly where the GOP wants to keep the attention, rather than on the vigorous outrage of Judge Kavanaugh who seems to think he's entitled not only to the benefit of the doubt, but to a seat on the high Court):  what would it look like for a Supreme Court Justice to be under police investigation?  Nothing to keep Dr. Ford from making a complaint after the Senate confirms Kavanaugh (if it does).  Nothing to keep her from waiting until after the First Monday in October to go to the Montgomery City Police.

Karma is a bitch, ain't it?

In normal times, the spectre of such allegations would be enough to make the White House withdraw the nominee.  These are not normal times, and that is not a good thing to say.  Would this possibility, wholly beyond the control of the White House or the Senate, change any minds?  Sure, the evidence may be so scarce no charges are ever brought, but what does it say about the nominee that the question is raised in the first place?  What does it say about our system that a Supreme Court Justice is (possibly, granted) under criminal investigation for sexual assault of a minor?  The question alone is enough to raise questions about the legitimacy of his right to practice law; not quite enough to remove it, but enough to raise serious questions about it.  Officers of the Court, and especially Justices on the highest court in the land, should be above suspicion.

And I mean, even Clarence Thomas has never been suspected of violating criminal law.  This is actually quite serious.  If it isn't a good reason to say Judge Kavanaugh really doesn't deserve to become Justice Kavanaugh, I don't know what is.

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