Collins strong stance for Kavanaugh: Darcy cartoon
Collins strong stance for Kavanaugh: Darcy cartoon
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- News report snippets of Senator Susan Collins speech endorsing Brett Kavanaugh do not do it justice, neither do the elected Democrats, media pundits and women now ridiculing her.
Collins speech was a profile in courage and stateswomanship that should be read or viewed fully. The full text is available on her official website.
In her forty-five minute meticulous speech from the Senate floor, Collins made a better case for Kavanaugh’s confirmation than even Kavanaugh and the White House had.
Collins well-researched remarks castigated Democrats for opposing Kavanaugh before he was even named, detailed how his judicial record had been distorted, championed the foundation principals of American justice and showed great respect and empathy for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the ‘Me Too’ movement.
Dems’ opposed nominee “XX” from the start.
Senator Collins started off with the reminder that Democrat office holders and special interests groups were hostile to President Trump’s nominee before he or she was even announced.
Collins said one organization hadn’t even filled in the Judge’s name in a pre-written press release. “They simply wrote that they opposed ‘Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States.’ A number of Senators joined the race to announce their opposition, but were beaten to the punch by one of our colleagues who actually announced opposition before the nominee’s identity was even known,” said Collins.
Indeed, one news network played a clip of Democrat Senators, including Senators Blumenthal, Booker and Hirono, denouncing Kavanaugh the day he was announced using the exact same hostile language they used after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were leaked.
Interest groups “spent an unprecedented amount of money opposing this nomination,” Collins said, whipping “their followers into a frenzy by spreading misrepresentations and outright falsehoods about Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record.”
Collins did the homework Democrats, critics didn’t do.
Collins explained that she began her evaluation of Kavanaugh with thorough research of his judicial record and interviews with him and those that have worked with and known him personally, like Condolezza Rice.
It has also been reported that Collins was lobbied by former President George W. Bush who sought to reassure her that the temperament Kavanuagh displayed in the Dr. Ford hearing was not his true self.
Collins said she also met with thousands of her constituents,“both advocates and many opponents, regarding Judge Kavanaugh.
Garland and Kavanaugh ruled the same in over 90% of cases.
With the aid of nineteen attorneys, including ones from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, Collins reviewed more than 300 Kavanaugh opinions as well as his speeches and law review articles.
Collins review found Kavanaugh’s actual positions had been distorted and misinterpreted on key hot button topics including: The Affordable Care Act, Gay Marriage-LGBT rights, birth control, presidential power and misconduct, birth control, Supreme Court precedents and Roe v Wade.
Based on his opinions,speeches and legal writings, Collins argued, “Judge Kavanaugh is more of a centrist than some of his critics maintain.”
As evidence that he’s a closet centrist, Collins pointed out that Kavanaugh and “Chief judge Merrick Garland voted the same way in 93 percent of the cases that they heard together. Indeed, Chief Judge Garland joined in more than 96 percent of the majority opinions authored by Judge Kavanaugh, dissenting only once.”
Collins couldn’t abandon due process and presumption of innocence, neither should Kavanaugh critics.
In the second half of her speech, Collins dealt with how she dealt with the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Collins said the debate over the allegations was complicated by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. “But certain fundamental legal principles-about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness - do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them.
It’s too bad the following quote isn’t among the more frequently played news clips of the speech:
“In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that is when passions are the most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.”
Respect, empathy shown to Dr. Ford and Me Too movement.
Collins said she found Dr. Ford’s testimony compelling, but uncorroborated and did not meet a lower threshold than “beyond a reasonable doubt” of “more likely than not.”
“I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony...I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening,” noted Collins.
Collins went into detail, naming the witness who could not corroborate that story. She especially noted that not only could Dr. Ford not remember how she got to and from the party, but that not a single person at the party has since come forward to provide corroboration.
“This is not a criminal trial, and I do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should be meet a threshold of ‘more likely than not’ as our standard.
The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night - or at some other time - but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the ‘more likely than not standard.’ Therefore, I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Court.”
Collins blasted the leaker who betrayed Dr. Ford’s wish to remain anonymous and testify confidentially.
“Christine Ford never sought the spotlight. She indicated that she was terrified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she has shunned attention since then. She seemed completely unaware of Chairman Grassley’s offer to allow her to testify confidentially in California. Watching her...I could not help but feel that some people who wanted to engineer the defeat of this nomination cared little, if at all, for her well-being,” said Collins.
Collins gave strong support to the Me Too movement. She said that since the hearing she listened to many survivors of sexual assault. “Many were total strangers who told me their heart-wrenching stories for the first time in their lives. Some were friends I have known for decades. I’m grateful for their courage and their willingness to come forward, ” said Collins, who pledged “to do all that I can to ensure that their daughters and granddaughters never share their experiences.”
Before and after her announcement, Collins has been hounded by angry protestors using intimidation tactics instead of friendly persuasion ones. The easy thing for Collins to do would have been to vote no.
Democrats were justified in denouncing Trump for mocking Dr. Ford at a campaign rally. But sadly, some of those same Democrats have no problem now ridiculing Senator Collins or Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who have shown Dr. Ford nothing but respect, and tried to elevate the confirmation process.
Collins speech was a true profile in courage, studied reflection and wisdom. It was a profile you’d liked to see in a Supreme Court justice, which she sounded like.