Finally Friday Reads: Justices Gone Wild

Three Judges, Georges Rouault. ca. 1938

Good Day, Sky Dancers!

It’s no surprise to any of us that now Justice Kavanaugh–Grand Old Perv–was rushed through the approval process just as Clarence Thomas to avoid more discovery of sex pest acts.  The Guardian‘s Stephanie Kirchgaessner has this headline. “Revealed: Senate investigation into Brett Kavanaugh assault claims contained serious omissions. The 2018 investigation into the then supreme court nominee claimed there was ‘no evidence’ behind claims of sexual assault.” It turns out that the lack of evidence was the desired result and not the real result of any investigation.

A 2018 Senate investigation that found there was “no evidence” to substantiate any of the claims of sexual assault against the US supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh contained serious omissions, according to new information obtained by the Guardian.

The 28-page report was released by the Republican senator Chuck Grassley, the then chairman of the Senate judiciary committee. It prominently included an unfounded and unverified claim that one of Kavanaugh’s accusers – a fellow Yale graduate named Deborah Ramirez – was “likely” mistaken when she alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dormitory party because another Yale student was allegedly known for such acts.

The suggestion that Kavanaugh was the victim of mistaken identity was sent to the judiciary committee by a Colorado-based attorney named Joseph C Smith Jr, according to a non-redacted copy of a 2018 email obtained by the Guardian. Smith was a friend and former colleague of the judiciary committee’s then lead counsel, Mike Davis.

Smith was also a member of the Federalist Society, which strongly supported Kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination, and appears to have a professional relationship with the Federalist Society’s co-founder, Leonard Leo, whom he thanked in the acknowledgments of his book Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State.

Smith wrote to Davis in the 29 September 2018 email that he was in a class behind Kavanaugh and Ramirez (who graduated in the class of 1987) and believed Ramirez was likely mistaken in identifying Kavanaugh.

Instead, Smith said it was a fellow classmate named Jack Maxey, who was a member of Kavanaugh’s fraternity, who allegedly had a “reputation” for exposing himself, and had once done so at a party. To back his claim, Smith also attached a photograph of Maxey exposing himself in his fraternity’s 1988 yearbook picture.

The allegation that Ramirez was likely mistaken was included in the Senate committee’s final report even though Maxey – who was described but not named – was not attending Yale at the time of the alleged incident.

In an interview with the Guardian, Maxey confirmed that he was still a senior in high school at the time of the alleged incident, and said he had never been contacted by any of the Republican staffers who were conducting the investigation.

“I was not at Yale,” he said. “I was a senior in high school at the time. I was not in New Haven.” He added: “These people can say what they want, and there are no consequences, ever.”

The revelation raises new questions about apparent efforts to downplay and discredit accusations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh and exclude evidence that supported an alleged victim’s claims.

A new documentary – an early version of which premiered at Sundance in January, but is being updated before its release – contains a never-before-heard recording of another Yale graduate, Max Stier, describing a separate alleged incident in which he said he witnessed Kavanaugh expose himself at a party at Yale.

It has previously been reported that Stier wanted to tell the FBI anonymously during the confirmation process that he had allegedly witnessed Kavanaugh’s friends push the future judge’s penis into the hand of a female classmate at a party. While Republicans on the Senate committee were reportedly made aware of his desire to submit information to the FBI, he was not interviewed by the committee’s Republican investigators.

The committee’s final report claimed there was “no verifiable evidence to support” Ramirez’s claim.

Alexander Arshansky, “Judges”, 2013

This report follows a month of reports of possible criminal misconduct by Justice Uncle Clarence Thomas of not reporting favors from a billionaire with cases before the court.  We’ve also discovered similar faulty reporting by Neil Gorsuch.  We’re already aware of leaky Allito’s mishaps too.  None of the Nine Supremes think additional oversight is needed, however.  ABC News reports, “All 9 Supreme Court justices push back on oversight: ‘Raises more questions,’ Senate chair says. In a rare joint statement, the justices said they want to “provide new clarity.”

There’s no conservative-liberal divide on the U.S. Supreme Court when it comes to calls for a new, enforceable ethics code.

All nine justices, in a rare step, on Tuesday released a joint statement reaffirming their voluntary adherence to a general code of conduct but rebutting proposals for independent oversight, mandatory compliance with ethics rules and greater transparency in cases of recusal.

The implication, though not expressly stated, is that the court unanimously rejects legislation proposed by Democrats seeking to impose on the justices the same ethics obligations applied to all other federal judges.

“The justices … consult a wide variety of authorities to address specific ethical issues,” the members of the high court said in a document titled “Statement on Ethics Principles and Practices.”

It appears to be the first time an entire court has publicly explained its approach to ethics issues and attested to specific parts of federal law governing their conduct.

“This statement aims to provide new clarity to the bar and to the public on how justices address certain recurring issues,” they wrote, “and also seeks to dispel some common misconceptions.”

Here Comes the Judge

Senator Dick Durbin is not letting Chief Justice Roberts Sandbag the Senate Judiciary.  This is from NBC News. “Judiciary Committee Dems call on Chief Justice Roberts to clarify Supreme Court ethics rules. The chairman and Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said a statement of principles the chief justice sent to the panel earlier this week is insufficient.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and the panel’s other Democrats are calling on Chief Justice John Roberts to answer follow-up questions about ethics principles guiding the Supreme Court.

The senators said in a letter to Roberts on Thursday that a statement of principles that he attached to a letter to the committee this week is insufficient on its own.

“The statement of principles raises more questions than it resolves, and we request that you respond to several key questions,” they said, adding that Roberts’ answers would help the committee’s work on legislation to deal with the justices’ ethical obligations.

In the letter, Roberts declined to testify at a Judiciary Committee hearing next month about ethics rules governing the high court.

Senators on Thursday listed several questions that they want Roberts to answer by Monday, asking, for example, when justices subscribed to the Statement on Ethics Principles and Practice and if they previously followed a different version.

The lawmakers noted the statement provided by Roberts says the justices “consult a wide variety of authorities to address specific ethical issues,” and asked, “What guidance do Justices receive on which authorities to consult, and how is this consultation process and any final decision on a particular matter documented?”

They also asked if there has “ever been any censure, reprimand, admonition, sanction, or other penalty imposed on a Justice for failure to abide by any of the principles and practices?”

“If so, what types of penalties have been, or may be, imposed?” they asked. “Is there a process by which the public may file, and the Supreme Court may receive, complaints that a Justice has failed to abide by these principles?”

The senators suggested in his letter that Roberts’ decision to decline the committee’s invitation, or to designate another justice to appear, goes against a long history of justices testifying before Congress.

Judge, Woman and Child, Honore Daumier

The reputation of the court has declined since Roberts took over. It is historically unpopular.

The “North Carolina Supreme Court clears way for partisan gerrymandering. This sets up a process that allows national Republicans to expand their majority in the House.”  Voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering are the only way the (t)Rump part continues to rule.  This year’s docket basically endorsed both.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has overturned its own past ruling that said partisan gerrymandering is illegal, clearing the way for Republicans there to redraw the state’s congressional lines in a way that heavily favors the GOP.

This sets up a process that allows national Republicans to expand their majority in the House of Representatives by as many as four seats.

ABC News shows how quickly we’re getting to the bottom of the Trump Voter Fraud Scam. “2nd firm hired by Trump campaign to look into voter fraud claims subpoenaed by special counsel. The founder told ABC News that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

The Honourable Mr Justice Rests, Emily McCormack

A firm contracted by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in November 2020 to investigate claims of voter fraud has been subpoenaed by the special counsel investigating those claims, the founder of the firm told ABC News.

Ken Block, the founder of Simpatico Software Systems, said he was subpoenaed to turn over documents related to his work with the Trump campaign.

The firm was the second one hired by the campaign that reported it found no widespread evidence of voter fraud.

The subpoena came from special counsel Jack Smith. Smith is investigating not only the potential crimes resulting from the Jan 6 insurrection at the Capitol, but also claims by the Trump campaign that there was voter fraud after the election.

The New York Times has the story from the nation’s heartland. “Abortion Bans Fail in South Carolina and Nebraska  —  South Carolina and Nebraska, two conservative states that have been pushing to ban abortion, on Thursday both failed to pass new bills prohibiting the procedure, preserving wide access to abortion in those states and handing surprise victories to abortion rights advocates.”

South Carolina and Nebraska, two conservative states that have been pushing to ban abortion, on Thursday both failed to pass new bills prohibiting the procedure, preserving wide access to abortion in those states and handing surprise victories to abortion rights advocates.

In Nebraska, a bill to ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — a strict prohibition that would outlaw the procedure before most women know they are pregnant — failed to advance in the state legislature, making it unlikely to move forward for the remainder of this year’s legislative session.

The bill fell one vote short of the 33 needed in order to advance, after two senators did not vote. Gov. Jim Pillen, a Republican who had supported the bill, said after the vote that it was “unacceptable for senators to be present not voting on such a momentous vote.” Mr. Pillen, who described himself as “a staunch defender of life,” said he was “profoundly disappointed” by the outcome.

In South Carolina, the senate rejected a bill that would ban most abortions in the state. The bill had already been passed by the House, but the Senate’s five women — three of whom are Republicans — opposed the bill and spoke forcefully against it.

More background and analysis are at the link.

So, can we get some Justice in this country anymore or equal representation?  That’s the big question for me today.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

8 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads: Justices Gone Wild”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Here’s more on that NC ruling:

    Have a good weekend!

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:


  4. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Well that’s certainly stupid and callous. However it is not true that kids will kill themselves if they don’t get healthy body parts surgically removed, if they don’t get the meds which medically castrated Alan Turing and result in reduced height, weak bones, cardiac disease and inability to orgasm, and if they aren’t made sterile by these treatments.