On Friday, ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran spoke with George Stephanopoulos about the possibility of Brett Kavanaugh making it to the Supreme Court.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's say for the sake of argument, for just this minute right here, that he does get through – that it is a 51, perhaps, 49 partisan vote. What does he do in that situation as he ascends to the highest court in the land?
MORAN: Well, he had better take into that lifetime appointment a sense of the woundedness of so many people in the country, and factor that into his decisions. Overturning Roe v. Wade by an all male majority, two of whom have had credible accusations of sexual misconduct lodged against them, would not be a legitimate action, and that is the question of the court – legitimacy. It has always had a very high place in American popular opinion and it could lose it if it loses legitimacy.
During his brief remarks, Moran makes three rather uncomfortable missteps.
First, he suggests that "overturning Roe v. Wade" with a "male majority" on the court would be illegitimate. This is a variation of the "no uterus, no opinion" argument often made by abortion advocates in which it’s claimed that if one does not possess a female reproductive system, one is not allowed to make judgments about abortion. The irony of this argument is that Roe v. Wade was decided by an all-male Supreme Court. In other words, "no uterus, no opinion (unless that opinion aligns with abortion advocates)."
Second, Moran states that if Kavanaugh were to pass through the Senate, two SCOTUS Justices will have had "credible accusations of sexual misconduct lodged against them." While the accusations against Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh are indeed serious, they are not necessarily "credible."
The word "credible" is defined by Merriam-Webster as: "Offering reasonable grounds for being believed." The allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas fell apart under scrutiny, rendering them less than credible. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh have yet to be corroborated by any physical or circumstantial evidence. While Ford appeared credible in her testimony, it’s a stretch to say that the allegations are themselves credible without further inquiry.
As of yet, the allegations made by Deborah Ramirez remain unverified outside the recollections of two former students at Yale.
One former student, who asked not to be identified by The New Yorker, claims he was told about the alleged incident. Another, Richard Oh, claims that he overheard someone "tearfully" recalling it. According to The New Yorker, Ramirez "told her mother and sister about an upsetting incident at the time, but did not describe the details to either due to her embarrassment."
Barring corroborative evidence in the Blasey Ford case, and further investigation and corroboration of the Deborah Ramirez allegations, Brett Kavanaugh has not yet been "credibly" accused of anything. While it’s certainly possible that Kavanaugh is guilty of the alleged crimes of which he’s been accused, to speak about him and the allegations in such certain terms, as Moran does here, comes across as somewhat irresponsible.
Third, Moran suggests that Kavanaugh, if he is appointed to the Supreme Court, must take into account "the woundedness of so many people in the country, and factor that into his decisions." This is a dangerously warped perspective regarding the role of the Supreme Court, which was designed to function as an impartial arbiter, unresponsive to the whims of lawmakers or executives whose legislation and behavior might violate the Constitution of the United States.