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Senator Heidi Heitkamp Explains Her ‘No’ Vote On Kavanaugh

By  Frank Camp

On Thursday, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) posted a video to social media in which she explained her decision to vote against confirming SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh:

Heitkamp states in part:

I met with Judge Kavanaugh, closely watched his hearings, reviewed his available record.

…I voted for Justice Neil Gorsuch because I felt his legal ability and temperament qualified him for a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday’s hearing called into question for me Judge Kavanaugh’s current temperament, his honesty, and his impartiality. These are critical traits of any nominee to serve on the highest court in our country.

…Dr. Ford gave a heartfelt, credible, and persuasive testimony. It took a great deal of courage, and it also came at great personal cost to her. …Our actions right now are an important signal to young girls and women across the country…

There are four main pillars of Heitkamp’s argument — she believes Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony; she believes Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of temperament during his hearing; she believes he lacks objectivity; and she believes Kavanaugh was at some point being dishonest.

One can push back against each of these arguments.

Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor who interviewed Ford, released a multi-page memo in which she breaks down the inconsistencies in Ford’s story. The entire memo can (and should) be viewed here. In her conclusion, she writes in part:

In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.

In an executive summary to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI, which conducted a brief investigation of Kavanaugh at the behest of multiple senators, stated in part:

The Supplemental Background Investigation confirms what the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded after its investigation: there is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.

Regarding Kavanaugh’s temperament, Kavanaugh himself addressed the issue in a surprise op-ed on in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, writing in part:

…I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations. My time in high school and college, more than 30 years ago, has been ridiculously distorted. My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats.

Against that backdrop, I testified before the Judiciary Committee last Thursday to defend my family, my good name and my lifetime of public service. My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony—both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character. My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled.

I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.

He noted that outside of this particular personal realm, he has ruled in favor of and against varying causes and individuals based solely on the law, adding: “I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.”

Regarding allegations that Kavanaugh has been untruthful, or even committed “perjury,” there are several rebuttals.

Here, Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro walks through 18 alleged “lies” told by Kavanaugh and invalidates each one. He leaves open “one credible allegation that Kavanaugh lied,” which is “when [he was] asked about the phrase ‘Renate Alumnius’ in his yearbook…”

Here, the editors at National Review dispel the three biggest perjury accusations being made by progressives.

Here, and here, National Review’s Robert VerBruggen goes into two of the alleged lies told by Kavanaugh regarding his yearbook and shows that there isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest he lied, and further, that there’s actually evidence to suggest he was telling the truth.

Aside from a potential one-vote swing, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court appears as though it will run right along party lines.

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