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Letters: Readers weigh the Kavanaugh-Ford testimony

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images / MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Christine Blasey Ford has little to offer in terms of support for her accusation [“Supreme drama,” News, Sept. 28]. Her memory of details is vague. She says it happened, period. She doesn’t recall where or when nor how she got to the event or how she got home. Her female friend can’t recall being there or even knowing the Brett Kavanaugh.

It’s tough to defend yourself from that kind of lack of specificity. Imagine trying to defend yourself against someone accusing you of DWI, but the accuser can’t recall where or when. How could one possibly defend against that charge? Rely on your reputation and character, as does Kavanaugh.

Fortunately, Kavanaugh has a calendar indicating many of his activities and whereabouts for those months, and with whom. And no such entry exists citing this party he is alleged to have attended.

Edward Doughty, Blue Point

Brett Kavanaugh deserves the Kellyanne Conway-Sarah Sanders Huckabee award for evasion for not answering direct questions with direct answers. His uncanny ability to filibuster a Democratic senator’s five-minute time slot on Thursday was exemplary, a Trumpian trick. In case the judge is not confirmed for the court, he should consider Hollywood. His emotional testimony, though heart-wrenching and replete with anger and tears, warrants an Academy Award for best actor. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s side of the Judiciary Committee could take best producer. And Sen. Lindsey Graham deserves kudos for not having heart failure during his ballistic tirade and audition for attorney general.

Kathleen Young, Northport

Given the highly critical, insensitive treatment of Anita Hill at the Clarence Thomas hearings years ago, I wondered whether the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee had learned a lesson. They did. They learned to hide behind the skirts of a woman rather than question Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser themselves.

Margaret Bell, West Islip

It does not make a difference to me whom we believe. There should not be an FBI investigation, because the rest does not make a difference. Brett Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. It does not make a difference anymore whether he did or didn’t do it. He is damaged goods, tainted. Is it fair? No. But this is not about him and his desires, nor about Christine Blasey Ford. It is about our country. The American people deserve to have justices who are above reproach, who are trusted by the people even if they disagree with their leanings.

People will say not confirming him will be a slippery slope, giving validity to the leveling of unsubstantiated allegations of sexual crimes. But it’s already being done.

Jeff Goldman, West Babylon

Why is it that when a woman raises a sexual assault issue many years after the incident, men are extremely suspicious? Yet, when men raise the issue — for example, accusations of abuse against Catholic priests some 20 years ago and longer — there is no sign of the mass media or politicians disparaging or questioning the validity of the allegations. It is long past the time when men should recognize that the Constitution reads “All men are created equal” and the includes women. Wake up and grow up!

Mary McCormick, East Northport

Some say we should presume that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent until proved guilty. So why did some Republican senators, except a courageous few, say publicly that they would support Kavanaugh even before hearing from Christine Blasey Ford? That was not a fair hearing.

Yes, things we do as teenagers should be judged with compassion. Nevertheless, the behavior alleged of Kavanaugh would make him unfit to serve as a judge. And it would mean that he has lied repeatedly to the people and to Congress.

Why were Republican senators so resistant to an FBI investigation? Are they afraid? The unethical and unprofessional haste with which the Judiciary Committee held its hearings is a sham. They were unlikely to be anything but a fake nod to justice by Republicans, who would then proceed to award a liar a seat on the highest court.

Whatever Kavanaugh’s did or did not do, he has proved that he will not uphold our Constitution, but will twist it to give himself and his privileged white male cronies more power and wealth.

Robin Tribble, Sunnyside

You went to a party, had some fun, and one of the boys drank too much, he got out of hand, you didn’t like it. Now you come forward and cry sexual abuse? Who hasn’t had an experience like this in high school and college? Get over yourself and get on with your life. Notice I use the term “boys.”

Marie Scalfani, Holbrook

The Democrats are such a dishonest and hypocritical group, determined not to vote for the president’s Supreme Court nominee. And we know how power-hungry they are to win back the House and Senate, be more in control of nominations and all other things Trump. And we know the midterm elections are six weeks away. And yet we are to believe that they are out to vindicate all women who are victims of sexual abuse. Yeah, right. Christine Blasey Ford is just a pawn in the Democrats’ embarrassing, manipulating and despicable scheme. Our country has dropped to a new low.

Bob Esposito,Lake Grove

I am not a member of either major party, but it was obvious to me that the Democrats have been fully intent on ruining Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. You’d be a tad upset yourself after Sen. Chuck Schumer said he would work to stop Brett Kavanaugh “with everything I’ve got,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s held on to Christine Blasey Ford’s letter, and at the last hour, two other accusers came out of left field without definitive evidence. I truly hope he gets confirmed.

John Pelkonen, Greenlawn

I have no idea who is telling the truth and who is lying. What bothers me the most about the Brett Kavanaugh hearing is that this allegation was made before Kavanaugh was nominated. If that allegation had been brought to the White House and the FBI at that time, an investigation could have ensued privately, as Christine Blasey Ford desired. If there was something there, Kavanaugh would not have been nominated in the first place. This delay in the confirmation is a blatant disregard for the lives of both Kavanaugh and Ford, purely for political purposes.

It strikes me that both Democrats and Republicans feel the need to save the country from the other. They are only partially right. We do need to be saved — from Congress and our broken political system.

Doug Augenthaler, Glen Head

What has happened to our Senate, or has it always been filled with bitter old men who seem to think that the louder they speak the more effect they have? To me, the Senate hearing was a circus, and I wonder how anything gets done in Washington.

Kathleen Lopez, Central Islip

I listened intently to Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge and found her account to be credible. She knew five of perhaps six young people at the gathering where she claims she was assaulted, and asked that the FBI investigate her claims.

Brett Kavanaugh curiously didn’t request an FBI investigation, even to clear his name. While this youthful episode isn’t the most serious one can imagine, it seems Kavanaugh felt the need to deflect questions at the hearing or, I believe, to lie.

In his opening remarks and during his angry, teary testimony, Kavanaugh demonstrated that he lacks the judicial temperament for the Supreme Court. Indeed, he lacks the temperament for the court where he now sits. He likely pleased President Donald Trump with his grand conspiracy theories about the Clintons, the 2016 election and the left, but he ultimately showed that he is overly political, not just conservative, and therefore unfit to serve on the nations highest court.

Robert Mays, Freeport

Twenty-seven years ago, Anita Hill agreed to testify in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas. Doing so, she was humiliated. Testifying about things that had occurred was not easy for her. And, everybody saw that drama unfold. Thomas squeaked into confirmation by a 52-48 vote.

In recent years, things have gotten worse. Bill Cosby faces three to 10 years in prison for sexual assault and the label “sexually violent predator.” It took 60 women to get that.

So will it take Christine Blasey Ford at least 59 other women to get actually get the Senate to pay attention?

What on God’s Green Earth did Hill achieve if she lied, and what would Ford achieve if she lied, other than humiliating herself for no reason, if senators have already made up their minds?

Jim Geiser, Levittown

In an editorial, Newsday urged taking more time to evaluate the accusations of sexual abuse leveled at Judge Brett Kavanaugh. How much more time would satisfy your editorial board and the Democratic Party?

Sen. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, told Fox News: “. . . Think about what he has been through. He started off answering over 30 hours of questions, in an open session from Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. They had closed sessions where they asked him questions. They submitted 1,300 questions for the record, more than for all previous Supreme Court nominees combined. He answered those. He has answered six FBI background checks. This has been an incredibly open, transparent process. Republicans have been very fair to Democrats. Democrats, on the other hand, get a letter, a piece of information back in July, which they decide to hang onto and then unleash at the eleventh hour to try to delay and derail this nomination. They have not been fair to this nominee at all.”

It appeared that a call for more time, more investigations, on the part of Newsday and the Democrats was an attempt to derail any nominee put forward by the duly elected president and the GOP.

Laurann Pandelakis, Manhasset

What woman hasn’t had some kind of humiliating encounter with males?

One of mine happened with neighborhood boys when I was 5. Another happened when I was 21 resulted in 30 years of emotional distress.

However, because I took control, my whole life wasn’t ruined by any of my abusive experiences.

Like every woman, I had the power to forgive. It didn’t matter that the abuser never acknowledged or regretted what he did. The act of forgiveness alone was powerful enough to heal the emotional damage.

If I had chosen to take revenge, both my life and the life of my abuser would have been ruined. So, I encourage any woman in this #MeToo age to consider well the possible effects if she makes public accusations.

Judith B. Abel, Islandia

If I were Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and if I believed my name was being dragged through the mud by false accusations of sexual misconduct, I would have demanded an FBI investigation to clear my good name. If he has nothing to hide, why didn’t he do so?

Edmund Fountaine, Oakdale

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