‘Thumbs up to Kavanaugh’

The weeks that led to the seating on Oct. 6 of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh proved controversial. Accusations of sexual assault from multiple women, one of whom spoke during confirmation hearings, slowed the process and brought national attention to the proceedings.

Replacing retired Justice Anthony Kennedy with a noted conservative could very well change future rulings handed down by the high court. Kennedy was known for his swing votes on matters of abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.

Claiborne county residents seemed just as anxious to voice their opinions during a straw poll, taken during the hours leading up to the final U.S. Senate vote.

The unofficial poll, conducted on the Claiborne Progress Facebook page, showed a three to one approval margin. Many of our readers also left comments, a few of which follow.

Josh Eldridge said that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed.

“Whether it’s the five sexual assault allegations, perjuring himself in the hearing, or just acting like a big, giant baby, Kavanaugh is just like the spoiled rich kid who grew up as a spoiled rich man. We deserve better from our judges,” said Eldridge.

Melissa Widner Johnson said in her post that Kavanaugh ‘absolutely’ should be confirmed.

If it was Ford’s civic duty to report it now, why wasn’t it when he was appointed to the second highest court years ago, she said.

“Just can’t believe a word she’s said,” said Johnson.

Tiffany Short Graves agreed with Johnson.

“Even her own witnesses she brought wouldn’t (corroborate) her story. She couldn’t remember any details, other than it was him, for sure. No other women came forward until her claim,” said Graves.

In her comment, Susan Johnson said she thought Kavanaugh should not be confirmed.

“Besides the fact that he has several women accusing him of sexual misconduct and his inappropriate emotional demeanor during the hearing (“I like beer”), the republicans refused to make millions of documents from his past (including his time in the Bush White House) available to the judicial committee to review. How can they make an informed decision when they don’t know his record? Common sense should tell you this is wrong,” said Johnson.

Rodney Phelps and April Johnson disagreed with the assessment.

“Where are these women? They were proved to have lied under oath,” said Phelps.

April Johnson said Kavanaugh had given more records than any in the past.

“And he had nothing to give (through) the time he worked for Bush,” said Johnson.

Jane Anne Hatfield referred in her comment to Christine Blasey Ford – the one Kavanaugh accuser who spoke during the confirmation hearings.

“She was never caught in a lie…. however, he was caught in many lies. And she passed her polygraph. He still refuses to take one. I strongly suggest you watch the entire hearing as many of us have. The hearing was live so it is not fake. But as a lifelong republican myself I feel he’s a disgrace,” said Hatfield.

Kevin Gordon refuted Hatfield’s assessment.

“Never caught in a lie? Read the prosecutors 5 page report and then rewatch the hearing and then you will see nothing but lies. Even if you don’t want to do this, just remember her answer about a fear of flying,” said Gordon.”

Betsey Ramos Buckwalter said in her comment that Kavanaugh should absolutely be confirmed.

“I support victims of rape and abuse. However, I cannot fathom why that woman would wait until this specific time to give her story. I absolutely 100% feel it was politically motivated,” said Buckwalter.

In her comment, Helen Latiff Coleman said confirmation should not happen.

“It is too dividing for the country at this point. Also, didn’t like his answer about that a sitting president could be pardoned,” said Coleman.

Philip VanDoren responded by saying that seven FBI investigations were conducted by four administrations.

Isn’t this enough, he questioned, adding that it seemed as though one party could clearly derail Kavanaugh’s life goals with a common allegation.

Linda Fuson Evans responded to VanDoren’s comment.

“The allegations were just one reason he should never be a judge of any kind. He lied under oath on multiple occasions. He’s obviously as partisan as they come and who owns him? Who paid off all of his debt just before his nomination,” said Evans.

Missy Westbrook said Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

“First they wanted to hang him hoping people would believe the claims brought forth. I believe they knew it was all false allegations but moved forward with it anyway pushing him to the point of having to defend himself, knowing that being accused of all of this (gang rapist) would cause him to be angry and show that emotion while being questioned and then use THAT emotion against him! The left will use anything. Trust me when I say that I take sexual misconduct allegations extremely seriously but there is nothing, NOTHING here. This man has been cleared and if you are using an emotional testimony against him, you’re grasping at straws. Look at his past record as a judge. Move on,” said Westbrook, in her comment.

Pamela Kyle-Campbell said in her Facebook comment that “we the people should make it a priority to vote on Nov. 6.

“Without a doubt we can stop the madness that is the Trump administration and his followers. Trust that there (are) more Americans against him than for him. Just yesterday I asked, ‘what has Trump done to improve the lives of anyone that isn’t rich in the last 2 years.’ So let’s not BOO, LET’S VOTE,” said Kyle-Campbell.

Christian Blake Maples was adamant in his ‘No’ vote on Facebook.

“Sexual assault claim aside, he committed perjury, lying on the stand under oath,” said Maples.

Ashley Greenhawk commented that allowing Ford to speak during the hearing was a “democrat ploy to delay the vote.

“Good job everyone! Red wave in November! People need to realize these protesters are paid by dems to make it look like they have a huge following,” said Greenhawk.

Maples responded to Greenhawk.

“So the fact that 3 million more people voted for Hillary and the democratic senators represent more Americans than the Republicans do, means that they don’t have a huge following? The country as a whole does not support this,” said Maples.

Anora Collingsworth spoke about due process.

“In the United States we have due process. That is every Americans God given right. What a world this would be if you could just make accusations against someone, with no one to corroborate your story, and no evidence but the person you accused was automatically guilty. That’s not an America I would ever want to live in.

“As for the posts about his attitude, I don’t know anyone who would not be upset over a group of people trying to destroy you and your family in the name of politics and unfounded accusations. He also has the right to defend his character and his family, who have been shamelessly slandered and threatened,” said Collingsworth.

Jennifer Butcher said in her comment that the country has a history of not prosecuting sexual assaults.

“If someone does get prosecuted, they usually serve no jail time. Sexual crimes are difficult to prove. Since he has these accusations against him, it is a dark stain against our justice system that already turns a blind eye to sexual assault victims. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits across the country go untested. We need a change in our justice system that sees sexual crimes as seriously as they truly are,” said Butcher.

Donna Dillman said Kavanaugh’s demeanor during questioning was not that required of a Supreme Court judge.

“With all the questions surrounding him I’m sure there are other judges qualified. Remember this is a lifetime appointment,” said Dillman.

Chastity Brooks-Deaton agreed.

“This appointment is too important for there to be any question of impropriety. Maybe Kavanaugh is innocent; maybe he is guilty. We can’t be sure and, unlike politicians, he won’t be up for election in a few years as this is a lifetime appointment. There are plenty of other equally qualified candidates. Sometimes life isn’t fair and that’s unfortunate, but the risk of being unfair to one innocent person and keeping him out of a job he wants is less of a risk than putting a bad guy into such an influential position that could potentially (affect) millions of people,” said Brooks-Deaton.

Pam Tuttle said in her comment that Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

“Anyone who was accused of such violent and such outlandish remarks would be very upset, I don’t care who you are. At that moment he was not Supreme Court Justice. He was a husband, a father, a son…. We are asking him to behave in a whole different way than you would…. shame on the country for allowing this to happen,” said Tuttle.

Jimmy England said he did not think Kavanaugh should have been confirmed.

“The problem is his temperament. If a female had come in front of the Senate like he did they would have her locked up,” said England.

The Claiborne Progress appreciates everyone for taking the time to voice your opinion about this very important issue.

Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50 to 48 vote. The weeks leading up to the hearing has divided the country like no other confirmation, reminding many of the sexual harassment claims brought by Anita Hill during hearings to confirm Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.