In her Senate testimony, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford presented a consistent and moving account of a sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, when he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School. Judge Kavanaugh categorically denied the assault, and accused his accuser of a politically motivated witch hunt. Yet could it be that both the accuser and the accused are correct, in that Dr. Ford distinctly remembers the assault while Judge Kavanaugh does not?

Judge Kavanaugh admits to frequently joining his high school friends in drinking sessions. Although he was not legally of drinking age in his home state, he dismissed the behavior as something that “almost everyone did” – at least in his entitled circle of private-school friends.

During the investigation, Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked Judge Kavanaugh whether, during the period in question, he ever drank so much that he didn’t remember what happened the night before. Judge Kavanaugh did not answer the question. Instead, he asked Sen. Klobuchar the same question – an irrelevant issue under the circumstances. Yet in Judge Kavanaugh’s case, the question is not only relevant, it is crucial to the accusation made against him.

The evidence presented – including accounts by Judge Kavanaugh’s former classmates and his own yearbook entries – includes many references to young Brett Kavanaugh’s excessive drinking to the point of incoherence. This behavior continued during his college years.

It is entirely credible that Judge Kavanaugh would not remember an assault that he carried out in such a state. That in no sense excuses his behavior. And it is certainly not consistent with the moral standards that should apply in judging the fitness of any candidate for the highest court in the land.

Michael Mertaugh


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