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Judge Kavanaugh’s Dilemma

September 17, 2018

Seeking political office or nomination to an agency of the U.S. government can be dangerous to your reputation and your career.  New York Times vs. Sullivan gave “journalists” free rein to print libels and slander without fear of consequence.  That decision held that  public officials could win a suit for libel “only when they could prove the media outlet in question knew either that the information was wholly and patently false or that it was published ‘with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.'”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was aware that everything about his life, actions and government service would be subjected to extreme–and malicious–scrutiny.  If the allegation of sexual assault by a young 17-year old Brett Kavanaugh is true, he should have known it would become public.

Judge Kavanaugh denies that the assault occurred, but the claim has been made. He has few options. He can deny the charge and demand a hearing and he can sue for slander.

In today’s environment of intolerance of men who sexually harass or abuse women–even at age 17–Judge Kavanaugh may not expect a vote on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court without a hearing at which his accuser personally testifies against him.

What was intended to be the latest Supreme Court achievement of the Trump Administration’s judicial appointments will come to a screeching halt.

Before we condemn Judge Kavanaugh, we need a clearing of the air and, after review of New York Times v. Sullivan, legislation should be considered, suggested by President Trump, that toughens laws of libel.

 

 

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