Kavanaugh Allegations Spark Protests

Markeshia Ricks PhotoThey’re angry. Some of them have been sexually abused. And they’re done being silent about it.

Close to 100 people brought that message to the lower Green Monday afternoon as part of a national day of action to protest the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land and to stand with the women accusing him of sexual assault. A separate sit-in took place at Yale Law School, where a U.S. senator (and alum) dropped by to offer support.

All over the nation, including at the New Haven Green and at Yale Law School, people dressed in black and participated in sit-ins and walkouts as part of the #BelieveSurvivors National Walkout and Moment of Solidarity. The protests follow the latest revelation that another woman, a fellow Yale graduate named Deborah Ramirez, has come forward to make a sexual assault allegation against him. His first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, is set to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.

Lena Olive Reese was one of those protestors Monday who converged on the Green in her black for the protest, which began at 1 p.m. She said she was there in solidarity with her mother, for her best male friend who was sexually assaulted as a child, for black trans women who are being murdered at unprecedented rates, and for herself.

“I’m angry because I have to walk from my car with keys in between my fingers to walk into my own home,” Reese told the crowd. “I’m angry because I don’t feel safe walking in the Green at night. I am angry because I had to quit something I love when I was in college because a man grabbed me by the hair to teach me a lesson. I’m angry that I stayed in a relationship with a man who forced me into situations that I was not ready for. But I thought that’s how men showed their love so I stayed.

“I’m angry that white, straight men have no idea how this feels,” Reese added. “And until the day that they have to walk with keys in between their fingers to walk into their own homes, I will not stop being angry.”

Black Lives Matter New Haven Co-Founder Sun Queen offered poems that illustrated the trauma of sexual assault and the self-loathing, fear, and powerlessness that it can create. She said the poems grew out of a conversation she had with a friend who had been sexually assaulted. The friend had been made to believe her mother had been assaulted. But she hadn’t.

Sun Queen said when the friend learned that her mother had lied about her sexual abuse the friend then couldn’t talk about her own actual abuse. Sun Queen said she felt the urge to be a voice for her and so she wrote the poem.

“Me too is more than a hashtag,” she intoned. “Stop the silence.”

Gretchen Raffa, director of public policy and advocacy of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, said the walkout and moment of solidarity were about listening to people’s stories and listening to survivors.

“We’re saying we believe survivors,” she said. “We stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We stand with Deborah Ramirez. We are still standing with Anita Hill.”

Raffa pointed out that 77 percent of sexual assaults in America go unreported. She said that’s often because the person “suffers further hurt and humiliation by having their stories dismissed, their integrity doubted, or their motives questioned.”

She said Kavanaugh’s nomination was a moment of reckoning for the U.S. Senate. “What senators do today will determine whether they stand with women and survivors or whether they stand against them. We urge Sen. Chuck Grassley and every senator to stop the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.”

One senator trying to put the breaks on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is Connecticut’s own U.S. Richard Blumenthal. He stopped by his alma mater Yale Law School Sunday to support students who had staged a sit-in at 9:30 a.m.

“I’m really proud to be at my alma mater where students are taking a stand speaking out in favor of sexual assault survivors,” he said after addressing the students Monday. “One out of every three women in America is a survivor of sexual assault in her life. but this crime is underreported, perhaps the most underreported, precisely because of threatening humiliation and intimidation seen just this past week from the highest elected official.”

The allegations against Kavanaugh have hit close to home because of the Supreme Court nominee’s ties to Yale. Prior to Deborah Ramirez coming forward, Yale Law students accused a professor of allegedly providing questionable ethical advice to young women seeking coveted court clerkships with Kavanaugh. (The professor denies the allegation. Yale is investigating the allegations.)

Some individual Yale Law School professors canceled classes Monday and about 200 students dressed in black and staged a silent sit-in in the main thoroughfare of the school and then held a teach-in to learn about the last time a U.S. Supreme Court nomination roiled the country and Yale graduates were at the center of national attention because of sexual assault allegations. That time it was Yale Law alums Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.

Blumenthal called the Thomas-Hill hearings “disastrously flawed,” pointing out that it was a short investigation and though there were corroborating witnesses, they were barred from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said that an even lower standard is being applied in Kavanaugh’s confirmation process than what was applied to Thomas.

“We need to do better,” Blumenthal said. “What happened to Anita Hill should not happen here. We should accord the respect these survivors deserve. There should be a full, fair investigation. If there is not, there will be a cloud that will forever hang over this nominee and a stain on the Supreme Court itself.”

Blumenthal is one of the Democratic senators calling on the White House to release millions of pages of Kavanaugh’s documents and to order an FBI investigation into the allegations made by his former classmates.

“In good conscience, we cannot vote without a full and fair FBI investigation and we cannot vote without an opportunity for these survivors to be heard respectfully. We need hearings with the witnesses who have knowledge of these sexual assault allegations.”

“This Has Been Going On For Years”

Back on the Green, in the afternoon, activist Ann M. stepped up to say something simple but profound.

“My name is Ann and I didn’t tell the first time I was assaulted because I was five years old,” she said. “I didn’t have the courage to tell. I thought it was my fault.”

She said she can say that out loud now after more than two decades of therapy, and she said it’s important that survivors speak to allow for their own healing and for the healing of others.

“Survivors have to see other survivors make it through,” she said. “It’s never gone. It’s a hole in your soul. Somebody shot a hole in your soul. It’s never gone but it can be repaired. And it’s important for other women to model that.”

She said it also was important to acknowledge the role that race—or the absence of it—plays in the heightened national attention around the Kavanaugh allegations.

“When white women speak out about this, it gets national attention,” said Ann, who is white. “But this has been going on for years — young black girls and women subjected to sexual violence, many at the hands of white men. If we don’t understand that and understand it as a historical way of life in this country, things won’t change.”

Click videos below to see moments from Monday’s afternoon walkout and morning sit-in.



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posted by: wendy1 on September 24, 2018  6:49pm

God bless these women.  I was at both demonstrations.
I have 2 words for Big Blu—-RE TIRE
Go see Fahrenheit 11/9 at the Criterion on Temple St.
Frankly I dont think most men can empathize with us until they grow breasts and vaginas.  Not much has changed for women or people of color in my 70 years.  I wish I had the freedom to walk in the dark outside…alone.  It is too dangerous and if I had a daughter I’d offer shooting lessons along with kevlar, a pitbull, karate, etc.  If I had black children, I’d teach them the Black Man’s Code and offer the same.  American women and blacks are in jeopardy, and yes, I know it’s worse in other countries (many of them allies to the US unfortunately).  Politicians and their minions, the cops (no offense) are useless mostly.  Justice for rape victims is way too rare.
I also remember this country BEFORE abortion rights—-it was expensive, painful, and humiliating to get one and you had to travel out of the country as many women I knew did or you could risk death or permanent injury going local.  The freedom to avoid pregnancy was the most important turning point in my life, period (no pun intended).

posted by: Noteworthy on September 24, 2018  8:13pm

Believe Nothing, Test Everything Notes:

1. I will never auto-believe any alleged victim. People lie, the mis-remember, they mis-identify - in short, there are innocent people sitting in jail and that have been released after decades in jail because people believed false or faulty testimony or claims of victimhood.

2. Every allegation deserves to be heard - including those against Kavanaugh. But nobody deserves to be believed without testing the truthfulness of their story. Just because it’s a woman, involves sexual assault or misdeeds doesn’t mean one auto-believes what’s being said. There should be no vigorous cross examination? Only the allegation is enough to convict - no court, no hearing, no trier of fact? What about due process? What about innocent until proven guilty?

3. This is a smear of the worst kind - rooted and manipulated by Democrats - at the last minute the sole purpose of which is to delay and defeat the Kavanaugh nomination. It’s a crass and ugly strategy.

4. Even these women who march - who blame “white men,” seem confused on the issues. They want to believe the alleged victims - but it sure seems that their real problem is with the fact that he’s a conservative judge, not that he’s actually done anything of which he is accused.

5. Brian Fallon - a Hillary Clinton operative who organized the endless parade of women against Trump with ever escalating stories of gross conduct - has raised millions of dollars to execute the same strategy against Kavanaugh.

6. Is high school where is ends? Or will the next “victim” come from grade school?

7. This is no Anita Hill moment. Hill was poised, specific and it involved conduct as an adult and a supervisor to Hill & other women when Clarence Thomas was nominated.

8. As for an FBI investigation - there is zero reason to believe 35 or 40 years later, the FBI will uncover dispositive evidence that would preclude a successful Kavanaugh nomination.

9. This is just raw, bare knuckled street fight.

posted by: LookOut on September 24, 2018  10:31pm

It is sad that the MeToo movement - which was making nice progress in getting the country to think about this serious issue in a different way - has been hijacked by politicians whose sole purpose is to grind our government to a halt until they can find some election results that are pleasing to them.  In the meantime, we are subjected to guilt without a fair trial based on ‘facts’ that may or may not be remembered and are certainly disputed by those who where around at the time. 

Are we OK as a society with lynchings based on one person’s side of the story?  Have we thought carefully about what this means?  Remember a few years ago when Harry Reid changed the Senate Rules on confirming judges to get one Obama appointee through?  And he and his side of the aisle were shocked and dismayed when McConnell turned the tables soon thereafter?  Be very careful what you wish for….

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 25, 2018  12:38am


A most disappointing viewpoint. 

For whatever reason NHI didn’t post my initial post about this ‘action’, here it is again: 


posted by: Bill Saunders on September 25, 2018  12:47am


As it turns out, I have friends that have been sexually assaulted, as do many other men I know.  More than you can imagine.

While this is an issue that women need to take the leadership role on because it is their experience, don’t dismiss the men who are genuinely supportive and are also indirectly affected by the trauma and the criminal actions of others. 

To censor my sincere support for this event is misguided on your part, and does not help this to move forward.

It actually says a lot of bad things about NHI, community, and inclusion.

posted by: Perspective on September 25, 2018  6:25am

“I’m angry that white, straight men have no idea how this feels,” Reese added. “And until the day that they have to walk with keys in between their fingers to walk into their own homes, I will not stop being angry.”
“When white women speak out about this, it gets national attention,” said Ann, who is white. “But this has been going on for years — young black girls and women subjected to sexual violence, many at the hands of white men.

Wow… Talk about generalizing. I never realized white men were the only perpetrators of sexual assault.

posted by: JohnTulin on September 25, 2018  6:40am

“...the friend learned that her mother had lied about her sexual abuse”


posted by: Bohica on September 25, 2018  7:48am

Memories that are 30 years old and seen through an alcoholic haze can be misleading, Dick Blumenthal thought he spent a year in Vietnam and he was sober. I’m not sure this case should be the basis for ruining someone’s life.

posted by: Marion on September 25, 2018  7:54am

Of all people, you’d think Yale law students would understand the necessity of not making judgments based solely on an accusation before any due process is had.. Are they ignorant of those instances where doing so blew up in their faces?  Recall the lynch mob that formed when a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape. What was the end result of that case? The rape charge was conclusively exposed as fabricated, the prosecutor pursuing it (for political reasons) was disbarred and arrested, and the accused students were vindicated, but not until after their lives and reputations were ruined. And THAT rape allegation did not occur in the context of a highly charged, partisan political environment involving a judicial nomination where, before Blasey Ford even came forward, the left was calling for the defeat of Kavanaugh by any means.  Is Ford telling the truth?  Maybe - who knows yet.  Decent and fair-minded people will hold their judgments until there is testimony, and questions asked and answered. These “law” students are betraying every basic principle of law and fairness with these protests, a disgrace to the profession they seek to join. And any professors supporting a lynch mob are bad role models for law students, and do not belong on a law school faculty.

posted by: Atwater on September 25, 2018  9:58am

This is such a delicate issue. But, disagree all you want with the hypocrisies and opinions of Judge Kavanaugh, he deserves a fair hearing of these issues. This is an allegation of an incident that allegedly occurred 30 years ago, brought up at a very opportune time for the Democratic Party. This is not said to discount or discourage the alleged victim from coming forward to make the allegation. Hopefully a fair hearing can occur, but I am skeptical given the political climate. If Kavanaugh is the man of character and integrity he claims to be (the same man of integrity that helped in the impeachment of Billy Clinton) then he should remove himself from consideration for the Supreme Court. I’m sure the Republicans can find another ultra-conservative, anti-choice, pro-big business, candidate. Ted Cruz might need a job soon.

As an aside, the Democrats seem all too willing to ignore the numerous allegations against one of their standard bearers, Bill Clinton (multiple allegations of sexual assault, one confirmed incident of indecency). So, sadly, we must only conclude that their motivation in going after Kavanaugh is mostly political. They did get shortchanged on the Merrick Garland fiasco, but using sexual assault as a means of retaliation is going too far.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 25, 2018  11:24am


I have been pressing the ‘Bill Clinton’ issue as well, in some of my Facebook posts….to mixed responses.

For all of his apologists out there, and those in the “SEX WITH MONICA WAS CONSENSUAL” Camp, I posit this.

When the Leader of the Free World takes a Cigar from a Sexual Encounter with an Intern and ‘shares’ it with another World Leader THAT behavior certainly falls into a different category that glorifies ‘the act’, is rooted in male ‘bragging rights’, and ultimately disrespects the woman. Was that consensual?  America got hustled.

We have been here a long time and there is a long way to go.

But the fact of the matter is, Clinton had already given ‘the pass’.

posted by: westville man on September 25, 2018  11:45am

The bigger question is does it really matter if the allegations are true or not to a majority of Americans. After all, a majority of white women and men voted into the White House an ADMITTED sexual abuser.

posted by: wesunidad on September 25, 2018  12:09pm

Women do not report sexual abuse because its a fun sport.  They don’t have abortions for that reason either.

I do not think Kavanaugh deserves a “fair hearing” because if I did that would be tantamount to saying that the two Kavanaugh survivors are not to be believed or it’s like when 45 said there were good people on both sides in the Charlottesville rally where young white woman protester was murdered (via a car being used as the weapon).

How can there be a fair hearing when the accused rapist Kavenaugh is a known liar and because of this he has to employ a huge public relations apparatus including the “Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief” saying he’s such a fine man?  And, didn’t 45 also say that Roy Moore, the supposed child molester was also a fine man?

The survivors are telling the truth.  And, that is why the attack against them by the white men in power is so threatening to them.  They do not want women taking away their inherited white right to rule.

I am white and they make me sick too.

Thanks to all the brave women and men of all colors who are standing up and speaking out.

posted by: Marion on September 25, 2018  12:22pm

@Atwater.  Why should Kavanaugh remove himself from consideration? Because someone made an accusation? That would only encourage partisans to arrange for another accuser against the next nominee. Otherwise you make some valid points about the democrats. The most irksome is Congressman Kennedy. When his cousin William Kennedy Smith was accused and charged with a violent rape, the Kennedy family not only circled the wagons, but stood with Kennedy-Smith at a press conference where he condemned his accuser as a “damnable” liar. They savaged that woman.  Democrats also circled the wagons when the womanizing Ted Kennedy left a girl to suffocate in the water rather than call 911 and risk his political career. And let’s not forget how the democrats trashed all of Clinton’s accusers. So “the woman must be believed” meme from the democrats rings hollow.

posted by: Noteworthy on September 25, 2018  12:34pm

Where are all these democrat protesters on Keith Ellison? He mentally, physically and emotionally abused his girlfriend. Not a peep from the weeps. If you’re a true believer, party affiliation matters not.

posted by: TheMadcap on September 25, 2018  2:53pm

I’m old enough to remember when Neil Gorsuch was confirmed, with a couple of Democratic votes, without facing sexual assault charges. For that matter, Alito and Roberts as well.

posted by: BevHills730 on September 25, 2018  3:41pm

Noteworthy Defends Notes,

1. Daniel Greer
2. Bill Cosby
3. Brett Kavanaugh

posted by: Atwater on September 25, 2018  4:27pm

wesunidad: Allowing for a fair hearing in no way diminishes or validates the truthfulness of an allegation, it simply allows the allegation to be heard by an impartial body and to render judgement as to the validity of the allegation. It’s basic jurisprudence. If we take your logic one could argue that a person who is charged with robbery should not be tried because it would simultaneously couch the victims as liars. Instead the alleged robber would be taken to prison sans trial. Of course this is ludicrous, no one would ever propose that. But, for some reason, in regards to very public allegations of sexual assault, we employ this fallacy, thus rendering any correct finding of fact impotent. Therefore we are left with an inequitable balance that favors the accuser and highly disfavors the accused. As a democrat (small “d”, that’s important) I cannot accept such a system. Both the accuser and the accused should be treated fairly. If the allegations are proven then judgement should be rendered and any penalties attached. It’s fundamental to our liberal concept of justice, or at least it should be. I do agree with you in part that our current political climate might make a “fair” hearing impossible. But, we should try. You should read about the McMartin Preschool Trial, it’s a classic example of the power of false accusations.

Bill Saunders: I was speaking more about the Juanita Broadrrick allegation. One that rings true due to the several corroborating accounts from Ms. Broaddrick’s friends. The allegation was made, but Ms. Broaddrick was silenced by the Clinton political machine. The Lewinsky scandal, as gross as it was, pales in comparison to the Broaddrick allegation.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 25, 2018  8:06pm


No question about that! 
In my FB posts I brought up Monica to directly draw out the apologists…and it was a successful ‘angle’.

As I alluded to in my prior post, Clinton had already been given ‘the pass’ long before Monica—that was a tacit reference to Juanita Broderick.  I still have many friend’s who are big Bill Clinton fans who would like to think his hands are somehow clean in this regard. 

Maybe he was just trying emulate his idol, JFK. 

And here we are….

posted by: Marion on September 26, 2018  5:18am

@TheMadcap.  You’re forgetting something. With Gorsuch (tapped to replace Scalia) and the others, the court’s ideological balance would remain pretty much status quo, so long as Kennedy remained. Kavanaugh was tapped to replace Kennedy, who was not a true conservative but a moderate “swing” justice who both validated Roe v. Wade and ushered in constitutional rights for LGBT people. So this time, the progressive left fears a true conservative majority on the court that will likely last a generation to come. A BIG difference, motivating many to not only hysterical opposition but a “defeat him by any means necessary” mentality.  But this theater will pale in comparison to the full blown circus that will unfold if Trump gets to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  “Liberal meltdown” will take on a whole new meaning when that day comes. Trump could nominate a saint to replace her, and “accusers” will come out the woodwork.

posted by: cunningham on September 26, 2018  8:07am

I’ll repeat my comments from a reddit thread:

There may not be physical or eyewitness evidence, but there are enough people independently corroborating these accusations that they are a great deal more credible than they were before. If the events were made up from whole cloth, there wouldn’t be any independent corroboration whatsoever.

The issue here isn’t whether there’s enough evidence to convict Kavanaugh in a court of criminal law, it’s whether there’s reasonable doubt as to his character and fitness to serve a lifetime appointment to a judicial body that may well end up deciding cases related to sexual rights. I think enough has come to light at this point that his character and fitness are absolutely at question.

Besides, it’s not like Kavanaugh is the only conservative judge in America. Trump has at least two more years in office. If Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed, then another Federalist Society-approved judge will still be appointed to SCOTUS. This isn’t a war-winning battle for the Democrats.

(And not for nothing, but Republicans stonewalled Merrick Garland’s confirmation basically just because they could, and vowed never to confirm a single Clinton appointment in the event of her victory in 2016. Maybe “credible if not completely airtight sexual assault allegations” should be an acceptable bar for blocking a nomination if that’s the precedent.)

posted by: Atwater on September 26, 2018  8:12am

Marion: If you mention a “liberal meltdown” in regards to Kavanaugh and a possible (probable) Ginsburg replacement, you have to at least recognize the conservative meltdown that came when Merrick Garland was appointed by Obama. The Republican majority refused to hold any hearings, etc. They just sat there, while the Supreme Court was understaffed, without any Constitutional authority to do so. It was absurd. Both sides of the coin are equally hysterical and deviant. “Conservative” Republicans are just better liars then the “Liberal” Democrats, or maybe it’s the former that knows, no matter what, their base will never abandon them. Just yell socialist every once in a while in order to scare the common folk.

posted by: 1644 on September 26, 2018  8:44am

1.  As a white man, I have clutched my keys walking home when I lived in downtown New Haven and on George St.
2. One need only go so far as Fairfield to find two, modern-day, Scottsboro boys, black men whose lives were ruined by a false accusation by a white woman.
3. In New Haven, we had an Afghan man accused and acquitted of rape, the jury finding the evidence did not support the accuser’s statements, a position at variance with those of the university and many at Yale.
3. John Lugo, defender of convicted chid rapists and drunk drivers, is honored for his work.
4. Democrat Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke lied about his drunk driving and says of burglary, it was in college!
5. Close relatives of mine, both male and female, have been the victims of forcible rape and sexual assault.
6. A relative was also a witness for a male roommate who was falsely accused of rape by a woman who was disappointed that what she thought would be the first night with her new, long-term boyfriend was only a one-night stand.
7.  Personally, I recall “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” style parties in high school, with lots of making out.  In high school, and even in my thirties, I was the subject of uninvited touching by girls and women, but it didn’t traumatize me.
8. Reese should read Soul on Ice.

posted by: Noteworthy on September 26, 2018  1:37pm

Cunningham: “... there are enough people independently corroborating these accusations…” Like whom? No there aren’t corroborating witnesses who have first hand knowledge and both women are very fuzzy on the details. Furthermore, you end your post by bringing up Garland again - is this about due process and a fair hearing, or just taking off his head and destroying his life over his conservative views and your ongoing angst over Garland?

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 26, 2018  2:03pm


I still live on George Street, and remember, after the two times that I had been mugged, doing the ‘keys in my claw’ thing too.  Having a gun pointed at you has ‘it’s effect’.

I have never been a victim of sexual assault, but I have seen the trauma it has caused others.

The cry is for an open, honest hearing.
Why are you trying to muddy the waters by ‘pre-casting’ doubt?

posted by: wendy1 on September 26, 2018  3:10pm

1644—-I wish you could get pregnant.  That would change your tune.  Like someone said, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”  I spent half my life praying I would not get pregnant or raped.

posted by: 1644 on September 26, 2018  3:27pm

I am trying to cast doubt because doubt is essential to a hearing that is not just open, but open minded.  Too many assume that everything an accuser says is true, and that is not always so.  Sometimes there may be an intentional fabrication, sometimes a simple mistake of fact.  One of my first court appearances was on behalf of a man who had been convicted of rape based on the victim’s identification and a number of circumstantial facts, yet the FBI DNA lab said it wasn’t his DNA. 
    With many of these cases, there is little corroborating evidence.  I fully understand why victims don’t come forward.  If alone with their rapist, victims can resist, which will create physical evidence of force, but may also antagonize the rapist leading to additional serious injury or death. The result is often a he said/she said dilemma.  The problem is far worse when decades have past.
    I don’t want to get too specific on this board, but, as I said, some of those closest to me have been victims of rape.  One of my many complaints about this world is how the press uses the broad term of sexual assault or harassment rather than differentiate between actual rape and uninvited touching or even just a crude comment.
  (I lived at 515 George, in a beautiful two-floor apartment.  My car was broken into twice, but I was never mugged.  My wife was earlier, and has never been comfortable in New Haven since, so we live in a suburb now.)

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 26, 2018  3:46pm


I still live directly across the street from your old abode. Those were rough times in the neighborhood.
If there was some ‘overlap’, it could only have been the very early nineties. My ex-wife had an arrangement to park her Red Celica in the parking lot behind your apartment around those times.

After our 21yo housemate was mugged in front of the house, we all routinely carried mace.

Your wife’s response to her ‘street assault’, and your choice of moving to the suburbs speak for itself.

And people wonder why New Haven has a bad name?

posted by: Atwater on September 26, 2018  3:54pm

1644: Doubt becomes an issue when it develops into a bias. The point of the metoo movement (or one of the points) is that this bias automatically attaches against women who report sexual harassment and assault. The pendulum has swung the other way though and now most of the bias attaches to the accused. Is this fair? Maybe it is in a Judeo-Mosaic law definition of fairness (i.e. eye for an eye) but not in a liberal society such as ours. What we should try to do then is leave the matter to a fair hearing and make an effort to reserve judgement and doubt until the allegations reach that forum. There is already a presumption of innocence, or else there should be. I do not think we will ever find an equilibrium between the rights of the accuser and the rights of the accused, in regards to cases of sexual assault. The issue is too emotionally charged. But, we can try to find a balance, but doing so would mean reserving judgement of both parties and airing the facts in an open forum.

In regards to Kavanaugh, the more I think about it, the less I care if there is a hearing or not. What would a hearing accomplish? The Republicans will not push for Trump to rescind the appointment, Trump won’t do it unilaterally and the Democrats do not have the votes to block him. Any statute of limitations have passed,  for either a criminal charge or civil suit. A hearing would only add to the the circus that has become the U.S. Government. Both parties should be ashamed of what they turned our country into.  We don’t have leaders anymore, we have puppets and demagogues.

posted by: 1644 on September 26, 2018  4:58pm

Atwater: For once, I think we are pretty much on the same page.

Wendy:  Because women can get pregnant, we should always believe women who accuse men of rape?  There have been and are false accusations, so I gather you are okay with putting innocent men in jail.  To paraphrase Almalric: jail them all, let God sort ‘em out.  (Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.).  The Innocence Project frees a lot of men convicted of rape, because DNA testing not available at the time of trial too often shows they were wrongly convicted.

BTW, while men cannot get pregnant, they can be raped.  I suspect the rate of under-reporting for men is far greater for men than for women, because men are supposed to be strong and, therefore, not victims.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 26, 2018  7:03pm

Atwater & 1644,

Here is my prediction.

After all of the ‘hoopla’, Kavanaugh will be confirmed. 
Woman will once again have their experiences and trauma dismissed on a National Stage.

(Even though Kavanaugh’s record on the environment & indigenous people is enough to have him go down in flames).

I think about a story a NH Educator recently posted about the effect that this ‘discussion’ has had on a young teenage women in her class— the confusion, contempt, and fear that this ‘process’ is instilling.

The message is horrible here.
You have to admit that!

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 26, 2018  7:15pm


I think your ‘viewpoint’ in rebuttal to Wendy is suspect and misinformed, to say the least.

Men and Women are not the SAME, though the notion of EQUALITY muddles up that reality.
Different Body Chemistry.  Different Hormones. And that is ON TOP of the Social Differences in our society.

You have absolutely no business telling any woman that their ‘experience’ is invalid because it is different from yours, or how you ‘might’  deal with a similar situation. 

It is a pretty disappointing viewpoint to say the least. 
I call it Misogyny!

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 26, 2018  7:25pm

Also 1644,

There is plenty of unacknowledged trauma going around for men too.

The gift of War comes to mind, Civil War, WWI, WWII…. etc, and how that trauma goes untreated in because of those ‘societal perceptions’ of Masculinity, and how that trauma keeps getting passed down.

The victim’s of that abuse are always women and children.

Let’s have a real discussion here, people.
It’s a lot more complicated that you think.

Are you ready to be honest?

posted by: Brutus2011 on September 26, 2018  7:56pm

to “Noteworthy”

I always read your posts with interest and am in agreement with much of your thinking.

On this issue, I strongly disagree.

And, I feel the need to say so, which I rarely do.

posted by: 1644 on September 26, 2018  9:12pm

Whoa! You are going off the deep end.  Did you read what I wrote?  I never called anyone’s experience invalid, other than those like the SHU student who fabricated a rape charge.  I admit that I am not personally familiar with rape, although people close to me, both male and female, have been victims of rape.  As for war, yes, I know war. (Do you?)  War has not been an exclusively male preserve for decades.  My own observation is that different people react differently to trauma of both rape and war.  Many women are more resilient than some men.  I have the greatest respect for the Woman Marines and Seabees I served with, who were tougher than many of the men.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 27, 2018  12:19am


This is the line that struck me:

“I suspect the rate of under-reporting for men is far greater for men than for women, because men are supposed to be strong and, therefore, not victims”. 

That is a ‘personal opinion’ which you are using as a straw man argument.

You need to stop with the comparatives of trauma and trauma processing—it is not a contest for one person to perform better than another.  Men don’t report for the same reasons women don’t.

Everyones’ experience and processing of trauma is unique to them.  There are genetic factors and environmental factors. There are internal struggles, external manifestations,  pain that is invisible to the outside viewer, and stuff you couldn’t even know about without walking around in those persons shows.

All that is fair to do is listen, learn, and show your support to these brave women who showed up on the Green to make a unified statement against an extremely difficult issue.

posted by: 1644 on September 27, 2018  8:53am

Bill: You are inconsistent.  On one hand, you make broad generalizations that men and women process trauma differently, and on the other, you object to my suspicion that, due to the very notions of masculinity you assert exist, men may under-report rape at a higher rate than women.

  As for supporting the women on the Green, I will not support them.  If we followed their demand to believe survivors unconditionally, my client who was wrongly convicted and jailed based on a survivor’s testimony would not have been freed, and the black men who were falsely accused of rape by a white SHU classmate, who willingly had sex with them, would likely be in prison.  The jury in the Khan trial would never have looked at the video in his trial, video which contradicted the accuser’s testimony.  Plus, of course, my wife’s college friend, whose life would have been much different had his accuser been believed.

posted by: Atwater on September 27, 2018  9:51am

Bill Saunders:
From my professional experience in the criminal justice system a lot of deference is shown to victims of sexual crimes (male and female), which is as it should be. The accused is given a fair trial (if it gets that far) and punishment is rendered accordingly. However, what I think we as a society have failed to do is encourage women, who have been victims of sexual assault, to actually report the crime to law enforcement. Even if they think a crime has not occurred they should report the incident to the authorities. This is why we have the metoo movement, because society has made it very very difficult for victims to find redress within the traditional venues (i.e. courts). So, we have public accusations being made, usually about public figures. And because this is all done in public, outside of a courtroom, it is almost impossible to conduct a fair hearing or fact-finding. Doing so means questioning the victim’s credibility, which is almost always done in court. But, to do it in public creates a re-victimization and trauma. There is no way to adjudicate sexual crimes without questioning the victim. But, what we can do is not adjudicate these crimes in the public square, it is bad both for the victim and the accused.

Unfortunately Kavanaugh will more than likely be confirmed and another deviant will take the reigns of government. Yeah America!? If ever there was a time for revolution…

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 27, 2018  11:22am


Thank you for admitting that you do not support these women.  My job here is done.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 27, 2018  11:27am


Hopefully, the Revolution will be Televised this time!

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 27, 2018  12:24pm

Also 1644,

I have been very consistent.

I have consistently showed my support and deference to the victim’s experience.
I have consistently tried to ‘raise awareness’ about trauma and it’s effects in the face of ‘male justifications’.
I have treated all victim’s of trauma equally, not pitting side-against-side.

Obviously, I am looking at it this issue through a very different lens than you….

posted by: 1644 on September 27, 2018  2:17pm

The women on the Green, and apparently you,  do not simply support victims, but anyone who says they are a victim.  Were we, as a society, to take your position, the Duke lacrosse players and the SHU footballs players would all be wrongly imprisoned.  I cannot, and do not support, those who advocate for wrongful convictions.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 27, 2018  2:53pm


I am not advocating for wrongful convictions.
I have not even politicized my support here except for supporting the victims of trauma.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 27, 2018  3:21pm

Also 1644,

Just because a case doesn’t pass the ‘high bar’ of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ does not necessarily mean that justice has been served.  From a victim’s standpoint, that is certainly another reason to ‘not come forward’

posted by: Marion on September 30, 2018  10:05am

@Atwater.  You make a fair point on Merrick Garland. Except I see a difference.  In that case, the Senate, unfairly or not, declined to consider him and give him an up or down vote. What the republicans DIDN’T do was try to defeat him by embracing a smear campaign and engaging in character assassination. These circus shows with questionable “accusers” coming forward with scurrilous yet unsubstantiated and uncorroborated allegations just happens to occur when a conservative is nominated: Clarence Thomas, Bork, and now Kavanaugh. You don’t think the GOP could have found an available woman (of the ilk that Avenatti is now presenting us with) to smear Merrick Garland?  It’s something they won’t do. But democrats have no problem with it.  Has a single democrat senator condemned Avenatti’s stunt? NO ONE credits his client’s wildly incredible allegations. NO one is saying “she must be believed,” right?  Because anyone who did that would look like a compete ass.

posted by: wesunidad on September 30, 2018  7:07pm

Right on Wendy1!!!!

You tell it like it is!  Thank you!  You are an amazing force to deal with.

This hearing for Frat Boy Kananaugh is a job interview, not an inherited position.

Dr. Ford is believable and when women get control of the government perhaps the way this could work is that because she is believable and he’s not, if he gets passed over then the second place (not the their apparent)  she would be granted the seat for the Supreme Court and not the white, privileged Frat Boy - who seems to be one of the entitled white men crying as though THEY are the new majority with their white rights being taken away from them.

Note to Brett:  Being born a white male is Affirmative Action and it looks as though you’re having a hard time because something might be taken from you I’m really sorry about that after all you put into your privileged education, helping the poor and playing football.

Studies have concluded that between 2-10% of allegations of rape are false.  This one happens to be true.

Kavanaugh spent many hours in the White House rehearsing his performance to, as 45 instructed,  45’s BASE!!!

To the trump base his mantra was beer, beer, beer.  I am a beer drinker just like you working class white people who elected, 45.  “Do you drink beer?” he asks.  I’ll bet 45 just loved this!  Beer and the evil Democrats who are stealing this seat from us!

This is a candidate for the Supreme Court?  I know. We could do a lot worse.

A Scary thought, but there are “good men” (as 45 once called them) out there who are free to serve right now.

There’s Roy Moore (banned from the malls) who loves little girls and can pull out a pistol at a fast pace.  But, maybe a black robe would hinder that aspect of his performance?

What about Joe Arpaio or Steven Miller the fascist leaning (according to his uncle) thinker who advises 45?

Ok.  My number one choice is Ronald McDonald.  I heard he’s available right now.

posted by: robn on September 30, 2018  7:11pm

Late on this thread. 1644 while your defense of due process is laudable, a Supreme Court vetting proceed is just that; not a trial. The standard should be higher because the candidate may be the last word in us legal matters.  And for those who cry unfairness, i seem to recall that, even after the despicable Republican refusal to debate Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Dems followed procedure for Trumps nominee and appointed Neil Gorsuch. Kavanaugh is a severely flawed candidate and his continued defense by GOP illustrates the depth to which this party has sunk. I would cry shame but there is none amongst them.

posted by: robn on September 30, 2018  8:30pm

Also, at an airport I overheard a well heeled elderly couple snickering over their newspapers something which amounted to “why would anyone want to hold public office given this scrutiny?” That tells me how well oiled the GOP propaganda machine is. I and my friends can be accused of doing many stupid things when we were young, but as far as I know, none of them tried to rape someone. And as to the question of character, no one of good moral standing, least of all a Judge, would downplay the seriousness of such an accusation or resist it’s thorough investigation. Deny it yes, but deny it’s investigation; absolutely not. Daylight is the best antiseptic.

posted by: wesunidad on October 1, 2018  7:16am

In the most detailed nationwide inventory of untested rape kits ever, USA TODAY and journalists from more than 75 Gannett newspapers and TEGNA TV stations have found at least 70,000 neglected kits in an open-records campaign covering 1,000-plus police agencies – and counting. Despite its scope, the agency-by-agency count covers a fraction of the nation’s 18,000 police departments, suggesting the number of untested rape kits reaches into the hundreds of thousands.

...“untested rape kits reaches into the thousands (Detroit is one of the cities that claims to have FOUND over 11,000 “misplaced rape kits.

I believe HER!  When rape kits in the thousands are “LOST” - every woman should be believed.  It’s called respect.

To All Democrats: Let’s stack the Supreme Court with Progressives after the next election.  I think there should be an impeachment filed against the Frat Boy and then we need to add at least 3 Progressives to the Court.  At one point we had 6, England has at least 12 and a few other countries have more than that.  There is no law that when the Democrats are in power that we can’t appoint Supreme Court Justices that are not on the side of the white supremacist 45.

posted by: 1644 on October 1, 2018  12:43pm

Robn:  Yes, some are talking about a job interview, and how much teenage behavior should be relevant now.  For many, however, their opposition is less rooted in his teenage behavior than in his jurisprudence and potential rulings.  Would Feinstein’s office have leaked the letter if he were obviously pro-choice?  I have my doubts, just as many Democrats have been happy to have someone accused of domestic violence as AG of Minnesota, where the AG does oversee law enforcement.  Likewise, many where happy to support Bill Clinton, in spite of the accusations of Broaddrick.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juanita_Broaddrick

  As far as Gorsuch, the Democrats did not want to give him a vote, and were planning to filibuster but the Republicans eliminated that option (following Reid’s lead).  From here out, I think it’s pretty clear that any party will need to control both the White House and Senate to seat Supreme Court justices, and maybe any judges.  Neither side seeks consensus, only raw power to impose its vision and values on everyone, regardless of means.

  Again, the “Believe Survivors” mantra is not limited to actual survivors, but anyone who claims to be a survivor.  Nor is it limited to judicial appointments.  The reaction on campus was pretty much the same when Kahn was acquitted:  she said she was raped, therefore she was, and therefore he should have been convicted.

posted by: 1644 on October 1, 2018  3:10pm

Robn: Yes, it’s a job interview, but given Democratic support for Bill Clinton, for Keith Eliison, I believe the opposition has far less to do with teenage behavior and more a fear that the nominee does not share their values on issues like immigration, abortion, and gay rights.  If they thought he did, I doubt Feinstein’s office would have leaked the letter.

As for Gorsuch,  Democrats had no power to stop him.  They did seek to filibuster, not on personal character or professional qualifications, but on jurisprudence, but the Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees as the Democrats had for all other nominees (at a time no SC nominees were pending).  At this point, no political party seeks consensus.  Both seek raw power, through nearly any means possible, to impose its will and values on the others.  Going forward, I don’t believe anyone will get on the the Supreme Court, and maybe not any court, unless the same party controls both the White House and the Senate.

As for the folks on the Green, when they say “believe survivors”, they mean believe anyone who claims to be a survivor.  The bulk of campus was aghast that the jury acquitted Kahn, believing that if a woman accused him of rape, he was guilty of rape, period.  Above, Wes admits that up to 10% of rape claims are false, yet still says we should always believe the accuser.  This attitude leads to ruination of men like the SHU football players.

posted by: robn on October 1, 2018  10:13pm


All of your issues are static. There’s ONE issue; that the Senate’s job is to vet SCOTUS candidates; not defend them. This candidate is clearly flawed and doesn’t belong on a high bench.

posted by: wesunidad on October 2, 2018  5:48pm

Trump’s job as he views it was to stack the Supreme Court.  He’s just doing his job for the Adleson’s, the Mercers and the Koch brothers.  And, maybe he’ll make some money on this gig as well.

The white men of privilege are losing their power and they don’t like it.  Senator Graham was laughable.  Gee, if Dr. Ford had this much affect on him, then we women know we are on the right track.

The way Kavanaugh acted was right out of the 45 script book…quoting Clarence Thomas and 45 was almost comical.  Is he that stupid that he thought we didn’t notice it? 

It shows just how much “int the pocket of 45 this guy will be.

As most of us know from history, this battle will be won in the streets.