Kavanaugh’s What If’s?

Kavanaugh’s What If’s? September 24, 2018

From First Things:

Judge Kavanaugh’s unequivocal denial presents a question of character immediately relevant to determining his fitness for the nation’s highest bench. Kavanaugh might have (if it were true), responded by saying that he regularly got drunk in high school and that he could not definitively account for all of his actions during that time; however, he had long left that reckless lifestyle behind. That would have presented the Senate with one question: Do the actions of a since-reformed 17-year-old forever bar him from the Supreme Court?

But this is not the question they now face, and perhaps for good reason. If Kavanaugh’s quip “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep” referred to nothing worse than drinking Mountain Dew and playing Dungeons and Dragons, then I would not expect him to do anything but defend his good name. But what if he had more than just a passing knowledge of his friend Mark Judge’s self-documented struggle with alcohol in high school? What if Judge’s “Bart O’Kavanaugh” is not merely an unrelated fictional character? What if the captain of the basketball team imbibed more than his share of the “100 kegs” that his yearbook documents? If, in short, Kavanaugh—after dispassionately considering the evidence as a good judge should—cannot be sure that he never, in a toxic cloud of testosterone and alcohol, did what Dr. Ford alleges, then perhaps he should sacrificially step aside for the good of the country. Such a selfless act might serve as the first stitch in closing our nation’s ever-growing wound.

John Murdock is a law professor who previously worked for over a decade in D.C.

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