Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said Sunday on CNN that her main reason for voting against confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is his position on protecting abortion rights created by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
“Even before all of this happened, [Kavanaugh] had credibility issues in his … three days of testimony,” Hirono told host Jake Tapper during CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “He’s very outcome-driven in terms of how he views cases before him, and so I had issues with his credibility.”
By “outcome-driven,” Hirono said that Kavanaugh has an “ideological agenda” that results in his “inability to be fair in the cases that come before him.” The Hawaii Democrat said Kavanaugh is particularly unfair in cases involving abortion.
Specifically, for Hirono, Kavanaugh’s rulings on abortion-related cases appear to present an insurmountable hurdle to her voting for his confirmation.
With respect to allegations of Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago during a high school party, Hirono said she wants to hear about the “environment” at the two schools involved, with particular emphasis on drinking and partying.
Kavanaugh, who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged assault, attended Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, while Ford was a 15-year-old at nearby Holton Arms. A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, at which Ford and Kavanaugh may appear.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure [Ford] can tell her story free of intimidation, fear, and the kind of threats that she’s already getting for even coming forward with this,” said Hirono.
Hirono blasted the FBI decision not to investigate Ford’s allegations, noting that Anita Hill, who presented lurid allegations of sexual misconduct in Justice Clarence Thomas’s 1991 confirmation hearing, received at least a “perfunctory” investigation.
That FBI probe required three days to complete and resulted in the bureau’s concluding that Hill’s allegations were “unfounded.” Kavanaugh, who formerly worked for President George W. Bush before being appointed a federal appellate judge, has been the subject of six FBI background investigations.
“We already have one person on the Supreme Court who got there under this cloud.”
Such investigations are among the most exhaustive personnel assessments conducted, and include comprehensive examinations of an individual’s finances, personal conduct, and prior job performance. All information provided by the individual is subject to verification efforts that include FBI agents’ talking to former colleagues, teachers, neighbors, and friends.
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When Tapper asked Hirono about a Wall Street Journal editorial addressing the increasingly common liberal tactic of presuming guilt instead of innocence, as in the Kavanaugh case, Hirono ducked the question, saying, “If the Wall Street Journal really cares about due process, I’d say that they should care that there is no independent investigation of these allegations.”
The “attitude” of The Wall Street Journal on the importance of the presumption of innocence, “makes it really difficult for victims and survivors of these kinds of traumatic events to even come forward,” Hirono continued.
“We don’t seem to have come very far from the Anita Hill days,” she added.
Hirono’s comment prompted Tapper to ask, “Doesn’t Kavanaugh have the same presumption of innocence as anyone else in America?”
Hirono said she puts “his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases. His credibility is already very questionable in my mind and in the minds of a lot of my fellow judiciary committee members, the Democrats.”
Kavauagh is “very much is against women’s reproductive choice,” Hirono told Tapper, claiming the judge’s “lack of credibility” was demonstrated in former opinions in which he applied the same standards to a reproduction-related case but came to different conclusions, both of which favored a pro-life stance.
“I do not want to have a person on the Supreme Court who doesn’t seem to be able to apply the facts in ways that do not meet his outcome-driven agenda. We already have one person on the Supreme Court who got there under this cloud. We should not have another,” she said.
Hirono was referring to Thomas. Ford is presently being advised by Democratic attack strategist Ricki Seidman, who was deeply involved in the campaign against the Thomas nomination.
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.