Letter: Murkowski strong, not intimidated

Published 10:09 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

I thank Lisa Murkowski for being the lone Republican senator to apply the proper standard to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote. In her floor speech she said, “The code of judicial conduct states that ‘a judge should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,’ and shall ‘avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.’ I go back and I look at that. It is pretty high. It is really high.”

Kavanaugh was not vindicated by a trial. He was never on trial. The senate gave him a green light in a job interview despite his appeals to conspiracy (“revenge on behalf of the Clintons”) and deceptions (“Renate Alumnius” was a reference that Kavanaugh said he and a bunch of friends “clumsily used to show affection” to a girl named Renate). He was also shockingly rude to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who asked him whether he had ever consumed so much alcohol in high school or college that he didn’t remember parts or all of a night (“I don’t know. Have you?”).

Kavanaugh didn’t want to admit to any part of his heavy-drinking and girl-objectifying past, which was nonetheless clearly documented in his senior yearbook page and his best friend Mark Judge’s memoir “Wasted.” These are behaviors and attitudes that are closely linked to sexual assault, and Kavanaugh deflected, dissembled and showed disdain toward any senator who asked questions regarding these risk factors during his testimony after Blasey Ford came forward.

It floors me that the code of judicial conduct ultimately mattered to only one Republican. Upholding these nonpartisan standards earned Murkowski the president’s ire for not falling in line. But she is strong, and she will not be intimidated. Despite everything else, this gives me hope.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Albert Lea