JUST A SLIP OF THE TONGUE?

by Sharon Rondeau

(Oct. 2, 2018) — In public remarks on Tuesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), in referring to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, inadvertently referred to him as “Kennedy.”

Fellow Democrat Dick Durbin (IL), who was standing nearby, did not correct Booker, nor did Booker appear to be aware of his mistake.

Booker was speaking about fellow Yale classmates of Kavanaugh’s who have made public statements in recent weeks that Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker during his undergraduate years and at times became belligerent.

Kavanaugh has admitted to at times drinking “too much” in high school.

Last Thursday, a California psychologist, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, accused Kavanaugh publicly of sexually assaulting her on an unspecified date at a summertime gathering of high school teenagers without parental supervision. While many found Ford’s testimony compelling, some researchers have found inconsistencies in her story, beginning with information she gave to The Washington Post for a September 16 article.

A short clip of Booker’s comments was posted by Twitter user RedNationRising with his opinion of the junior New Jersey Senator given that Booker admitted in writing to groping a teenage girl when he was 15.  Before becoming a U.S. senator, Booker was mayor of Newark, NJ.

Booker himself obtained a law degree from Yale Law School, Kavanaugh’s alma mater.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s accusation as well as those which followed from a former Yale undergraduate contemporary, Deborah Ramirez, and Washington, DC resident Julie Swetnck, who claimed, thus far without corroboration, that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present when young women were drugged and abused at parties during the early 1980s.

None of the three women ever filed a police report with the Montgomery County Police Department, which said on Friday that it will accept reports from any alleged victim.

In an interview with MSNBC aired on Monday, Swetnick backtracked on some of her claims and said she “didn’t know” what Kavanaugh and Judge were doing at the alleged parties.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have suggested that Kavanaugh was untruthful about whether or not he ever “blacked out” from excessive consumption of alcohol. In response, Kavanaugh has said that he on occasion had “fallen asleep” after drinking too much.

The subject of his high school or college drinking did not arise during his first four days of confirmation hearings September 4-7.

Committee Democrats are staunchly opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination and have been so since he was nominated on July 9. In Booker’s comments Tuesday, he suggested that Kavanaugh’s name should be withdrawn and the Judiciary Committee proceed to another nominee.

Although the FBI is conducting a committee-requested “supplemental” investigation into Kavanaugh’s background, Senate Republicans voted on Friday to open his nomination to debate on the floor, and senators from both parties have been speaking their minds.

Booker and other Democrats have said that their trepidation is based on the fact that if confirmed, Kavanaugh will be appointed to the Supreme Court for “lifetime.” However, constitutionally, judges serve while they exhibit “good behavior” and can be impeached.  For the last dozen years, Kavanaugh has served on the US Court of Appeals for the Washington, DC Circuit, which is often look to for Supreme Court nominees.

The late Sen. Edward (Ted) Kennedy reportedly turned to alcohol after his health began declining in May 2009.  Kennedy passed away in August that year from brain cancer.

“Tales of Kennedy’s drinking were legendary and plentiful,” Reported The New York Daily News on September 3, 2009.

An incident at Chappaquiddick in 1968 in which Kennedy’s passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned while submerged in Kennedy’s vehicle after he left the scene and failed to report it for ten hours is not conclusively linked to alcohol consumption.

In the minority in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Democrats hope to retake one or both chambers of Congress following the November 6 midterm elections.

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