There are many legitimate questions to be asked of any judge nominee to the Supreme Court. As one Senator is poised to demonstrate, however, there are also plenty of questions which have just about nothing to do with being a judge, but are going to be asked simply because they might help derail the nominee’s confirmation.
Along those lines, Sen. Chris Coons wants to ask Brett Kavanaugh whether he was on an email list maintained by a now-disgraced former judge for whom Kavanaugh once worked as a clerk, and to which the retired judge allegedly sent dirty jokes and (allegedly) “sexually explicit” materials, as well. Read on…
Calico’s question is “So what?” Have we really reached a point where we’re going to disqualify people for simply hearing inappropriate jokes? Do we now refuse to cut someone slack, years later, for not wanting to call out their judge-boss as a lowly clerk?
There are plenty of reasons why someone might reasonably oppose Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Calico just doesn’t believe being on a dirty joke email list should be one of those reasons. Read all about it in her latest post: One Disgraced Judge, One Prospective Justice – And The “Easy Rider Gag List”
by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women
Judging by some of the questions Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may soon be asked by Sen. Chris Coons, it’s a damn good thing for me that I’ll never be considered for a spot on the Supreme Court.
Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to sit on the Supreme Court bench, if only to go down in the SCOTUS record books as its least-qualified member ever – not to mention the first porn industry-spawned justice in American history.
What I wouldn’t love is being asked questions like: “Did Judge Kozinski ever use demeaning language when discussing women?”
Right now, I’m scratching my head – because I don’t know of anyone, of any sex or gender, who has never used demeaning language when discussing women. Seriously: Let she among you who has never called another woman a “bitch” cast the first stone. I’ll just sit here waiting for that stone to hit me in my deeply-disbelieving face.
Of course, unlike Kavanaugh I’ve never met (let alone clerked for) Alex Kozinski, the former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, so I could honestly answer that question with a befuddled “no.”
After that, I would hope Coons would shift gears and ask me something easier, like: “If a judge provides intentionally false testimony to Congress on an issue of significance, is impeachment the appropriate remedy?”
I Love The Smell Of Guilt-by-Association In The Morning…
My hunch is that Coons wants to ask Kavanaugh about Kozinski because the latter resigned under a cloud late last year, after over a dozen women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment – and if Coons can establish that Kavanaugh received bawdy emails from Kozinski that would prove….
Hmm. OK, so I’m not sure what this would prove, exactly, but presumably Coons thinks it would be damaging to Kavanaugh’s confirmation prospects, because he certainly has more questions about Kozinkski, Kavanaugh and the “Easy Rider Gag List.”
“It has been reported that Judge Kozinski had a sexually explicit email list, called the Easy Rider Gag List,” reads question 21(g) on Coon’s list of questions for Kavanaugh. “Did you ever receive an email from this list? If it is necessary to refresh your recollection, please review your email accounts before answering this question.”
You can tell Coons is serious about getting an answer to this momentous question, because his follow-up question is: “Have you conducted a search of your email accounts and/or correspondence with Judge Kozinski in an effort to provide an accurate response to the preceding question? If not, why not?”
These are damn strange questions to ask a prospective Supreme Court justice, if you ask me.
For starters, I don’t know what a “sexually explicit email list” means. Does it mean a list of email addresses which are themselves sexually explicit? (And if so, was Kavanaugh on there as Bretttherimjoblover65@somedomain.whatever?)
Does This Have Something To Do with Robert Redford?
The Easy Rider Gag List (which, by the way, would be a terrific title for a porn movie featuring a motorcycle gang-themed blowbang) is not the only sexually-explicit thing relating to Kozinski about which Coons wants to ask Kavanaugh. There’s also the matter of Kozinski’s long-ago-shuttered personal website.
“Judge Kozinski also had a personal website with explicit postings,” Coons wrote in his question list. “When did you first become aware of Judge Kozinski’s personal website?”
Let’s suppose Kavanaugh was aware of Kozinski’s website prior to its closure in 2008. Let’s further assume there was porn on that site, somewhere (every file I saw from it back in 2008 might qualify as “sexual in nature” but not “sexually explicit”). Assuming both of those things, here’s my question: So what?
This Just In: Lots Of People – Including Many Women – LIKE Dirty Jokes
According to the L.A. Times’ reporting about the email list, when new members were added to the list, “they were warned that they would soon be receiving a steady diet of tasteless humor.” The Times also reported the people on the list were both “willing recipients” and were “either personally known to Kozinski or were vouched for by someone already on the list.”
Nadine Strossen, a former president of the ACLU and a long-time friend of Kozinski’s, added that the judge was “bending over backward to warn people.”
So, what we have here is a former judge who emailed off-color jokes to people who he knew, or at least knew might appreciate the jokes. These same people knew that any time they wanted to stop receiving the jokes, the judge would remove them from the list. Separately, the judge had a private website he may have shown to colleagues at some point, which contained more of the same sort of humor.
And now we’re asking a different judge to account for all of that, simply because we think he may have been among the people with whom the former judge shared his emails and/or website?
None of this excuses or minimizes the damage of any sexual harassment Kozinski may have engaged in over the years, of course. But Kavanaugh hasn’t been accused of similar behavior, so far as I’m aware, and I think it’s dangerous to start disqualifying people based on off-color jokes shared with them by a third party, even if he were to admit he’d laughed at those jokes.
Kavanaugh won’t admit such, by the way, even if it’s true. Why? I’m assuming (a) he’s not a complete goddamn fool and (b) completely unaware of the ongoing #MeToo movement and the heightened sensitivity people are operating under right now concerning things like sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the workplace.
I’ll admit, I haven’t been following Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings very closely, so it’s possible he’s been asked even stranger, less relevant questions than the ones Coons has in mind.
All I’m saying is if I were an aide to Coons trying to help him narrow down a bit the 13 freaking pages of questions he has for Kavanaugh, I think I’d start by trimming off question 21, parts a-j.
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