Opinion | This Hearing Is Stacked Against Christine Blasey Ford – By Jill Abramson – NYT

By Jill Abramson
Ms. Abramson is a former executive editor of The Times and author, with Jane Mayer, of “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas.”

Sept. 27, 2018

“There is a reason Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing will be short and feature only two witnesses, the Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Republicans have designed the hearing to end in a “he said, she said” stalemate. No matter how credible Dr. Blasey is, isolating her as a lone accuser is the most effective political strategy for confirming Judge Kavanaugh.

His strategy will be simple: categorical denial.

Republicans will insist, despite the swirling uncertainty, including a third woman who came forward Wednesday with sexual misconduct allegations against him, that Judge Kavanaugh deserves the benefit of the doubt and should be confirmed.

Republicans will then be able to claim that fairness had been served because both witnesses were heard. But Americans, denied the testimony of other relevant witnesses who could support Dr. Blasey’s account and denied an F.B.I. investigation into other evidence, won’t be any closer to the truth.”

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Opinion | The Handmaid’s Court – by Michelle Goldberg – NYT

“Shortly after his inauguration, Donald Trump, uniquely attentive to his debt to the religious right, appointed the anti-abortion activist E. Scott Lloyd to head the Office of Refugee Resettlement, despite Lloyd’s lack of relevant experience. The position gave Lloyd authority over unaccompanied minors caught crossing into the United States, authority Lloyd exploited to try to stop pregnant migrants from getting abortions.

Last year, thanks to Lloyd’s interference, a 17-year-old from Central America had to wage a legal battle to end her pregnancy. Known in court filings as Jane Doe, the girl learned she was pregnant while in custody in Texas, and was adamant that she wanted an abortion. In keeping with Texas’s parental consent law, she obtained a judge’s permission, helped by a legal organization called Jane’s Due Process. Jane’s Due Process raised money for the abortion, which was scheduled for the end of her first trimester.

But under Lloyd’s direction, the shelter where she was being detainedrefused to cooperate. Doe went back to court, and a federal judge ruled in her favor, issuing a temporary restraining order against the government. The administration appealed, and the case, Garza v. Hargan, went to a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. One of the judges was Brett Kavanaugh.

Garza v. Hargan was the only major abortion-rights case Kavanaugh ever ruled on. His handling of it offers a clue about what’s in store for American women if he’s confirmed to the Supreme Court. No one knows whether Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade outright or simply gut it. But even on a lower court, Kavanaugh put arbitrary obstacles in the way of someone desperate to end her pregnancy. Thanks to Trump, he may soon be in a position to do the same to millions of others.”

David Lindsay Jr:

Michelle Goldberg expounds above with her usual brilliance on this threat to women’s rights. Thank you.

Kathleen Schomaker and I drove out to Wisconsin, to vacation in Athelstane above Green Bay. In the 19 hour car ride, we listened to The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. It was not pleasant to listen to. Distopian novels are famously unpleasant. But it had fascinating and challenging material. It has some resonance today, since it is about a coup d’etat, where the ultra right to life and fundamentalist Christian faction takes complete control of a future dictatorship after some sort of disaster which has reduced world population dramatically. When the book came out in 1985, so close to 1984, Kathleen reports that she and other feminists devoured it and found it enlightening.

Brett Kavanaugh is a disaster for women’s rights. As I explained in a previous post, it is one of the several reasons I oppose his appointment to the Supreme Court. 

Dovey Johnson Roundtree- Barrier-Breaking Lawyer- Dies at 104 – By Margalit Fox – NYT

By Margalit Fox,   May 21, 2018

“The jurors were looking at her when they filed into court. That, Dovey Johnson Roundtree knew, could have immense significance for her client, a feebleminded day laborer accused of one of the most sensational murders of the mid-20th century.

Little had augured well for that client, Raymond Crump Jr., during his eight-day trial in United States District Court in Washington: Mr. Crump, who had been found near the crime scene, was black and poor. The victim was white, glamorous and supremely well connected. The country, in the summer of 1965, seethed with racial tension amid the surging civil rights movement.

Federal prosecutors had amassed a welter of circumstantial evidence — including 27 witnesses and more than 50 exhibits — to argue that on Oct. 12, 1964, Mr. Crump had carried out the execution-style shooting of Mary Pinchot Meyer, a Washington socialite said to have been a former lover of President John F. Kennedy.

By contrast, Ms. Roundtree, who died on Monday at 104, had chosen to present just three witnesses and a single exhibit to the jury, which comprised men and women, blacks and whites. Her closing argument was only 20 minutes long.”

David Lindsay:

Amazing story, about possibly one of  the most extraordinary Americans I’ve never heard of.  Margalit Fox has written a fine report, which includes:

““As a woman, and as a woman of color in an age when black lawyers had to leave the courthouse to use the bathrooms, she dared to practice before the bar of justice and was unflinching,” Katie McCabe, the co-author of Ms. Roundtree’s memoir, “Justice Older Than the Law,” said in an interview for this obituary in 2016. “She was a one-woman Legal Aid Society before people used that term.”

So there is a biography already, I hope there will be a movie.

Opinion | Lilly Ledbetter: My #MeToo Moment – The New York Times

“Equal Pay Day — the day up to which the typical woman must work in a particular year to catch up with what the average man earned the previous year — always brings back a rush of memories. Not surprisingly, many of them I’d rather forget: the pit in my stomach, for example, that developed when I read the anonymous note left in my mailbox that told me I was being paid a fraction of what other, male supervisors at Goodyear were making. And when the Supreme Court denied me justice in my pay discrimination case.(Some of them are happier memories, like when President Barack Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure other women would not receive the same treatment.)

But this year, Equal Pay Day, which falls on April 10, has brought back a whole different set of memories:

“You’re going to be my next woman at Goodyear.”“Oh, you didn’t wear your bra today.”
“If you don’t go to bed with me, you won’t have a job.”

Those words, spoken to me by one of my supervisors many years ago, still crawl through my ears and down my spine. I remember my fear, both for my personal safety and because if I lost my job, I didn’t know how I would pay my kids’ college tuition, our mortgage and other bills. I remember how that fear led me to keep a phone number for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission tucked in my pocket at all times, in case I needed legal help.”

Opinion | Mitch McConnell- Your Female Colleagues Are Fed Up – The New York Times

“Over the past six months, Americans have come to understand the galling ubiquity of sexual misconduct and how such misdeeds are too often swept under the rug. Now some of the most powerful women in the United States are saying they’ve waited long enough to address these issues at their own workplace.

All 22 female members of the Senate, Republicans and Democrats, are demanding the chamber’s leadership stop stonewalling an overhaul of Congress’s byzantine method of handling complaints of sexual harassment against members of Congress and their staffs under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.”

What Congressmen Are Hiding – The New York Times

“As charges of sexual harassment and assault swept from Hollywood to Washington, Congress has faced questions about how it addresses such claims. The answer: terribly.

For two decades, taxpayers have been underwriting secret payments to people who accuse lawmakers of sexual misconduct under a 1995 law called, paradoxically, the Congressional Accountability Act. The legislation applied to Congress many laws on workplace safety, employment and civil rights from which it had been exempt. In the process, it established an account to pay settlements, which prevented lawmakers from being personally liable, and created an Office of Compliance that kept charges and payments secret.

After public pressure, the Office of Compliance released a tally of the settlements this month: Between 1997 and the present, the office has paid more than $17 million on more than 260 claims. In keeping with Congress’s maddening lack of transparency, the tally lumps harassment with discrimination and other claims, so the number of harassment claims isn’t clear. It also doesn’t name any of those accused.”

DL: Yuck. Yuck. Thank you for the editorial. There were many good comments also, the most popular being:

Dandy Maine 13 hours ago
We would all want to know which Representatives and Senators were accused of sexual misconduct. Why should we tax payers help cover this up?

Reply 155 Recommended

ChristineMcM is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 13 hours ago
And to think they’re about to pass a huge tax give-away to the wealthy while stiffing us working stiffs.

They should get their house in order, and pay the $17 million back to the US treasury before even thinking of passing tax “reform’.

It’s the ultimate irony that what they did to their victims they’re doing to us, with one exception: we won’t receive any hush money collected on the average taxpayer’s dime.

Reply 130 Recommended

c ny 13 hours ago
Disgusting, isn’t it?

We, taxpayers, foot the bill whether we agree or not.
Long past time the public knows who we are subsidizing, and time to stop making ANY person not accountable for his or her actions. In Congress or not.

Start with the White House occupant. He should be accountable too.

Reply 107 Recommended

NYT Pick
N. Eichler CA 3 hours ago
I would like those members of Congress for whom settlements have been paid to be named including, as well, the dates of their transgressions. Furthermore, each of these members of Congress must repay the Treasury the amount of the original settlement. Any future such acts of thoughtless idiocy must be made public, and settlements paid by the transgressor not the taxpayer.

None of my taxpayer dollars are to be used by these miscreants allowing them to remain anonymous. I expect those dollars to be used for medical coverage, to increase teachers’ salaries, build more schools, maintain roads and bridges,
make certain we have clean air and water.

Those dollars are to benefit our country and its citizens and not men who refuse to understand the limits of familiarity.

Reply 101
Recommended

NYT Pick
Bob Bascelli Seaford NY 3 hours ago
Jack and Jill went up the Hill. Jill came down and is required to undergo counseling, mediation and a 30-day “cooling off period” before filing a formal complaint of sexual misconduct. This is victim intimidation, plain and simple. Sexual misconduct by the “Fools on the Hill” is a national disgrace. If lawmakers need “mandatory training in appropriate behavior toward their staff” in order to avoid misconduct, how can they be competent enough to be our representatives? Why does Jill need a 30 day cooling off period when it is Jack who needs the cooling off?

Reply 88 Recommended

Crowd Scientists Say Women’s March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump’s Inauguration – The New York Times

“The women’s march in Washington was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration, crowd counting experts said Saturday.

Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, analyzed photographs and video taken of the National Mall and vicinity and estimated that there were about 160,000 people in those areas in the hour leading up to Mr. Trump’s speech Friday. They estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday.”

This article is especially for my sisters, Elly and Marney, who went to DC and were part of the historic Women’s March. There were Women’s Marches all over the world. Even Hartford CT had a march, and to great surprise, over 10,000 showed up for it, according to Carol, of the New Haven Country Dancers.