NY Times Columnist: If Kavanaugh Did Assault Ford, Should He Be Disqualified?


New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss asked on MSNBC Tuesday whether Brett Kavanaugh should be disqualified from serving on the Supreme Court if he did sexually assault Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh, a nominee for Supreme Court justice, of sexual assault and attempted rape. She claims the assault happened 36 years ago when the two were teenagers and Kavanaugh was drunk. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.

“I believe that she’s completely sincere in what she believes happened,” Weiss said on MSNBC Tuesday. “And maybe it did happen exactly as she said 36 years ago, although we all know memory’s capricious.”

“But the idea that it’s not a he-said-she-said — that’s exactly what it is,” she continued, pointing out that in other #MeToo cases there were multiple accusers making for a “sustained pattern.”

“What about the deeper, moral, cultural, like, the ethical question here?” Weiss asked. “Let’s say he did this exactly as she said. Should the fact that a 17 year old, presumably very drunk kid, did this, should that be disqualifying? That’s the question at the end of the day, isn’t it?”

“Wait, hold on,” interjected MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle. “We’re not talking about should he be disqualified to be a dog catcher. We’re talking about to be a Supreme Court justice.”

Ruhle posed the question of whether attempted rape is disqualifying to her panel, before turning back to Weiss.

“I guess I’m thinking of it today from the perspective of, let’s all think about our worst instance that’s happened to us in this world and imagine it paraded out in front of the country,” Weiss said. “And that most men we know — It’s a horrible reality. I’m just saying — I’m interested in the deeper cultural thing, it’s a disgusting reality about our broken sexual culture.”

The Daily Beast’s Justin Miller has a quick answer to the question of whether sexual assault — even at 17 — should be disqualifying:

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin