GOP will stain its long-term legacy by sticking with Kavanaugh

A position on the Supreme Court of the United States is the highest, most prestigious, impactful legal position there is. To be one of nine people who serve for life means your life story, history, experiences, education and résumé need to be pristine and beyond reproach.

A person up for nomination to the Supreme Court should never have credible and serious allegations that go uninvestigated against him or her. This is so not just for the good of the accuser; not only to appear respectful of facts; not in the name of justice alone; but also for the good of the accused.


This is vital in order to to clear his name, to take the oath of office of one of the most significant positions in the world without a cloud of uncertainty and the stench of possible guilt following him for life.

There is now a third accuser that has signed a sworn affidavit about horrific and abusive sex acts that she observed Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge engage in when they were young.

This follows the credible accusations of Christine Blasey Ford, who came out with allegations of sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh when they were both in High School, and another accusation of sexual misconduct by a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Debbie Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh shoved his genitals in her face during a night of heavy drinking.

Many say that even if what Ford accuses Kavanaugh of doing happened, it shouldn't disqualify him. Kavanaugh was 17 years old. He was young, dumb and inebriated, and this one act should not ruin his life and keep him from a position on the Supreme Court, his supporters have argued. 

Leaving the two other serious and very disturbing accusations aside, if Kavanaugh did this, it absolutely should be disqualifying.

If he did this, and this is still not proven, Kavanaugh cannot be on the Supreme Court. I know many 17-year-old young men who would never dream of doing anything like what Ford has described. This is not a “boys will be boys” situation.

If Kavanaugh did this, he has the character, capacity and strain of violent behavior that we cannot allow on the Supreme Court.

Sure, maybe it does not disqualify him from other jobs or opportunities. Maybe even let him keep his appellate court position, though that is questionable at this point as well. No one is advocating his arrest and jailing.

We are advocating however, that Republicans, like most Americans, look at this one of nine positions on the Supreme Court — the highest court in the land — as one that has the highest bar in the land as well. Americans deserve nothing less.

So if Judge Kavanaugh is innocent, and Republicans are going to stick with him, they should at least, and most definitely now after a third ugly accusation has come to light, postpone the vote, call for an FBI investigation and call all other witnesses to another hearing, including the two other accusers.

But we know they won’t. They will continue to ramrod this nomination down the throats of Americans and deny the accusers and the accused the opportunity to get at the full truth of the incidents.

The problem with this strategy is that the majority of women and men all over the country have their eyes on how Washington is dealing with this, and they must come to the conclusion that Republicans have absolutely no interest in finding the truth and getting to the bottom of what really happened.

The majority of Americans already do not approve of the Senate confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Are there really such a shortage of confirmable, qualified, conservative lawyers or judges that Republicans are willing to throw in their lot with someone who has become as tainted as Kavanaugh?

Isn’t it better to cut their losses, withdraw Kavanaugh and immediately nominate someone else in his place? At least Republicans will not go into the midterm elections with yet another layer of putrid anti-woman stench on their party, on their candidates and on their long-term legacy.

There is still time to nominate someone else, have the hearings and confirm them after the midterm elections. Even if Democrats take over the House and the Senate, they would still have to confirm someone who Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFauci says his meetings with Trump have 'dramatically decreased' McEnany criticizes DC mayor for not imposing earlier curfew amid protests Stopping Israel's annexation is a US national security interest MORE nominates.

I do not think Democrats would hold open the seat for two years, as some have suggested, mimicking the egregious treatment Republicans gave to President Obama’s nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDon't mess with the Supreme Court Graham on potential Supreme Court vacancy: 'This would be a different circumstance' than Merrick Garland Prosecutor who resigned over Stone sentencing memo joins DC attorney general's office MORE.

If Republicans do not withdraw Kavanaugh now, or at least stop the proceedings and ask for a thorough FBI investigation, they will be denigrating and insulting the collective conscious of countless American women who have either survived sexual assault or been harassed by peers, colleagues or bosses.

Yes, the Republican Party will be slamming the door in the face of the #MeToo movement and perhaps slamming the door on their long-term prospects to attract more women voters to their side. But there is still time to fix this. Withdraw Brett Kavanaugh’s name. Now.

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.