Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Justice Is A Verb!
©Wendell Griffen, 2018

To use the lyrics of a song by Stevie Wonder (You Haven’t Done Nothing), I’ve been “amazed but not amused” by the way people have reacted since Dr. Christine Blassey Ford’s allegation surfaced last week that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. 

It is amazing that people who profess to be “tough on crime” now seem willing to treat an allegation of attempted rape as mere horseplay because it allegedly was perpetrated by a drunken teenager named Brett Kavanaugh.

It is amazing that people who profess to support law enforcement – including members of the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate – are unwilling to allow the premier law enforcement investigative agency in the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to investigate an allegation of attempted rape by a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

It is amazing that the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is unwilling to direct the FBI to investigate the allegation that President Trump’s nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, sexually assaulted Christine Blassey when they were teenagers.

It makes no difference that other women consider Judge Kavanaugh to be a decent man.  The issue is whether he tried to rape Dr. Christine Blassey Ford when they were teenagers.  If he did, then the issue is whether attempted rape – even as a juvenile – is conduct that should be considered in determining whether Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed for appointment as an Associate Justice of the United States. 

In short, the issue is whether the nation deserves an impartial investigation concerning an allegation of juvenile misogyny, and whether that conduct, if it occurred, should somehow be excused decades later when the alleged misogynist is a candidate for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the United States.  Do we really mean what we say when we say that women and girls deserve to be safe from sexual assault?  Or are we only paying lip service to the belief that sexual assault is despicable conduct, regardless to the age of an alleged assailant? 

Chairman Charles “Chuck” Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee should formally request that President Trump direct the FBI to investigate Dr. Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Judge Kavanaugh.  After all, investigation of presidential nominees for key appointments in the federal government, including appointments to the SCOTUS, is what the FBI routinely does. 

However, I doubt that will happen.  Chairman Grassley, his Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell know how much President Trump dislikes – despises is probably the more accurate word – the FBI, the Justice Department, and the investigative process.  President Trump holds the wrong-headed belief that the Justice Department owes him, rather than the nation, personal loyalty. 

It is also rather unlikely, for another reason, that President Trump will ask the FBI to investigate Judge Kavanaugh regarding sexual assault.  President Trump has a less-than-favorable record when it comes to fair treatment of women.  He once bragged that his wealth, maleness, and celebrity allows him to forcibly grab the genitalia of women.

One is reminded of how King David, the second ruler of Israel, and other male leaders of his government failed after David's son and crown prince, Amnon, raped his half-sister and David's daughter Tamar (see 2 Samuel 13).  Tamar spent the rest of her life as an un-vindicated sexual assault victim because David and other male leaders were more interested in protecting Amnon than they were concerned about her.  

I hope Dr. Ford holds fast to her demand for an FBI investigation of her sexual assault allegation against Judge Kavanaugh.  Whatever the outcome of such an investigation might be, the nation can be sure that it will performed by qualified law enforcement professionals, including people skilled in performing investigations of sexual assault allegations. 

Professor Ford deserves to have her allegation investigated by the FBI.  Judge Kavanaugh also deserves it.  Above all, the nation deserves it.  It remains to be seen whether hypocrisy will cause Senator Grassley, his Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, Majority Leader McConnell, and President Trump to try to fool the nation and wider world into believing they want a thorough investigation about whether Judge Kavanaugh engaged in a sexual assault – attempted rape.   

As Stevie Wonder put it so well in You Haven’t Done Nothing, “we are amazed but not amused by all the things you say you’ll do.”


  1. Sir ordinally, I would agree with you, however you have already convicted the Judge while reviling others of discounting Ford's side of the story, seems like the heights of hierocracy.

    1. This is an inaccurate reading of the article. I read this comment before the article and foundnd no language of condemnation whatsoever of Judge Kavanaugh. The article says there should be an FBI investigation for both Judge Kavanaugh's sake and Dr. Ford's.

  2. Wendell,

    After reading the previous comment, I have to rise to the truth. You have NOT "already convicted the Judge . . ." as the commenter accuses you of doing.

    Case in point:
    1) your use, throughout this post, of the words "allegation" and "allegedly" with regard to Dr. Ford's accusation
    2) your statement that "the issue is WHETHER he tried to rape . . ."
    3) your point that not only does Dr. Ford deserve an FBI investigation but that "Judge Kavanaugh also deserves it" . . . in other words, rather than have his reputation stained by an accusation, he deserves to have a thorough investigation that - if he is shown to be innocent - can restore his reputation and remove the stain.

    Nowhere do you proclaim Kavanaugh guilty. However, after seeing the rush by the commenter to convict YOU, it's obvious that the commenter has already acquitted Kavanaugh of all charges.

    Thank you, Wendell, for - as always - making a clear, cogent, and principled case for justice.

  3. I favor a 60 Minutes interview and request of the Attorney General in Maryland to investigate the crime. This makes it something Trump can't pardon, and puts it the court free of GOP interference. The GOP will simply have to decide if they wish to vote for and support a person under assault and attempted rape charge.

  4. I agree with Bill and Jay there was condemnation or attempt on Judge Griffen's part to convict Kavanaugh. He simply made a case for justice in his argument. Well said.