« The Weeds

#MeToo goes to the Supreme Court


Dara, Ezra, and Matt discuss the allegations that could derail Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation References and further reading: Christine Blasey Ford speaks out to the Washington Post Malcolm Gladwell's episode of Revisionist History on Brian Williams Twitter thread from Sandra Newman on false accusations Report on binge drinking by high school students since the 70s Slate article on Judge Kozinski's inappropriate emails Caitlin Flanagan's piece on why she believes Ford Jian Ghomeshi reflects after becoming an outcast John Hockenberry's essay on exile 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Yeah. This is Marquez Brownie Acre and Cuba HD, and this is Andrew, Manga Nellie. We will introduce you to our podcast way, form the new sedition to the Vocs media podcast network, so I've spent over ten years reviewing tech products and consumer electronics for millions of people. On the empty Beastie Youtube Channel and now on the way form podcast Andrew and I use that experience to dig even deeper into latest tech for smartphones too. I max to electric cars so if you're gadget lover or attack head or if you just want to figure out whether the latest gadget is worth your harder in cash, give us a lesson say can find way: form the empty beefy pike ass on your favorite Pakistan every Friday see over there
your papers need now Sonny allow welcome to another episode of the weeds on a box media outcast network, I Matthew Glaziers, who would dare Lynn and as recline we got up. Tight timeline today, so we're gonna, although before I do want to say looking for an audio engineer and that's right on the weeds and those are gone show if your interested, if you love engineering, audio and you like me- shows- or you, like engineering audio lovely, shows Fox meat, dot com. Those are curious page. You will find that the job listing there again, that is vocs media dot com. We would love to work with you. That's a great idea, great point: creating jobs, also looking for a job this, egg is bright. Cavern who knows
so I got a job, is actually well the hoping for an elevation to the Supreme Court sort of the weeds of judging the elite there and things seem to have hit a snag yet so, if things that preceded according to plan on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee would be taking its to approve the nomination of Cavanaugh. Nothing very indicated that that would be anything other than a party line vote in a majority pass denomination. Frankly, weather not they approved information. It would still be sent to the Senate floor, but it looked like Cavanaugh was on route to getting firms, certainly with a majority, maybe even with a couple of Democrats from Red States, getting pressure to get on board, because, while red State Democrats can feel a little bit of freedom, not working with Donald Trump as a human being, they may feel a certain amount of need to be reaching across the aisle for a qualified judge. You, by all appearances, seem to be a man of character, except
that on Sunday, after some weird rumours that had Percolating around Capitol Hill and from their leaked into the political press that made it clear that something was weird but didn't really say what it was a woman who is a research psychologist named Christine Blasi Ford in California, spoke to the Washington Post and allowed them to print her story in which she pledges that Brick Cavanaugh and another man when they were so teen at a party. Did her got her in a room. Cavanaugh pinned her down, tried to take off her clothes and forced himself on her both of the men, were something drunk and that the other man like knocked into them and ended up allowing, this woman to wriggle free, she attempted to scream and haven't. I had put his hand over her mouth and it is in Philly Stark story. This, of course, raises the question of why this hadn't come out sooner, given that he's
in name does the nominee for several months. Professor Ford said to the post that she had actually been dithering about this. For some time she reached out to the post before or he was actually nominated in June when he was mentioned as a possible replacement for Kennedy, she had sent a letter to Congress an issue who had sent that on today Feinstein, who had sent it onto the FBI, is part of covenants background check. Presumably, did she had not really wanted to come out and subject herself to the kind of criticism and picking holes. The story and often character assassination that often follows women, who speak out publicly about sexual assault. Currently following this woman? Yes, as it happens, so it happen when it did and happening kind of in the form that it did with a name delegation. The post saw notes from therapy sessions from several years ago in which this account had been included.
Oh Heaven, s name was not included in those notes. Lousy for its husband says that she mentioned his name. Other friend, since come forward saying that she talked to them in recent years about an encounter valve someone who is a federal judge and could be a Supreme court justice someday theirs Corroboration here, although there is an end, is never going to be the kind of lake DNA. testing dispositive prove what could we talk about? The lack of a fanatic has, I think this is a part that makes it very very difficult year, according to forward the The alleged assault happen roughly thirty five years ago. She says she didn't tell anybody about it at all, until two thousand and twelve and would she says, has happened here is a cheap was assaulted in high school and it traumatized her and id affair did her relationships and our sense of safety and security really forever, and it's only later in life that she began to deal with it, and I should begin to deal with it
The guy who assaulted her, was rising and becoming more and more of a star in this had never been addressed. This is tough fur. A couple of reasons in and one is that a lot depends on Whether the assault happy in the way like how you think about Cavenaugh, and how and we'll talk about this- that you a lot depends on unknowing, something close to the truth of the situation and under much inclined to believe Ford who be. I was talking about this years ago, but One thing we really know, and it affects all sides of the story- is it memory- is an incredibly unreliable device party over thirty thirty five years so one of the things it is scary for me as a journalist writing about this. Is it's possible that she's MR murmuring thanks the possible the cabinet and the other guy named Mark Judge, are completely miss. Remembering things it's possible. Things have been overwritten merge right, like the judicial system, peopled and great
work on the unreliability of eyewitness accounts, even that our recent over long periods of time things get much much more difficult. Great I'll, say by the way great revision history episode from Malcolm Gladwin indices about Season Williams and the way that it appears his memories of that helicopter incident. That ended up ending, time on the embassy nightly NEWS, like appeared of for written over course of years. He was telling incorrectly venues selling it incorrectly and like he, probably were actually why'd. He just confused himself. This is very important. because I think one of the questions here is we are not in a world or what cabinet has said is this happened in high school? It was a terrible thing. I did. I have sought forgiveness. I've changed as a human. You think this never happened. I was never there. I had nothing to do with this and, if he's lying about that, that's very problematic and that's not about something- that happened thirty five years ago at something he's doing now. Also if it did happen and he's like genuinely written himself out or does not believe like he's, its part
because I dont know how we're gonna find a truth that the political system can agree on in order to make judgments here. Yeah, I think we're probably gonna spend a lot of this episode, disentanglement moral standards from political standards was. I agree with you that we are not going to find a truth that the political system can agree on that said. What strikes me about the vehemence of Cavanaugh denial versus the tentativeness of Ford's allegations lagging. while Cavanaugh has himself only issued a pretty performer denial through the White House or enhance the senator talked to him yesterday and Hatch came out saying well, Cavanaugh denies he was even at that party right, which is raises questions because for didn't identify a particular time or location of the party. She thinks it happened in nineteen. Eighty, two she's, not sure about that. She thinks that it happened at a house near the country club where she would have been hanging out in
suburban Maryland. There isn't enough to go on Fur Cavanaugh, to say for sure that he wasn't at that party unless he never attended parties where parents work home or never attended parties in that area and what we know circumstantially about you know who Cavanaugh friends were during that time. What we ve seen in his yearbook is that he appears to have. run with a crowd. There was not averse to underage drinking so to speak that it seems unlikely that break having, I would say: oh there were parents there. Well, then, I'm not going so you reach a point where you look at. You know this very tentative recollection and go well. Maybe forties hedging, because she's not sure that it was him, maybe she's hedging, because she doesn't want. I, like you could say, maybe she's having cautious and want to get caught in a lie, but you can also look in this look at this and go after thirty five years like how is it that he is certain that he didn't do this thing if he knew that he was drinking heavily during this period, if he knew that after thirty five years memory change, if the way that this happened would have, by definition, left more of an empire,
on her than it did on him, so the kind of failure to open himself up to the possibility that, even though he hasn't been dealing with this all this time in the way she has, that doesn't mean it didn't happen is, really something that I personally am struggling with its also you don't from what we can tell Chuck. Gradually is setting up a process too I would say, appease Susan Collins by saying they did something to look into this. That seems very de minimised where they're going to hold a hearing at which Cavanaugh is gonna, testify and she's. Gonna testify they're, not bringing in judge the other guy who she says, was there they're not trying to bring in the two other boys who she says we're at the party, although not in the room there, not bringing in an investigator of any kind and you can get a case like this wide like an elite
aged attended rape from the early nineteen. Eighty is anything anything you're. Gonna, do would produce like prove beyond reasonable doubt of all evidence of any thing, one where the other. But you could try to structure a process that sheds the most light on what people's memories, of this are and what it is there trying to say happened. It didn't happen, and it doesn't seem like this- is what they are doing, and you here in the statements from just from the White House, but from Senator Hatch and others that the very the majority of Senate Republicans have made up their minds about this case, peace and the vast majority of Senate Democrats had made up their minds about Cavanaugh. Before this allegation came to light right, which is not look that's on bad faith on their part, they looked at cabinets record, as judge decided. They didn't want this guy on the Supreme Court,
extra allegation is just an extra thing that is out there, and that is also the case for applicants to write they'd already made their decisions based on Cavanaugh record as a judge. What but I mean in particular there like now the majority of them have prejudged the facts of this specific. negation and you know, I mean, I guess, that's that's their right. Right, but there is very few people out there saying ok to me Cavanaugh, Suitability genuinely hinges entirely on the question of what happened that night in eighteen, eighty three, and so I want a process that, like really gets to the bar, that right. You have a board group of Republicans for trying to get this done with as quickly as possible. You ve a large group of Democrats who are against Kavanaugh separately from these allegations.
You have some red State Democrats who I think honestly are glad for this to give them a reason to vote against Cavenaugh because it solves a kind of political problem for them, and then you have maybe a couple of weeks again sprayed dig everything in the Trump era, wines are coming back down to Susan constantly summer cowskin on the one hand, and Jeff Liken Bob Corker, on the other hand, because they are like the swing constituents she is and the four of them all on one level or other like indicated that they needed to hear more about this, and so that's what's happening right and it's a process whose power best is for republican leadership to get the wavering Republicans like back on the bus not really to elucidate the truth about anything and I grew this and I think, there's a lot in there that
to come back to what I do want to make a note about the process is something that reporters had begun: reporting on and entreating about. there's not a single republican woman, not send a judiciary. Now one never and in fact it has never been so. I dont know to be honest, exactly how they're gone structure the hearings Monday, assuming they even happened Monday as scheduled, there's been some talk about maybe grassroots, having trouble getting in touch with for that. That seems, Wolsey Right, become clear, although you do know it's up, and she may also be no, it isn't open think she may not want to testify. That may be a decision she makes to solve see how that place out. But assuming we have the hearings that we expect to have. One of the things is beginning to get report. It is a lot of Senate Republicans very uncomfortable at how this is going to look- because away its being set up, is it Republicans got themselves into the space where would they need to do? Is discredit this cancer of the
I who they want to show has a spotless more character. His position is not maybe this happen, but it was thirty five years ago, if I did so, because I am so sorry his position is it never happened. My accuser is a liar so. You're gonna have what you know. Chuck rashly and x number, of republican men on television in a super closely watched hearing. Try till I cross, examine woman who's been, are gonna, be working through something it's clay. Traumatize unto me it's a very tricky thing. That's gonna happen here. It can go bad and a lot of ways for a lot of different factions in this. But what what's coming like to be on ethnic, turns my stomach. A little bed like just like thinking about it. It's just it's gonna, be a very bad moment. I think poor, it's bad for ethical, see
but, but I guess you always is gonna- go bad and its when we say I do wonder if it's going to happen, I think a lot of people looking for a way out, I dont think Cavanaugh is gonna with draw but I do think there's something here that at the moment like nobody has a plan like that is, Above all else, no one knows they're doing and does not even a clear standard here. One thing that I do think is really important. Is that a lot of Republicans their view? They have not done to Cavanaugh Defensive, actually done that this was thirty. Five years ago. It's a single accusation like this doesn't clear up bar. that, should they re all your nose, somebody like the capstone somebody's adult career, like even if it did happen it an x ray, Mynors Cavanaugh, it didn't happen and then there's the other positions. We need to learn more and it is like figure out even what to think about it. If you we'd Republicans on this right now
like their views. None of this is on the level you can see arc. Ericsson saying this is all really about abortion in every single republicanism me in the future, will face a late breaking sexual assault, March, which is clearly not true, but it, I think, does go to the point that, like at this point, the like the late breaking thing is positively a debate about this one accusation and is it true, and if it is true like how would we know- and if we do know, then his cabinet lying? Does he know that he's gonna, like you gonna, run it out, but there's Even a legal body set up a bar like her and flake, and caught like their views on like? If it is true then like nobody knows what happens if they click even like. Let's AIDS proven the cabinet was at the party that is apparently told or enhance she was not at then what like nobody's quite explained. Yet. I think that what you can extrapolate that too, as well. We ve heard from some other conservative intellectuals and punch
including Caitlin flat? Again, you know she's she's known for being something of a contrary and on issues of in old gent, a feminine gender relations publishing ass a last night about an encounter that she had had during a similar time period that you know had certain similarities with what Ford is alleging and said. I believe for the fact that he didn't apologise that he will. You know that he is continuing to go through life. Does seem to be a disqualifying matter of character and killing plant It is not a conservative legal scholars- she's not like a federalist society, fellow or anything, but I've definitely seen some no, never from conservatives the exact types who will begrudgingly admit that staffing, the bench with conservative judges is the best thing that trump his die and were entirely probe have an eye in every other respect saying wow. This is this is now bigger than this particular nominee.
This is something that we actually have to take seriously as a matter of character and that gets into questions of when you think of judges, character matters. I think the the thing that we rarely treated text what is text is that the swing senators, in this case the like Collins and we're Cowskin, flacon corker- you can't predict where going to fall as a matter of policy, partly because their senators and so individual votes matter a lot and partly because their swing votes, and so I ve gotten used to people kind of coming to them in asking. For things often frank, where they land on such as a matter of eager, rightly, both colony leg voted for tax reform, because they personally had gotten promises from its Mcconnell image. Mcconnell then broke, but that means- They are also more likely to see Brett Cavanaugh as a matter of character. Then, as a matter of a slave jurisprudential opinions, you know Susan Collins was getting a lot of pressure from progressives, because despite her. Having said she wouldn't vote for a nominee who would overturned Roby, weighed and cabin.
Bearing all the earmarks of someone who, if he were on the Supreme Court, would vote to overturn Roby Wade. She said well Don't believe that he's going to do that because he told me that role is that a lot there's a certain amount of like personal trust and care. Are there that I think, is more characteristic of someone who has the privilege to see politics as personal and that kind of you Cavanaugh as an independent, moral actor, is what is really under threat here. Who would take a break and then dive a little more into that. People often ask me of prosecuting the mob is like the movies well, there is violence. He cracks disguise over their head and pop. Just like a melon. There are heads so wasn't just permission to take a nap permission to take out his own field. But after taking down over one hundred mobsters, I can tell you this is the real thing is much more interesting.
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If I was a senator all need to know about bright Cavenaugh is that he was recommended by Leonard LEO, and the Federalist society is a good judge, which means will be a terrible judge and, like you can just ended you no good But since these allegations came up, I've been looking back at the record of cameras information hearings in It does seem to me that he really distinguished himself from new course edge in a real lack of candour and why a range of subjects. Wait. This started with his like opening statement after Trump introduced right, where he didn't just like stick to banal stuff. He did this like puffing trumped up stick. Then I think we ve learned is like the way ambitious work. Publicans get ahead these days, as they say things about Donald Trump our true right and then with a brick cabinets introduction to the american public was saying
Nobody before had ever consulted as widely as Donald Trump HAT, which is not true he said. The Donald Trump has shown His respect for the importance of an independent judiciary, which we know is not true, then confirmation hearings. You know it turned out. Once the the committee confidential documents started coming out, it turned out that Cavanaugh in his previous confirmation had misled. The committee about his role in another judge called William Priors confirmation hearings that he had misled. The committee about his role in some pilfered emails related to get their judicial confirmation and then this lead to some like hot, take from liberals. Oh he committed perjury, which led to the inevitable hot counter takes were actual yours are like
no like. You might think that perjury means use lie under oath to Congress, but, like actually perjury occurs when set our prosecutors, railroad, someone with few legal resources and like you, can always beat a perjury rap if you're as fancy is broken. ah but like in an ordinary language sense. Like he's a liar, you know, and This is the worst thing in the world like all of our elected officials have like somethin like that, where their spending ball. They get caught out. You know four Pinocchio is but it's actually kind of unusual for a Supreme Court just swayed, and it goes to an earlier phase in this whole saga, which was like when Donald Trump was down his three judge shortly. Astride, it was this guy hard him in Amy, Conny bear it and bread Cavanaugh
and Mitch Mcconnell who had worked with Cavenaugh when he was a staff secretary in the Bush administration, whose shepherded his confirmation process before who was a way that there was this outstanding paperwork you like he said to the White House like don't nominate bread. Cabin like this will be a much harder confirmation and then these other to judges who are also good and- for whatever reason like plan ahead, Cavanaugh Upright and like now, we have this harassment thing and. of course nobody. Nobody knows but like. I am willing to credit the idea that cabin is just telling bald faced lies about this issue, and in a way I ordinarily wouldn't be like, I would say there has to something something going on here about go home and memory or Bob Bob like we know they break Cavenaugh to advances, career
hasn't the very recent past adopted the just like, say the skies purple. If that's what I think the actors, relevant actors, here and on the one hand it's like? Who cares what I think, because but Cavanaugh could have not raped anybody or told These lies and I still wouldn't think he should be a good judge, but like it's, a striking moment to me in what I see as liked an ongoing trot the era republicans like shedding of any kind of standard that they're, like turning to drag dislike. Particular, like said me, comatose domination, over the finish line when they could put in somebody. But this to me as well. It is actually really interesting, and it is why I have focused a little bit on this question of. Can we can we find things out that the political system will credit about what happened, because I honestly was surprised when Cavanaugh begin escalating the
level of denials he was offering right, given what the story was given that there is a really good twitter thread by of bread and himself Newman, whose done work on on false rape, accusations and it just going through like what are that one of the characteristics usual see and those accusations and pushes makings, you really don't see them in this. One like false rape, positions, she was saying about serve theatrical quality. There are like the very villainous. The way people act on them is very villainous. It's not bumbling. It's not like two kids who are laughing, unlike his friend, is alternately. Saying, like you, don't keep going stop and you know, they're like keep jumping And each other is rough housing, whether drunk- and you know that It's not created in a structure we consume right it off? It's, like, kids, being the bad but dumb ass. Is usually reads again like much more like a like a villainous act on our save on its axis results of illness act, but its black and white is
her point- and you should come out much later, like this session, to be or any of the hallmarks of it. So kind not did not create, base for this to have happened. which is again why it like. Let's say they bring in the other two boys who were at the party right. I do. I don't know it's not not known to me. If Ford has name those people like we members for they were but assuming she does and they can be found if they say like I do remember this party, whereas four of us and her and legality and people to really bad actually is now becoming too just lying end. now, you do have this unity, I've written about this black. Now you do have this issue of character and him discrediting an accuser and even if their, A memory issue like as a those two saying you know, ok like I need to like me into whether or not this happened because it was thirty five years ago, and I remember the stuff that clearly he just went,
right out and said like nothing like us has ever happened, and so I think of something very real here that could like one of things could happen again. While I bring up, I think the structure of what's gonna happen Monday at this hearing goes, for it is very intense, because the way the question has been framed for all of the Republicans out their say. what you did as a seventeen year old shouldn't count against you, although of course Donald Trump wanted to have a bunch of teenagers put to death for a crime they didn't commit with the central park. Five Nevertheless, like water, Alot of Republic acting deception, cutting and steel they ve now gotten themselves and cabinets gone them into a position where there either gonna have to discredit this accuse urban public which day could really really back fire and also like may not even be doable cause she's plausibly telling the truth. Probably time truth and, on the other hand, like if something can come out, like I don't know,
and how you recovers from that right, even if it looks likely that all this happened. I don't understand how recovers from that. I think that in again the political truth of this is going to be murky here than, to a certain extent, the moral truth than from that. I am not saying like, oh just because he has been accused. He should assume that this is correct. Me should step down at what I mean by that is that you write the reflects illness in the escalation of the denial. Aren't what like he had an alternative yeah. He said he had plenty of alternate. She could have said, I don't remember anything like this happening. I look forward to hearing more details. He could have said in this was a period my life when I was making a lot of bad decisions. Those hang out with about products drinking a lot. I thought those decisions affecting no one, but me I am horrified to discover that I may have hurt someone very badly, even though I do not recall this, and I am not sure that it happened and reach out to her to make amends like he
would be bigger than the allegation and, frankly, in the last year, in the meat to era with like a lot of men, that I know how particularly men have kind of gone through and done an inventory on their own culpability in matters of Saxon kind of a similar way like well. Ok, I think of myself. Ass, a good guy, I know that I have never willingly violated anyone's consent in a deliberately, but let me go back and think about it: past and question my idea that, because I'm a good guy, I've never done anything wrong. Like Cavanaugh doesn't appear to have. You know his wrist? monster that has not demonstrated a willingness to believe that some who is a moral human being who, like thinks of himself as a good guy who may be at this. Is you know a morally upstanding person who respect women would be able to have done? This thing like this kind of, brings me back to Alex Gusinsky. Who was the judge in the night circuit for whom Cavanaugh Clerk, for whom a Julian people clerk
big big mentor of cabin eyes, very well known and conservative, libertarian legal circles, and who is the only federal judge to have lost a seat essentially because of sexual harassment, allegations which came out late last year and frankly, that was the least surprising thing in of the meat you allegations to those of us who, even I I've, never been to law school and I'm still hearing stories from people who heard things in law school about don't clerk for Kosinski, the environment of his clerk rooms was notorious for being this extremely just uncountable environment for women, but one in which, like just sexual jokes, were sent around all the I'm an email list of with a lot of former clerks where a lot of friends of jokes were sent around Kevin. I was asked about Kosinski at his confirmation hearings and said that he never saw any kind of sexual harassment and that he had. You know that he was shocked when the allegations came out, because he had no idea. It's not implausible,
that he had never noticed anything. I have seen some former gusinsky courts, though, that he's clearly lying like me, he was not lying. Maybe Brett Cavenaugh just wasn't paying attention, but the fact that Cavanaugh is now saying: well, I wasn't paying attention so it doesn't reflect on me as a human being, rather than ye. I wasn't pay tension and in the months since the allegations have come out. I've searched myself and wondered why didn't notice? This thing that so many other people notice is really what strikes me as A kind of moral lie ended. He is failing here, whether or not we can ever figure out what happened in eighteen. Eighty two: I agree with that. I'm also have really been thinking hard about this and how can a person be so sure as he claims to be a now, maybe maybe when he testifies, they'll be like some rabbit. He pulls out of his hat. Warlike. There's like clear evidence that somehow
this incident occurred on a very specific night, where he wasn't there and will be like man, I'm sorry this happen, but like if somebody word to say tomorrow that I had done something like this while so drunk that I was like unable to physically overpower a much smaller woman, I would find that very shocking and I dont think that that has happened. But it's like also true that, like I went to a lot of parties in high school, I drank a lot. You don't remember everything that happens in life under whose circumstances everything that I think we know about Cavanaugh is that, like he was a very heavy drinker as a college student, as high school student. At a time when I saw a chart about there's a drinking continued much more pressing
and in the early eighties there was some like forty percent of aids in survey seventeen year Old said they had five or more drinks and one night within the past week, and I just like. I don't know, there's like a level of on reflexive ness and definitiveness like both about the Kosinski we're like he claims. He doesn't remember, having been on some email list that Gusinsky apparently like sent dirty jokes out to all the time, unlike I don't know like is: does he really just like amble through life like not noticing anything but having perfect recall of everything that occurred while he was black out drunk when he was seventeen or is there just a kind of you know like life of privilege from Shore Tom, proud to Yale than decay, ie and yell law school in the Federalist society and these ongoing clerk ships, in which everyone all his life has been like saying how amazing,
But cabinet is- and you know his mom was a judge, and you don't you he was just like born to the manner of elite conservative politics has, bent his whole life like in that field. Ride, like you know, I'm KEN Stars team in the Bush White House on the shore lest for this than that, and the other thing I like that, idea that any of these things that he's done where like when he was on can stars team he was like, but we have to do is persecute. A democratic president over anything and then later, like in a celebrated law review. Article he's like oh was totally wrong about the one thing I ever did in my career and, like you just just like upward and upward, and port without ever like doing Anything in our hands. Looks at another meeting of the mines with people and conservative legal world when electricity link, what has worked have not done that is like to you impressive. right, like other than just like and I'll, be like well, he cared for
Ex gusinsky are well known: sexual harasser. He work for KEN Star hooked, a total failure. He was. I'm thinking member to took it in its tracks. That is what he saying earlier about like their worthies. There were at least three judges who were you no law? Thirdly, in distinguished bull from each other in terms of their records and likely positions from whom trumpet like the real, quick gin for me in the next week is we heard so much over the last several months about how the Federalist society has perfected, a system in which you can have a leg up and a career advantage in conservative legal circles. For your career, you get yourself good administration, jobs and eventual unemployment to a judge ship because of the connections, the informed in the society, and yet because you membership in the Federalist society and your legal record is your token. You don't have to say anything. So
clearly ideological that it to Scotch Supreme Court nomination like it soon that Brett cabin. I will overturn row, not because you said I would over Ro Close quote, but because Leonard no recommended him, and we assume that Leonard LEO is going to recommend someone who lives. LEO has confidence will overturn row lake if this mission is working so well. Bred. Camera is not the only one who's jump through all these hoops bear it and, and Parliament would also be equally good nominees, and so the question for publicans of Why are you going to the mattresses on this case? Does tell us something because it raises the possibility that either they really do think that Democrats are out to get them and are going to put something spurious forward, regardless of who would be the case or they genuinely think that something like this could have happened in the asked of an entire cohort of now male federal judge. I do think there's a easier outcomes razor here, which is if it were only
You know days from the midterm election. Heavy their end I think a lot of Republicans just think that if their Supreme Court nominee collapses and scandal, you know that renominated somebody pretty quickly, but it is not a good luck and they just don't want it to happen. They like want this. One Pocketed before when I got to get your lesser and its like lately bring up like what were they do right, they bring up Barrett, who, I think is like was actually the strongest political pick, but is also the most be the most radicalizing of the three either way by being just much more anti row lay much more clearly anti wrote. One of the things that I just do think is is lurking this conversation against it to the point about how Republicans or absorbing this, when you read the defences of cap and a lot of them. Don't hinge on this idea that this never happened. A lot of them hinge on this idea that you note to the point you are making their
something like this could have happened to anybody right, which has its own very troubling implications of about what they believe about Bell, behaviour and and and so on, but also, I think, two phrases generously. This is one accusation, even if it's true it was a long time ago. and Democrats are gonna. Try to take down any judge we put up in anybody could have something politically damaging of a pass or if it turns out there that good at this, then, is that we need to. We need to break the thing before it. It keeps going, and one of the just like dimensions of this- and I just think, is, weirdly underplayed, although makes more sense, if your party nominated Donald Trump to become president, is it, nobody is entitled to a Supreme Court seat, It is entirely reasonable to say that there are. Things in someone's past that should not keep them from having like an adulthood even like us, as full respectable adulthood and also
be they dont, clear, the extraordinarily high bar to be one of the nine people with a lifetime appointment to the? U S Supreme Court and for all the reasons Matt has laid out. I dont think that, throughout this process, cabinet has distinguished himself as a man of character, even before this accusation, distinguished him as one of the truly great legal mines of his generation, distinguish himself as anything, except what I think he really was meant to be, which is reliable, like a reliable peck who happen to appeal to Donald Trump. We can't know for sure, but probably because he had some idiosyncratic views on the idea that President's should not be criminally prosecute. nor investigated while in office, and he s because very expires in creating a loyalty and Anthony Kennedy that is what exactly he was a Kennedy Clark and thus their husbands reporting, though this also been some denials Kennedy said. Yes, I will, side. If you seriously consider- or even like name cabin on my replacement, but all that said like
does the gay again. I do think this is a point that I don't think it would be crazy idea, extraordinarily high bar for who is on the Supreme Court now, because of the way. This is working in mid terms and other things like what people to want is their person on the Supreme Court is just not obviously the case that having people get to qualified for the scheme for things that they would not be disqualified for more normal jobs. For is somehow crazy. I mean for no other reason than the dislike one of the most powerful jobs in the world and its a lifetime point meant judging the law- and I recognise cabinet has been a judge before, but the Supreme Court is just different. The advocate of a high barford is not crazy. Ass. I think you know there is obviously a particular partisan politics to Cavanaugh right, but even before These cabinet allegations came out right. We had this gentleman, she article in the new view of books, and we had an essay also by John Hockenberry, both about their sort of experiences losing their jobs
there's a brewing storm of sentiment that, like oak nay, Harvey wine steam getting fired and cast out of polite society was the right thing to do, but that me, too, has gone way too far, right leg, that the in general holding men responsible for things that they did with impunity in the past, like is a bad that, I would say to cast the most generous possible control on what this backlash is saying. It's like there ought to be a need to em Steve and a new, incredibly clear, set of guidelines promulgated, and we can agree that going forward
If one violates these guidelines, there could be consequences, but that, like the past as the past- and I think you see it to an extent with cabinet that link, if you look at the popular culture of the early nineteen eighties, its clear that lake, what I guess we would call date. Rape now was sort of normalized behaviour at that point in time, like six candles, I think, is like the clearest example of this were like there are things depicted that are clearly supposed to be funny to the audience, but that, like are horrifying. to a modern sensibility. As the craziest version of this is it bill cause be made jokes about slipping women. Spanish fly in his comedy routines and, unlike later turns out, was constant, drugging and breaking women way. and I think I would some of them Oh man, senators, who are on Cavanaugh aside and but like also some of the old man. Liberals who you know want to bring back I'll frank in and stuff,
Our saying on some level is that, like. You just shouldn't be able to take somebody down with. allegations of sleazy behavior. That is such a useful clarifying framework. For me, cuz I've been a little bit frustrated at the kind of meet. You is gone too far, side kind of having their cake and eating it too right because they're simultaneously, Well, we don't believe that this is an offence, so terrible that someone should be ostracised for life that all their friends should abandon them, that their like that they should be able to get a job at the left. Should be ruined, etc? At the same time there policing and by. way. These allegations are not as bad as you think. They are generally the concept of kind of conciliation and repentance involves a period in which you cept having sinned and forget in Ireland and seek amends in some way. Religion has a particular framework for this, which is Generally, I think what a lot of people would be drawing on
and of their nearest analogue, it's not the only way we can do things but usually before being reintegrated into the community. You have to accept that something has been done wrong. You have violated a norm and that you are going to pull that in future and that you understand that your violation, the had consequences so kind of things simultaneously. Well, we don't believe it nor violations should have this level of punishment and he didn't violate the Norman. All, isn't how you actually have a conversation to move forward. It means that we get stuck in me. Did it happen or didn't happen world when everyone involved appears to agree that the really hard question is? How strongly do we want to disapprove of this as a society? What are the punishments that we should meet out? Should we be refusing to give someone Supreme court seat. Because of this isn't the kind of sin that would validate. I think that's a super important point and I do think it's worth making this point as well, which is it what we are under doing society with me too. We reassessing correctly how seriously we take sexual
all assault and harassment as a crime rate like it's, not boys will be boys, it's a crime. It's a thing! You can't do and I think the thing you just said there is really important. Let's say, came out: I'm not gonna use cabinet. Here, let's say there is a Supreme Court nominee looked normal, embers penetrates confirmation, Ireland, now. Forgive for fruit! You hear what I am about to say. Why am I think that a constant we're, not lively right, and it came out that, despite the totally exemplary adulthood when they were seventeen. They participated in a white supremacist assault of someone that- He disqualify great, like you, would not survive that unless you would like spent the rest of your life atoning and you know in an anti racism movements. Conversely let's say, came out that when they were seventeen, they had done mushrooms, brain Brok,
my admitted to cocaine use when it was in college, and I think we'd like move to a point where we're like kids might do some drugs and apply shouldn't derail. The rest of their lives say it came out that you are a drug dealer right that you dealt opiates to people in your hometown. Why do not exactly sure how we would rate that at this point, one of the things we are going through is like a re evaluation of this kind of crime and so I recognise its very painful Democrats went through a version of this with Frank and where still a lot of controversy within the party, but there is a decision aid among Senate Democrats led by Senator Jill Brand and others that we Democrats are going to be clean on this, that even the sort of like borderline cases, they decide that they're going to participate in saying that no like we're gonna take
much more seriously and you can be part of super honorific oppositions like being a senator or a Supreme Court justice. If you have things it look like a sword of women in such harassment of women. In your in your background, and the thing with cabinet alot of people saying will, like the shouldn't, derail his career right. Your hearing that from people nearing made even from people who are a little bit in the middle on him personally, but but have sympathy but think it's not about him. That's a thing about this b to movement. It's a thing about these individual man like it's, not about the individual's it's hot, say there just a means to an end, but it to say that as society re evaluate this, there are people whose records change it's that right, like as in any big readjustment of social norms and the idea of it, bread Calvin gnaws Supreme Court hopes. I again if the evidence
now to say that he was there and to this end- and you know- and I think it's very plausible some- could the idea that What happened here? It's it's not like that. all the sympathies about like him in his life, as opposed to four but also supposed to were now in politics. I this is cream court nomination. It's part of our larger political conversations and there's a larger put it thing going on that. I think even people are sympathetic to that thing. Their sympathetic like in general. They would like it to happen in some way that has no victims right, like We all want to do so. This couple minutes ago may is mad that, like we like sort of decline, a daisy and like that. We agree that from that day forward, but it happens by instinct is being judged differently than they would have in the past on a moral framework that we think is. get him at one. That should have been understood to be a legitimate one, then, and by the way, the stuff Cavanaugh dead. If he did it not on the line its way over the lie like its physical and sexual assault, but I just This larger context keeps getting miss it
if these are all individual things, but it's part of something that is bigger happening in society, that, if you agree with it, yeah placing half an hour with bare at all. Harder men or just anybody. It's not that big of a deal. I think that the days euro concept is really useful, because I dont think that it's why a matter of changing norms? Firstly, it is, but at the same time that narrative obscures the fact that assuming brick Cavanaugh did this, it makes perfect sense. Brookhaven, I never thought about it again, right that, like It was you know. Yes, nineteen, eighty two, yes, this isn't something they per capita is going to be lying awake at night, going. Jaded is really evil thing. We oh within it affected Christine Blasi, for it a great deal right that it did. She struggled academically and socially after it had happened. That's it.
Sorry that we become very familiar with over personal essays at last in a year and before that, as women have said. Look I didn't think that this was worth telling anyone at the time, because I didn't think it was a rate, but it really really screwed with me psychologically and really did have impact in what I was able to do. And imagine in my life, and so while I do think that you know what we're seeing there is a reflection of the norms, the time right, where they didn't think that if they talk to anyone, they would meet with sympathy because they didn't think what happened to them across the line that society would recognise as
moral one, you know the reason the days Euro Amnesty idea is weird to me is that clearly, a lot of women have been able to talk about things that they had difficulty moving, pass that where a problem for their careers in the last year by saying look now that we can all agree that this is wrong. Let's talk about it. Having happened to me and so because it's not just about the inner, do we give him a Supreme court seed or not? But even do we talk about this as wrong? You know: do we have a whole hearing about it. Do we make this into this big thing, because even just making an allegation is considered a character assassination if it's wrong the idea of well, we should all accept going forward that there are clear violations and people will be punished, but we should
just throw the veil over anything that happened in the past doesn't acknowledged the extent to which you know if Brett Cavenaugh had been a woman in what what he's alleged to have done. It happened to him. He wouldn't maybe cause maybe sitting up for a separate or- and this is why I am struck by the like told all disempower meant structurally of women in republican Party politics, like I'm looking at the eleven republican senators and the jury Sherry Committee who are all men, don't you think I can wait universe? Would I conceivably assemble a panel of eleven men to discuss a topic and like it just wouldn't happen, you know like in like left of centre circles are just like you wouldn't do that right, but leg, assembly line from LEO to Donald Trump and John Kelly and Mark Short and Mitch Mcconnell and down to chuck gradually in the eleven
there's like no women involved itself? There are no women in the Republican Party, but like it is a distinct priority, and it is precisely the right be women, staffers involved in this whole process, but but their net. They haven't been that not everything is also now, and it is the actual principle of republican Party politics that it would be wrong to look at that roster and said. we need to get Chrissy Hind Psmith on this committee, now that she is a United States, Senator right leg, conservatives would not do the like. They think that a big terrible thing that liberals do is try to deliberately structure diverse groups of
decision makers right and that this is a serious, ongoing moral injustice that is perpetrated whenever progressives hold institutional power right that they like elevate, unqualified women and minorities over good people like bright Cavenaugh and then an important point of principle. Is that like, if eleven like eyes when she got like that you're good go right and, like you know, you good. Certain judgments causes daringly, saying widely there's a b, difference in perspective from older people. I think older men are experiencing me too, as a tectonic and slightly unfair retroactive. Shifting of the rules on and women also see that the norms are shifting, but like what then in this to them is very, very different and like they're, just not present in the same kind of way its clear that
the democratic caucus right that, like the male members, where a lot more comfortable with L, Frank and then the women were but They're both more women in that caucus, and there was a sense that, like their view that it would be untenable, there was actually based pressure in a way. The Republican didn't see with Roy more, for example, who I mourn. The pressure was coming from elite circles. It was not coming from the base saying: look: we need to get this guy out I mean this is the context in which the cabin a hearing goes for it. It's a party that has and supports Donald Trump is a precedent that has stood against. I mean look. The Senate or the house could hold hearings into Donald Jumps, apparently long pattern of sexual, assault and they don't like it's a party that, on a lot of levels, has created an ideological framework and a personnel framework. The makes it very hard to treat something like this seriously. I think it's gonna get me
she did very badly here. Let's in another break than Ezra gotta go by Durno gonna talk about it. A great white paper. So I was really excited when I saw nor Gordon and Crystal were Phinis paper. School nutrition and student discipline. Effective school, wide, free meals hit the envy are wires, because this is a topic that is. It is personal, me. My son, Jose recently started preschool at our local public school in the District of Columbia, You know we were learning about how the school works, and I was a little bit surprised to learn that fist and lunch are served, sort of family style for the the preschool kindergartner and it's free and every He is supposed to get the school breakfast in the school lunch. So what's up and it turned out that in one of these things that happened in the early Obama years, laws passed that people in pay attention to because bigger laws were also passing along, came in
said that schools that have a large number of students or eligible for free and discounted meals can go in, You what's called this community eligibility programme in which everybody just gets the free lunch, and the idea of this was to both simple the administration, so you don't need to make families fill out all kinds of paperwork at secondary. To increase uptake, you know so that everybody will get meals, that they need, whether or not their parents have filled out the paperwork. and then also to reduce kinds of stigma that might exist around being a free lunch kid. So this point I am somewhat conveniently rolled out in different states sort of at different times which lead searchers, try to study it and these, to show that schools that adopted community eligibility, see a reduction in the number of kids in elementary school, especially in a little bit and middle school who are getting suspended,
they say a long line of papers, kind of showing that, basically, Better nourished, kids have fewer behavioral problems. They acknowledge that suspensions is not exactly a count of behavioral problems, because schools can enforce this differently
but unless you believe that, there's a reason that adopting community eligible anti would make administrators become less strict. It appears to be the case that adopting community eligible anti improves the behaviour, at least of the younger children, very possibly by getting kids to actually eat food by reducing stigmatization of it. So enough, though, is that was nice to hear it's, it's nice when things work yeah. I do think that there are some things that kind of struck me about who in particular, is taking advantage of this programme, because one of the things about community eligible anti is apparently that Israel is eligible for it. If a certain number of students would otherwise qualify because of income, but the school has to accept that help regulate it has to make a decision to invite
Oh and unsurprisingly, not every school that is eligible, chooses to unroll and the researchers find that the schools that were eligible and chose not to unroll were slightly less disadvantaged. Then schools where they chose to unroll, but where a lot more white which is fascinating, because they then say that the baseline rate of suspensions for schools that were participating in between the old Kennedy was much higher than for eligible schools that weren't participating community eligibility. So what makes this paper in particular interesting is that it seems like a straightforward. Terry list. You know along the lines of these studies we ve done. Unlike you know, I integration of salt like if you give kids a healthy and I remain like filling their minimal needs and not poisoning, then they will be able to thrive. But if you look at and of the noise around the data it gets into. This really tricky problem of when is,
suspension and the angel disciplining of behaviour among, in particular, elementary school students, a problem in and of itself, for child learning and upon whom is that being visited it, and I think what we see here is that this is something that can help population that is otherwise going to be targeted by higher suspension rates and more disciplinary issues for reasons that probably do have one foot in malnutrition and other, like you, know, structural systemic health issues but probably also have something to do with the way that the schools think about their students and what they think is going to be most helpful for them. forward you I mean, I also think I mean looking again, I mean Jose, classes at a population of three and four year old, so I don't think there would be any suspensions regardless
but my understanding of what the school is trying to do with community eligibility is that they are trying to promote social integration among a diverse set of student and swayed that eggs, I mean You know, I don't know how sophisticated these preschoolers are about about class and race and stuff, but it's very obvious to me that you know a little bit less than half of the students in the school Edna lower grades at least seem like they're kind of white general fire, kids right and then a majority of the students are black or latino, but then of course there, class differentiations out with mad, and some of the black kids are second generation african immigrants. And some are you know So there's you know a kaleidoscope of like, tangible lines of social division present in a very diverse school system something they are trying to do, is like start the day with all the kids sitting at a table and all eating the same breakfast.
and that has something to do with kids. Nutritional needs but is also like a statement about what the school community is and how it supposed to operate right and they are discouraging, like yuppie parents, from making special Gabby meals that that their kids come and bring in right. There like trying to put we want on an equal footing right and whither thee. Hold me all directly cause this thing. or whether the school meal is a manifestation of and administratively determined desire to be integrative, you know, I think, can be hard to it tease out there in a bright did it's. That is like the decision to accept community eligibility. Says something about how the administrators and the pda and everybody else are thinking about, managing their school
it's like it could be. That, like this is a thing that works or it could just be. That like this is a thing that people who want to have a levelling impact choose to do and then they they in sixty two other means right and the others are pretty aware. Also that the period over which there measuring results coincides with a period of higher awareness of the school to prison, pipeline and problems with very punitive suspension Paul he's. So you know there, they do kind of make it clear that there's a certain amount of taking it with a grain of salt with their results, because it's possible that there were widespread changes in school policies. Although there really wasn't a whole lot of external, like
structural reform. The Obama administration in a biggest stuff on this were really to studies on school discipline. Even those didn't happen until toward the end of the administration, but both in terms of school lunch ended terms of suspension that this does get at a certain kind of tension of the White Gender Fire class right, which is that the same people who in theory, want their children to be in an environment where they learned that there aren't meaning, differences among the kind of foods that kids eat are also just as a matter of socio economic status. The people who are most likely to be sir, and about what kinds of things their child is ingesting s business, I dont back to to get in touch with somebody who is involved in the crafting of this this legislation and what he told me was that, like this was great your it's good to see a beneficial impact, but that It did not want to over complicate in people's minds like what actually the case for this policy is, because away he explained to me- is that look eligible.
For freeing discount lunch, necessarily involve zis cut off thresholds right and individual family is, will fluctuate above and below that threshold. from year to year, and there is a lot of paper work involved in doing it, and there is a lot of segregation in the american school system Garrison elementary is actually quite unusual in being both community eligible and also having a really substantial population of people who would not qualify for discounted school lunches, but at the time Local community eligibility school really is overwhelmingly composed of students who are eligible for this kind of meals and even more importantly, is composed of families who, at some point over the core so the school cycle will be eligible and it
really really truly at some level. The case for this is just to simplify it right that like, if you can look at the administrative data and say there is a large low income population being served here. We are just going to give every body the meals that the financial cost of doing that compared to making everyone fill out. These forms is tiny Andrews make every, lives easier. You get a handful of kids get food that they might otherwise not good, and I do think it. Fairly powerful case just for universalism in general right like if going back to the regional School lunch law right. If the way that had been written with just that, like public schools in America are all gonna give free lunch to all of their students and here's a funding stream, for that I think if you came back, you know seventy years later and you are like. Actually, what we ought to do is create, like a three tiered system of paid lunch, half price lunch free lunch that the
the ability for those things should be related to Ellen ready for snap but different from Who is that now? Like? That's, not it like this on a good idea like don't don't run a program that way right and you know, I don't think you would necessarily even demand like elaborate study- is right like an interesting fact is like we dont means test public schools at all right obviously not all, but most parents could afford to pay fifty dollars a month intuition for public school. That would be a huge bargain compared to like daycare, but we just like we don't ride like it's a service its there. You could just make the food part of that it would be. You know it's nice. It's simple! I do think, though, that when we talk about universal stuff it this does strike me as an important contrast with the kind of destabilization, because this happened quietly, albeit during a time of democratic hegemony.
Congress, and it would have been very easy for this kind of thing to get blown up. As you know, giving things to people who don't need them The entire point of the school lunch programme as it exists, is that it's only for the people who really need it. We shouldn't be spending more money to subsidize in that food buying habits of the middle class, etc. So it as far as a child nutrition is concerned, literally, like I, a disease and of salt and having a healthy lunch like both of these are important, for the literal same reason that new fishing is important for growth and growth is important for development. So when we think about kind of a healthy environment for children, this is just in many ways in which its really hard to distinguish between things, that governments should be doing just to guarantee equality of opportunity and thing The government is doing to provide a safety net for particular populations that might get politically. Polarized yeah, I mean another thing about the red, though I mean is a question where we're universalism and using
second order consequences, as you were saying right is that, like parents see parents about what their kids eat right, get sort of drawn into the school lunch programme by community eligibility, and I, I wonder you know looking around the room with their parents, if you know, is is to going to be that this increases advocacy right among people with political clout for improving the what line trade which to me is always like one of the key cases for universal, is right. That like if everybody is gonna ride, the bus than the people who have a good shot at like getting the bus fixed, invested in the system, and you know you see that not what aspects of of schools I mean. Again, though, I do want to be clear that like divert it like it, Waited diverse schools are pretty rare so the dynamics of what actually happens in them. I mean there
to me and their important sociologically. I think not like quantitatively significant in terms of like determine what happens in America Like that the mean impact of community eligibility is on very, very high poverty, schools and just sort of simplifies people's lives and helps plan easier. So that you know, if you are trying to plan your own life, you should be planning to subscribe to the weeds news. Letter box, tat, calm, slash, weeds, Ivan newsletter. You should be planning to join the weeds. Facebook group are be planning to listen to the weeds on Friday and you know what Thanks I'll view thanks you Griffin Tanner, who is now a producer, slash engineer, congratulations, and we will see you on Friday.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.