One Step Toward Fixing Our Broken Confirmation Process


Americans watch as the Senate confirmation process of Judge Kavanaugh — and a pillar of our Constitutional system — crumbles under the weight of the left’s desperate distraction, disruption and delay.

As if the process weren’t contentious enough, it transformed into a circus of the outrageous and unsubstantiated as the left piled on with new material over the weekend.

How it will conclude is anyone’s guess, but there is something that can be done to smooth future confirmations.

The trouble multiplied after the formal hearings concluded, when a Democratic staffer leaked an anonymous claim Kavanaugh had groped a female student as a 17-year-old high school student.

Never mind Kavanaugh and three other people named as witnesses reject the claim. Never mind the alleged incident occurred when the accused was a minor. And definitely never mind the accuser’s corroborating witness recanted and the accusation was sourced to a “repressed memory.”

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“It’s the seriousness of the accusation that matters,” echoed the left’s refrain.

As the first accuser’s story crumbled under scrutiny — and she herself groped for reasons why she could not testify in person — another accusation surfaced.

This time, the Democrats tried to check the boxes by having the accuser go public immediately and demand an FBI investigation. The accuser, a college classmate of Judge Kavanaugh’s, claimed he exposed himself to her at a “dormitory party gone awry” as a freshman at Yale.

Again, never mind the accusations are 35 years old and the accuser stayed silent until now. Never mind it was not reported to authorities when it is said to have occurred. And certainly never mind the accuser was drunk, acknowledges gaps in her memory and others said to have been there deny the account.

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“It’s the seriousness of the accusation that matters.”

Wash, rinse, repeat.

And, like every good circus, in order to keep the attention of the masses, the spectacles must get bigger and more outrageous with every show. Enter an aspiring ring leader of the Circus of Anti-Trump and master grand-stander himself, the attorney of the porn star suing President Trump, Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti claims to have told the Senate Judiciary Committee late Sunday that he has “multiple witnesses who can say Brett Kavanaugh participated in gang rapes of drunken women during high school.”

Presumably Kavanaugh did this when he wasn’t busy plotting to overthrow Roe, waterboarding the children of undocumented immigrants or stoking the ovens of Auschwitz.

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To help fix the process going forward, the Senate must adopt one simple rule: Any accusation of criminal conduct can only be considered if it is documented by an official, timely complaint to or report by a law enforcement agency or inspector general.

This would reduce the probability of scurrilous complaints tainting the future process by placing accusers under the burdens of reporting misconduct in a timely manner and penalty of law if they file a false complaint.

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Chris van Avery is a Fellow and former Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. He's also a former adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, a retired Navy Commander, and a past contributor to Proceedings, Armed Forces Journal, and Navy Times. He can be followed on Twitter @AngryRightMan.