The new Al Franken, Part Three

Featured image Paul gave a good account (here and here) of the November 29 Senate Judiciary Committee on the nominations of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit and Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit. I want only to add a few personal notes along with the video of the hearing below. I am a fan and admirer of Justice Stras. He will make a great contribution to the »

Kyle Duncan addresses Sen. Kennedy’s concern [UPDATED: Kennedy is a “yes”]

Featured image Kyle Duncan, President Trump’s nominee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday (along with Justice David Stras, a nominee for the Eighth Circuit about whom more in another post). I watched a portion of the proceedings and found both nominees to be excellent. You can watch here and judge for yourself. Sen. John Kennedy of Duncan’s home state of Louisiana has been critical »

David Stras and Kyle Duncan finally get their hearing

Featured image As I write this post, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the nominations of David Stras and Kyle Duncan to, respectively, the Eighth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit court of appeals. Sen. Amy Klobuchar just finished a gracious introduction of Judge Stras, notwithstanding their ideological differences. You can watch the proceedings on the Committee’s website. Stras and Duncan are the two nominees held up by the refusal »

Court documents raise questions about Corfman’s account

Featured image Here in the Washington D.C. area, polite society has reached judgment on the allegations against Roy Moore, and moved on. Mitch McConnell, a political enemy of Moore, rendered the verdict. “I believe the women,” he said. He didn’t tell us what facts he had reviewed or why he believed all of them. Ivanka Trump, who has a brand to protect, concurred, declaring: There is a special place in hell for »

Trump speaks about the Alabama race

Featured image President Trump made two points today about the Alabama Senate race. First, he called Democrat Doug Jones “terrible on crime, terrible on borders, terrible on the military.” Trump added: “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.” Second, he noted that the alleged sexual misconduct by Roy Moore took place “40 years ago” and that the candidate has insisted “this did not happen.” Trump also said Moore has »

Should Franken be expelled from the Senate?

Featured image In the years since feminists excused Bill Clinton’s misdeeds, sexual harassment by powerful men has too often gone unreported and, when reported, has not been taken seriously enough. Now, the pendulum may be swinging the other way. We may be headed for an over-correction, at least for a while. If so, I’m going to dissent now, while a Senator I abhor is in the dock. Al Franken should not be »

Gloria Allred won’t allow inspection of yearbook

Featured image Gloria Allred, the attorney for Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson, says she won’t permit an inspection of her client’s high school yearbook unless the Senate conducts a hearing on Nelson’ charge that Moore tried to rape her. The yearbook is important because Nelson and Allred presented it as evidence that Moore knew Nelson and had a romantic interest in her. Moore’s camp has provided reason to believe that he »

Is an ethics investigation of Franken a good idea?

Featured image I won’t shed any tears if, as a result of Leeann Tweeden’s revelations, Al Franken is investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee for sexual misconduct. However, I don’t believe the Ethics Committee should investigate such allegations when, as in Franken’s case, the conduct occurred before the miscreant became a member of Congress — unless it involves a felony. I can be persuaded either way on the fairness and appropriateness of »

Franken’s apology

Featured image Al Franken is a well-known jerk. I would say that just about everyone who has dealt with him personally knows it, including Senator Amy Klobuchar and his other Senate colleagues. One can see the pure manifestation of this aspect of his character in his treatment of Leeann Tweeden as set forth in her powerful first-person account of his unwanted attention. Franken has issued two statements in response to Tweeden’s account »

“Al Franken groped me” [updated] [with update by Paul]

Featured image Leeann Tweeden has posted a detailed account of her sexual assault by Minnesota Senator Al Franken in 2006 (Franken was first elected to office only two years later). Tweeden’s account has been posted by 790 KABC in Los Angeles, where she works as a morning news anchor. Her account is posted here. I see no reason not to take it at face value. The incidents recounted by Tweeden amount to »

The Hewitt option

Featured image For several days our friend Hugh Hewitt has promoted a scenario premised on the resignation of appointed Alabama Senator Luther Strange. In Hugh’s scenario, Strange would then be replaced by a new appointee selected by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. On Hugh’s reading of Alabama law, Ivey’s selection of a successor to Strange would begin the process all over again. Now Alex Isenstadt and Eliana Johnson (my daughter) report for Politico »

Willett’s defense

Featured image Senator Patrick Leahy is the Democratic former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He remains a member of the committee. He must be one of the Senate’s unfunniest senators and most partisan hacks. Vice President Cheney spoke for a lot of us with his imprecation to Leahy back in 2004. Serving on the Judiciary Committee with Minnesota’s own Al Franken, however, has probably dimmed Leahy’s bulb in all departments. Leahy »

Roy Moore’s defense [UPDATED TWICE]

Featured image Today, an attorney for Roy Moore’s campaign spoke to the press. His remarks provide the contours of the candidate’s defense (as of this time) against the charge that he attempted to rape Beverly Young Nelson. The attorney made several interrelated points. All of them relate to the yearbook with the personal note Nelson says Moore wrote to her. The attorney pointed out that this is the only evidence Nelson has »

The blue slip variations: Grassley speaks

Featured image On early Monday morning I wrote about the November 2 memorandum to news media disseminated by the Senate Judiciary Committee Majority. I wrote that the memo would probably not have been disseminated without Senator Grassley’s blessing as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and that the memo read like a backgrounder for reporters explaining a course of action that is about to be taken (and should be). Later that day Senator »

The wages of injudicious insurgency

Featured image Last month, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell got together at the White House. According to reports, they discussed, among other things, Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. I thought that, from McConnell’s perspective, convincing Trump not to support this effort was the primary purpose of the lunch. McConnell reminded Trump about past insurgent primary winners who went »

The Moore miasma, cont’d

Featured image You can say this in favor of Roy Moore: he’s not a good liar. But he is a liar. That’s the conclusion I drew from his interview this past Friday with Sean Hannity regarding the Washington Post story raising the first wave of allegations against him. RealClearPolitics has posted a transcript of the interview along with the audio (below). Hannity all but begged Moore to deny that he dated girls »

Moore accused of attempted rape

Featured image A woman named Beverly Young Nelson claims that Roy Moore tried to rape her in 1975, when she was 16 years old and working at a restaurant she says Moore patronized rather obsessively. Nelson said this during a press conference alongside celebrity attorney Gloria Allred. Nelson, who says she successfully fought Moore off but suffered injury to her neck in the process, has a picture from her high school yearbook »