Brett Kavanaugh and his baseball buddies

Ed Whelan has posted an excellent series refuting various smears of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He deals with a long-forgotten controversy involving Manny Miranda, smears regarding wiretapping and interrogation, and claims that Kavanaugh lied about his role in the selection by the Bush administration of judges Charles Pickering and William Pryor.

Ed does not deal with another of the left’s ginned up Kavanugh-related controversies — the one involving the purchase of baseball tickets. Ed was right not to get into this. The matter is silly even by the low standards of this confirmation process.

I wasn’t going to discuss the matter, either. But it keeps popping up.

It didn’t arise during the lengthy public questioning of Kavanaugh by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. There are limits to how ridiculous even Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Mazie Hirono are willing to appear on television.

On Monday, however, Whitehouse peppered Kavanaugh with written questions about the judge’s purchase of baseball tickets. He even asked whether the judge has ever sought treatment for gambling addiction.

The White House promptly answered that slander disguised as a question. The answer is: No.

The names of Kavanaugh’s baseball buddies will be provided, I think. They are supposed to remain private, but the Spartacus-wannabe Democrats on the Judiciary Committee might publicize them. “Guilt” by association is a favored tactic of the left.

The following discussion may strike some as “swampy,” but I know something about the mass purchase of baseball tickets by a single individual. It’s common practice in Washington’s legal community (and I assume in other reasonably prosperous sectors of the D.C. economy).

One guy buys tickets for his friends and associates for a season’s worth of games. Members of the group might split the tickets up, perhaps taking a dozen or two dozen games each. They pay the purchaser back for the full value of whatever tickets they end up with.

In the meantime, though, the buyer for the group incurs a large amount of credit card debt. Good seats at baseball games aren’t cheap. Season ticket plans are expensive.

The buyer typically doesn’t just buy just for work colleagues. He also buys for friends from the outside and maybe friends of those friends. Members of the group often swap games and they may invite other friends to use some of the tickets as their guest. The beneficiaries are sometimes clients, but very often they aren’t.

The buyer tends to be the nicest guy at the office. You have to be nice to shoulder the logistical load this process entails.

At the firm where I worked last, the purchasers was, in fact, the nicest partner I knew. I’ll call him Terry. He bought what must have been a close to a row’s worth of season tickets at Nationals Park in D.C. Terry also bought season tickets for Orioles games.

These weren’t gifts. Those who used the tickets paid Terry back. But I imagine his initial credit card debt was substantial.

It’s a good thing President Trump didn’t nominate Terry to the Supreme Court.

I enjoy several Nats games a year in seats purchased in the first instance by Terry. The only drawback is that sometimes too much law and/or “shop” is discussed in neighboring seats while I’m trying to concentrate on the game.

I don’t know how Kavanaugh’s ticket purchases went down. However, I strongly suspect that it was some variation on the arrangement described above. Kavanaugh bought tickets for friends and associates who paid him back. On some occasions, he might have invited other friends to attend with him as his guest. (They weren’t clients. As a judge, Kavanaugh didn’t have any).

This is called being a nice guy. By all accounts, that’s what Brett Kavanaugh is.


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