Martha C. Nussbaum on the Kavanaugh Hearings

The Kavanaugh hearings: Who, or what, is on trial?

The moral questions that emerge from the competing testimonies of Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford are both profound and far-reaching. On what grounds can the testimony of an unimpeachably credible witness be dismissed? On what basis should adolescent conduct (drunken or not) determine the future career of an accomplished, intelligent man? Is the problem that Kavanaugh may have misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about his drinking habits in high school and college, or is there a deeper question of character that is at play here? And what of the countervailing anger displayed by Kavanaugh and Republican senators on his behalf? Is this mere partisan chest-beating, or, again, symptomatic of traditional male status under threat?

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