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Commentary: This was Heitkamp's finest hour

Jim Shaw

FARGO — Brett "I Like Beer" Kavanaugh is now a Supreme Court Justice, but...

— North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp did the right thing in opposing him. As a Democratic senator up for re-election in this deep red state, it was a very gutsy move. Heitkamp's main reasons for voting no — the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh's temperament — were spot on.

Ford was believable, credible, sincere and compelling. She never wanted to be identified or publicly speak about her experience because like so many sexual assault victims, she feared what would happen to her. Unfortunately, those fears became reality, as she was constantly harassed, called vile names, received death threats and had to move her family. Not to be overlooked was President Trump's ugly bullying of her when he mocked her at a political rally.

Why would she have put herself through all this, if her story wasn't true? Unfortunately, what happened to Ford will likely frighten away other victims from coming forward.

The last minute FBI investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh was a farce. Trump and Republican leaders had so tightly limited the investigation that we learned nothing new. Ford and Kavanaugh weren't even interviewed. Nor was Julie Swetnick, who accused Kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual contact with women at Yale. Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at Yale, gave the FBI a list of 20 witnesses with relevant information. None of them were contacted. Several people reached out to investigators to provide important information, but they were never called back. This travesty of an investigation was nothing more than a political cover-up to justify support for Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh's testimony sure didn't sound like an impartial, even-tempered judge. Kavanaugh was rude, angry, combative, partisan, belligerent, evasive and dishonest. It was the worst performance since Hayden Christensen in Star Wars. Kavanaugh lied when he blamed the Clintons, the extent of his drinking, the drinking age, the disgusting terms in his yearbook, and the yearbook reference of a female classmate. Simply for lying under oath, Kavanaugh should have been disqualified from the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh's testimony, temperament and dishonesty were so bad that 2,400 law school professors and a former Supreme Court Justice urged that his nomination be rejected.

Also overlooked is that Senate candidate Kevin Cramer and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven shamefully supported Kavanaugh shortly after his nomination. For Cramer and Hoeven apparently there was no need to review Kavanaugh's record or wait for the hearings. To them all that mattered was obedience to Trump and that Kavanaugh is conservative. At least Heitkamp waited until the end of the process before making her decision.

My guess is Heitkamp's decision will generate more enthusiasm for her at the polls. Those angry at Heitkamp's opposition probably wouldn't have voted for her anyway. Regardless of the outcome, Heitkamp impressively stood for victims, honesty, integrity, and judicial impartiality. It was her finest hour.

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