Kavanaugh Concedes to Past, Cringeworthy, Acts

Embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has submitted his testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee's Sept. 27 hearing on sexual allegations against him, in which he "categorically and unequivocally" denies the charges leveled against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, but concedes to cringeworthy conduct.

But he does concede he drank beer on weekends, sometimes too many of them, and "in retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now." But he called that juvenile misbehavior, and says he never did anything "remotely resembling" what Ford accused him of.

Related: Judge Kavanaugh Vows to Fight for Nomination

Kavanaugh had been criticized for suggesting an "altar boy" image when there was evidence to the contrary.

The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of my life," he said. "The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women."

But that testimony, and its talk of "misconduct" almost appeared to be fighting the last war given that there have been two subsequent accusations, including a new, explosive charge, that he abetted the systematic assault of multiple women while in high school.

It was not clear whether the testimony included the most recent accusation, but Kavanaugh said there had been a frenzy to come up with "something, anything no matter how far-fetched and odious," including other false and uncorroborated accusations." And his denial of anything resembling the Ford accusation would cover the most recent, even more serious, allegation. There is another allegation that he exposed himself during a high school party.

"Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary to my religious faith. And it contradicts the core promise of this Nation that all people are created equal and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," Kavanaugh said, adding: "Allegations of sexual assault must be taken seriously"

Kavanaugh is well known in communications circles as a judge on the D.C. federal appeals court, which oversees FCC decision challenges. Kavanaugh is on the record saying the FCC's 2015 Open Internet order was illegal and should have been overturned.

While the FCC has repealed that order, a request that the Supreme Court hear the ISP appeal of the 2015 regulatory order remains before the High Court, though it is unclear whether that court will grant that hearing. If so, and if Kavanaugh's nomination is confirmed, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), has asked him to recuse himself, though Kavanaugh was not willing to agree to that, saying at his hearing that he would not comment on any decision that could come before the high court.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.