Kavanaugh not fit for Supreme Court
Mainers look to the Supreme Court as reassurance that our country is run by the rule of law, not personality or partisanship. Whatever the outcome of the FBI investigation into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, it became clear to many of us that under pressure the judge does not possess the grounded center needed to warrant appointment to the Supreme Court.
The hearing was an opportunity for him to demonstrate fitness to join the court, not a trial to determine guilt or innocence. If Sen. Susan Collins cannot see that Kavanaugh was not qualified before the accusations came in, she is willfully ignoring reality and putting us all at risk. A “yes” vote for Kavanaugh will demonstrate craven partisanship, not the statesman-like decision-making we crave from our elected officials.
Kavanaugh deserves confirmation
As a judge in the highest profile appeals court in the nation, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has demonstrated an exemplary dedication to the rule of law. He has defended the separation of powers against threats coming from multiple directions. He has repeatedly cautioned his colleagues on the bench not to attempt to play a legislative role. He has also insisted on enforcing constitutional structures of accountability on government agencies. He has defended the right to free speech, to bear arms and to religious liberty. Kavanaugh has followed Supreme Court precedents. Kavanaugh understands the proper role of the judiciary and will faithfully honor the Constitution.
It is time for members of Congress to stand up for the Constitution and support the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
I am angry
I am angry. Angry that 42 years after Rape Response Services was founded, and 12 years after I retired as executive director, we have made so little progress in believing victims of rape. Angry that rape is a spectator sport where women have to tell their stories in excruciating detail while men can deny, sneer and blame everyone else.
Angry that we were naive to think that #MeToo had made a difference in how we treat women who share their stories. Angry that men in power continue to amass more power over women’s lives. Angry that the voices of the few women who have power appear to be silenced. Angry that this entire hearing charade will result in many more women and girls being silenced, afraid to come forward with their own stories.
Kathy W. Walker
Older voters’ concerns
As we edge closer to Election Day, we hear more and more from older Mainers expressing deep concern about health care costs and retirement security. In a recent AARP Maine survey, respondents expressed reservation about having enough money saved for retirement. Seventy-two percent described their personal financial situation as “staying where you are” or “struggling to keep up.” That’s not good enough for the nation’s oldest state.
While AARP continues its series of voter engagement community conversations around the state, many participants have voiced concern about issues such as future health care premium hikes, the rising cost of prescription drugs, long-term care and potential changes to Medicare.
Of paramount concern is the future of Medicare. While we recognize Medicare needs to be strengthened for future generations, potentially shifting costs to seniors and workers who have paid into the system their entire working lives would be the wrong approach. We can put Medicare on stable ground with common-sense solutions, such as clamping down on drug companies’ high prices, improving coordination of care and use of technology, and cutting out waste and fraud. In the same Maine voter survey, 95 percent of those who responded think that Medicare is very important for people’s health in retirement.
Mainers over age 50 consistently show up more often to vote, compared with younger voters. With the influence this voting bloc will likely have, I am eager to hear from the candidates where they stand on issues such as health care costs and Medicare, both of which affect one’s security in retirement.
Mills for governor
Maine senators and representatives voted three times to appoint Janet Mills to be attorney general. Last time was by the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House, which shows her ability to work with both parties. Her job has been to independently advocate for the legal rights of Maine and its residents. She tangled with narcotic-promoting drug manufacturers to win money for overdose-reversal kits. She declined to represent the governor when he wanted to cut MaineCare benefits for young adults.
Maine voters passed a referendum requiring our government to accept federal funds to expand MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program, to include more people who are down and out. Instead of being cut off from MaineCare when a worker reaches a weekly paycheck of $245, he or she would be able to earn up to $320 a week before losing insurance. Keep in mind that one full work day at minimum wage can’t even buy one asthma inhaler. Our governor still refuses Medicaid expansion funds. The Republican candidate is also against this opportunity. Mills has promised to implement the expansion on her first day as governor.
Mills is highly effective and works hard. She is just and fair and she knows and believes in Maine, its people and its prosperity. I’m voting for Mills on Nov. 6.
Alice C. Haines
Supreme Court credibility at stake
The question of the day is whether a highly qualified nominee to the Supreme Court should be approved by the Senate when a credible allegation of sexual assault is presented against the nominee and the nominee credibly defends against the allegation, and when statistically only 310 out of 1,000 sexual assaults, which are mainly against women, are reported because of feelings of shame, threats, fear and the need to survive?
Stated differently, where is the greater value to the country, allowing the nominee to be approved under the circumstances or taking a substantial step toward changing gender-based inequality and the stigma against making such reports?
In my view, the independence and integrity of the court is maintained, and gender equality is advanced if no nominee is approved when a credible allegation of sexual assault is made regardless of a credible defense of a nominee of impeccable character.