Letter: Kavanaugh allegations require thorough vetting

To the Editor:

Recently on these pages a writer has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. That the entire process has devolved into a vicious partisan spectacle should not really be a surprise. It is disheartening but representative of the growing divisiveness in our country over the past 20 years

The modern-day battling over Supreme Court nominees goes back at least 50 years to when President Lyndon Johnson, on the way out of office, tried and failed to replace retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren with liberal Justice Abe Fortas. We have gone back and forth since with Bork, Thomas and now Kavanaugh among the most renowned high stakes battles between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came across as a reasonable, articulate witness. Like many, I was saddened by her compelling testimony and listened to it in its entirety. Judge Kavanaugh was forceful in his own defense. All claims of sexual assault must be taken seriously, and the accuser given the opportunity to confront the accused. But the accused deserves the presumption of innocence.  

Even as the testimony was being delivered last Thursday I was quoted in the Hartford Courant urging that the Judiciary Committee should hit a “pause’’ button and allow for further investigation of the matter as the testimony was disconcerting. Thankfully, that process is underway. The allegations are too serious to not have a thorough vetting.

The Oct. 1 seating of the Supreme Court (to coincide with the new court session) was an artificial deadline to complete this process. I don’t know what happened during this long ago event, and no one but these two individuals can claim they do. I am hopeful the FBI’s investigation is conclusive in fact.

But as I move about town, at work or when I meet Ridgefield residents going about their business, what is foremost on their minds is what most affects them in their daily lives: the state’s economy, our tax burden, what is going with their kids’ schools, and their jobs. They want to know how their elected officials in Ridgefield and in Hartford can make a positive difference for them.

I take seriously the obligations I have as a lawmaker for the thousands of people I represent in the state legislature, and am honored and humbled that they have entrusted me with this job.

John Frey

Ridgefield, Oct. 1