Is Brett Kavanaugh’s case Clarence Thomas All Over Again?

Kavanaugh Case Shows How Little Has Changed for Judiciary Committee
Joan Biskupic wrote a piece in CNN Politics looking at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s vetting process and whether it is up to the task of handling Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process. Biskupic compares its handling of allegations of attempted sexual assault made against Kavanaugh with the accusations of sexual harassment made against then U.S. Supreme Court nominee ,Judge Clarence Thomas, in 1991. She writes, “Even separated by 27 years and with a transformed committee, several similarities exist between the Thomas and Kavanaugh confirmations. Both times, women brought confidential accusations to the Senate Judiciary Committee, senators were slow to act, and the charges became public through leaks and news reports.” According to PRRI polling, by a margin of more than two to one, Americans overall say real experiences of sexual assault or harassment that go unreported or not believed are a bigger problem in the U.S. today than false accusations (65 percent vs. 26 percent). Among Republican men, less than half (47 percent) say unreported or disbelieved real experiences of sexual assault or harassment are the bigger problem, compared to 41 percent who say false accusations are the bigger problem.
Have Americans Grown Further Apart Since 9/11?
Janelle Wong, PhD, a professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland and member of the PRRI Public Fellows Program, was recently cited in a Columbus Ledger-Enquirer article about American togetherness in a post-9/11 world. Author John Turres describes a recent trip through a western Georgia town and what he learned about whether Americans believe they are “in it together” with a 2016 study that Wong co-authored. The study examined whether Americans believed they had a “linked fate,” as they did following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Turres writes, “It was reassuring to see that a little more than 60 percent agreed that we do have a common fate, with African-Americans most likely to agree with the statement, followed by whites, Asian-Americans and Hispanics. Among those who agree with the statement ‘a lot,’ again African-Americans led, followed by Hispanics, whites and Asian-Americans. Only about 30 percent of Americans see such unity as a big priority. But that’s still almost 40 percent who disagree, who see it as everyone for himself or herself.”
Spirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality to be Discussed At Emory University
PRRI founder and CEO, Robert P. Jones, PhD will appear at his alma mater next week as part of a celebration of Jon P. Gunnemann, Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Emory University. Jones will introduce EJ Dionne’s lecture, “Can We Do Justice and Love Mercy in Politics?” Additionally, he will join other noted scholars for a panel discussion entitledSpirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Room 360 of the Candler School of Theology. Jones was a co-editor of the text version of Spirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality, which was released in January. Spirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality brings together a diverse group of scholars, activists, and public intellectuals to consider one of the most pressing issues of our time: increasing inequalities of income and wealth that grate against justice and erode the bonds that hold society together.
Gavin Newsom and the California Dream
A new profile in Rolling Stone details the plans Gavin Newsom, the current California Lieutenant Governor and front runner in the state’s gubernatorial race. Within the article, Newsom addresses California’s status as what Rolling Stone calls, a “consistent thorn in [President Trump’s] side.” Newsom says, “It’s economic suicide to attack California… Trump cannot succeed with any of his asserted priorities, particularly on economic growth, without California being a huge player in that.” A recent PRRI study shows that Newsom may have an uphill battle in turning the finances for many Californians around. The study found that 31 percent of Californians are currently struggling with poverty.
U.S. Catholic Bishops Announce New Policies For Reporting and Policing Misconduct
On Wednesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced their new procedures for reporting misconduct. Adults or minors can now confidentially reportthrough a third-party phone and online complaint line run by the church. “The confidential third-party reporting system will direct complaints of sexual abuse of minors or sexual misconduct with adults by a bishop to ‘the appropriate ecclesiastical authority and, as required by applicable law, to civil authorities,’ the announcement said. Leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church met with Pope Francis a week ago to discuss the ongoing crisis of sexual misconduct among prominent US Bishops. A 2015 PRRI survey found that only about one-third (35 percent) of former Catholics say the bishops in the U.S. understand the needs and views of American Catholics, compared to 60 percent of current Catholics.
Did Radiolab Just School Schoolhouse Rock?
27, The Most Perfect Album,” a new music compilation by Radiolab, includes more than two dozen songs inspired by the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The new album features various artist contributions including Dolly Parton, They Might Be Giants, and others. “These 27 ‘insertions’ to our founding document outline our basic rights as Americans. Not only that, they show a country changing and evolving and re-imagining itself; striving (and not always succeeding) to be better”, Radiolab says. They expect the album to be a sort of Schoolhouse Rock! of the 21st century”