Suing for “Liable”: An Aristotelian Analysis

trial of Oscar Wilde

The New York Times has come up with spicy new stuff on Brett Kavanaugh’s penis and its experiences at Yale. In response, President Shit for Brains has urged Justice Kavanaugh to sue for “liable.”

I assume that Justice Kavanaugh will not in fact bring an action for defamation. Even if he is innocent, the suit would probably be dismissed under the constitutional rule announced in New York Times v. Sullivan. And, besides that, he’s probably guilty. As Oscar Wilde found out, if you are in fact guilty, it’s very unwise to bring an action for defamation.

But let us, nevertheless, perform a little thought experiment about the Trump tweet.

By Aristotelian logic, after having been advised by the Very Stable Genius to seek a legal remedy, Justice Kavanaugh either

  • WILL NOT accept the advice, or
  • WILL accept the advice.

If Justice Kavanaugh does not take the advice, then the logical effect of Trump’s tweets will be to cause Trump followers to doubt Kavanaugh’s innocence.

But if Justice Kavanaugh does take the advice, then he bears some risk that a court might allow the case to proceed, despite the Sullivan rule, in which event all the actors in penisgate, including himself, and all the witnesses, will have to testify. Which, in turn, would give the Democrats a golden opportunity to try to impeach him.

Given all the above, I think we progressives may, on this one occasion, celebrate Trump’s advice and urge Justice Kavanaugh to seek legal redress, immediately if not sooner.

In short, Justice Kavanaugh, man up.