Future Looks Unclear for Kavanaugh

Judge Brett Kavanaugh delivers the Commencement Address for the Columbus Law School in May 2018. Courtesy of the Columbus School of Law

By Alexander Santana

As recent allegations of sexual assault have been levied against President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for another hearing on Monday, September 24.

Both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, have been invited by the committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), to testify about the alleged assault.

Kavanaugh, a D.C. Circuit Court Judge, has rejected Ford’s claims.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” Kavanaugh said. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

He also said he is willing to speak to the Judiciary Committee to refute committing the assault, which happened 36 years ago.

 

Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University in California, alleges Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her during a summer party in Maryland during the 1980s while both were in high school.

According to a Washington Post article published on September 16, Kavanaugh was a 17-year-old student at Georgetown Preparatory School and Ford was a 15-year-old student at Holton-Arms School when the assault allegedly occurred. Both schools are located in the Maryland suburbs just outside of Washington, DC.

In the article, Ford alleges that Kavanaugh “pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.”

The article also states that Ford was able to escape from Kavanaugh and his friend who she described as both being “stumbling drunk.” Ford stated in the article that she thought at the time that Kavanaugh “might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.” Ford never told anyone of the alleged attempted assault until 2012 in couples therapy with her husband.

While Kavanaugh has stated he will attend the hearing on Monday, a CNN article published on Wednesday reports Ford’s lawyers wrote a letter to Grassley saying she will not appear at Monday’s hearing until the FBI investigates her claim.

The article also states Chairman Grassley responded to the letter by saying “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay.”

In a letter responding to Ford’s lawyers, Grassley wrote “I have reopened the hearing because I believe that anyone who comes forward with allegations of sexual assault has a right to be heard, and because it is the Committee’s responsibility to fully evaluate the fitness of a nominee to the Supreme Court.” He added, “I therefore want to give Dr. Ford an opportunity to tell her story to the Senate and, if she chooses, to the American people. I also want to give Judge Kavanaugh an opportunity to respond to the allegations. By hearing out both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, the Committee will endeavor to discover the truth of the matter, and will be better able to make an informed judgment about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”

President Trump weighed in on Wednesday before leaving the White House to visit North Carolina to see the effects of Hurricane Florence.

Trump stated when asked about Kavanaugh “I think he’s an extraordinary man — I think he’s a man of great intellect, as I’ve been telling you, and he has an unblemished record.” He also said “This is a very tough thing for him and his family and we want to get over it but at the same time we want to give tremendous amounts of time. If she shows up that would be wonderful if she doesn’t show up that would be unfortunate.”

Before the allegations were made public, the Judiciary Committee received about 45 letters of support from people that have known Kavanaugh for many years. Some letters included the signatures of 65 women that knew Kavanaugh when he was in high school, 10 women that attended Yale University at the same time as Kavanaugh, and almost 20 former female law clerks for Kavanaugh. On Monday, 24 women that were high school classmates of Ford at the Holton-Arms School in Maryland sent a letter to the entire U.S. Congress stating they were writing to “attest to her honesty, integrity, and intelligence; and to contend that her decision to provide information pertaining to a sexual assault is not a partisan act” as well as to ask the Judiciary Committee to consider her allegations.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday, September 24 at 10:00 A.M. in the Hart Senate Office Building.

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