*Portions of Ford’s testimony is included which contains graphic content
Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice by President Donald Trump on July 9, 2018. Kavanaugh is currently a judge working at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and previously worked on the Ken Starr Investigation during Clinton’s administration.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation; however, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with sexual assault accusations that occured when they were in high school. Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Prep, an elite all-boys school, and Ford attended Holton-Arms School, a private all-girls school. The two schools are approximately seven miles from each other.
During her testimony, Ford explained that her school and the all-boys schools in the area became friendly, and girls often socialized with these boys at their country club. This is how she met Kavanaugh.
Ford then went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergraduate school, then received a masters degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University, another from Stanford University and a PhD in educational psychology from University of Southern California.
Kavanaugh attended Yale University for undergraduate school and later Yale Law School. Deborah Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself at a party during his time at Yale University.
Although three women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, which include Ford, Ramirez and another woman named Julie Swetnick, Ford has had the most publicity.
Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sep. 27 regarding the sexual assault accusations. Ford first started this process by telling Anna Eshoo, Ford’s Democratic representative from California’s 18th district, her accusations. Ford worked on a letter intended for California State Senator Dianne Feinstein, whom Eshoo delivered the letter to. During the hearing, Ford gave a testimony about her experience.
“I was pushed onto the bed, and Brett got on top of me,” said Ford. “He began running his hands over my body and grinding into me. I yelled, hoping that someone downstairs might hear me, and I tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy.”
Many have questioned why she waited decades to reveal this information to the public, which she explains as well in her testimony. She stated how she did not want her parents to find out that she was drinking underage with boys at a house without any parents home. However, she does have records of a couples counseling session in May 2012 during which she discussed the alleged sexual assault.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina spoke at the testimony in support of Kavanaugh.
“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Graham. “And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.”
Since midterm elections are in less than a month, Ford has been accused of sharing this story to elongate the confirmation of Kavanaugh in hopes that congressional seats will turn to be more Democratic, allowing for the possible denial of Kavanaugh for the position of Supreme Court Justice.
The Guardian attended a Trump rally and interviewed attendees to see if Kavanaugh should be on the Supreme Court. Tammy DeWitt was one attendee that was interviewed, and her statements align with Graham’s.
“[It was] thirty-some years later, right when he was getting the nomination, that she all the sudden remembers it.” said DeWitt. “Maybe she was paid by the Democrats … they are crucifying that poor man.”
Addressing numerous allegations like this, Ford refutes these claims during her testimony.
“I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives,” said Ford. “Those who say that do not know me. I’m an independent person, and I am no one’s pawn.”
Kavanaugh had an opportunity to defend himself during the hearing, encompassing his wish for an earlier hearing and denying all accusations.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford,” said Kavanaugh. “I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I never attended a gathering like the one Dr. Ford describes in her allegation. I’ve never sexually assaulted Dr. Ford or anyone.”
Although he removes himself as the abuser, he does not deny that Ford was sexually assaulted and suggests that it was someone else.
To counter her claims, Kavanaugh explained that he did not associate with girls from Ford’s school but rather from other all-girl schools in the area and stated that Ford is a year younger than him, so they “did not travel in the same social circles.”
As physical proof, Kavanaugh submitted calendars he kept describing his activities in the summer of 1982, which he did because his dad was very organized and kept similar calendars as well. He recorded his days, and he presumed the event Ford described took place on a weekend because they had summer jobs and he spent most of his time “working, working out, lifting weights, playing basketball or hanging out and having some beers with friends as we talked about life, and football, and school and girls.”
He claimed he was out of town many weekend nights, at a pro golf tournament with his dad and at a high school test. The one party, or gathering, he did record was with a small group of people whom he listed, which did not include Ford.
For further verbal evidence, he stated, “I never had sexual intercourse, or anything close to it, during high school, or for many years after that.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation is now delayed by one week to allow for the FBI to investigate Ford’s claims.
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake voted through Kavanaugh’s confirmation on the committee level but said he would not vote for him on the Senate floor unless a FBI investigation was conducted first.
“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” said Trump. “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”
The FBI investigation began on Sep. 28, and the report is expected to be completed on Oct. 5. The Senate will review the report, then vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Although the Senate will have just gotten the report this Friday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states that the Senate will vote sometime this week. It is expected that there will be a delay of this vote in order to have sufficient amount of time to read the FBI report.
The FBI report is now complete and was delivered to the Senate on Oct. 4. In order to end debate of Kavanaugh’s nomination, the Senate voted to bring it to a floor vote, this process is known as cloture. 51-49 was the vote, allowing for the progression of Kavanaugh’s’ confirmation. The Senate vote was on Saturday Oct. 6.
On Oct. 6, senators voted 50 to 48, confirming Kavanaugh’s nomination. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Steve Daines of Montana did not vote. Murkowski abstained from the vote and Daines was not present due to his daughter’s wedding. He was sworn in to be a Supreme Court justice in a private ceremony.
“I will be a ‘no’ tomorrow,” said Murkowski. “I will, in the final tally, be asked to be recorded as present and I do this because a friend, a colleague of ours, is in Montana this evening, and tomorrow at just about the same hour we’re going to be voting, he’s going to be walking his daughter down the aisle and he won’t be present to vote.”
Fox News reported that during Kavanaugh’s hearing, they had a Nielsen rating total of 5.7 million viewers from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. E.T. The nation has been watching, including the student body of WHS, live streaming the trial from their desks.
“It doesn’t concern me that he used to party because there are a lot of high schoolers who do the same thing,” said Nate Brenner ‘19. “What does concern me is the sexual assault allegations and whether or not he lied under oath because those are morals that directly conflict the job of a Supreme Court justice.”
Kavanaugh was the first justice to hire all female clerks on Oct. 7 and will be sworn in during a public ceremony Oct. 8.