Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Last week, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the Senate Judiciary Committee was put in jeopardy due to multiple sexual assault allegations.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward through a letter which accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a high school party in Montgomery County over 30 years ago.
On Thursday, both Kavanaugh and Ford publicly testified and answered questions from the Senate, as well as the Republican appointed prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, for over eight hours.
Ford’s testimony was quiet and composed. She attempted to answer every question asked of her and she stuck to her story. Kavanaugh juxtaposed Ford by being angry and loud, vehemently denying these allegations against him.
Kavanaugh’s composure is consistent with one of two scenarios: either he is someone who has been wrongly prosecuted or he is someone that is very afraid of a truth-seeking process, according to Paul Butler, former U.S. attorney and Georgetown law professor.
The way Kavanaugh presented himself reminded many viewers of the way President Trump acts out against criticism of his presidency. It also calls into question how he would act on the Supreme Court when facing challenging issues.
In an analysis of the hearing transcripts by Vox.com, only Ford attempted to answer every question posed to her, while Kavanaugh refused to answer or would dodge the question with a story that had little relevance.
The Ford and Kavanaugh Hearing Chart allows readers to click on the highlighted sections in order to read the actual questions and responses by Ford and Kavanaugh.
In Ford’s opening statement, she addressed her internal dilemma about going public about the alleged sexual assault.
“I struggled with a terrible choice: Do I share the facts with the Senate and put myself and my family in the public spotlight? Or do I preserve our privacy and allow the Senate to make its decision on Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination without knowing the full truth about his past behavior?” said Ford.
After hearing both testimonies and in light of two other women coming forward with accusations about sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, the Senate and the White House have directed the FBI to conduct another thorough background check on Kavanaugh.
The FBI investigation will be “limited in scope” and only meant to last one week, according to a statement made by President Trump.
The FBI investigation will look into “current credible allegations” against Kavanaugh, but it will be up to the FBI to determine what allegations are considered credible, according to the judiciary committee.
The Senate Republicans and the White House want this investigation to be narrow and swift, as to quickly confirm Kavanaugh into the court. If no new evidence is found, a vote will take place by the end of this week.
Supreme Court justices serve for life and Kavanaugh’s appointment will swing the majority vote toward the Republicans for years to come.
President Trump ran a pro-life campaign during the 2016 election and pledged to appoint a pro-life justice to hopefully overturn Roe v. Wade.
Justice Kennedy, who is stepping down, upheld Roe v. Wade (1973) in 1992, which supported women’s right to choose what to do with their bodies.
Although it is not likely that the act will be completely overturned, the Supreme Court can rule to allow individual states to greatly restrict women’s access to abortion clinics and to decide when and under what circumstances abortions are allowed.
Among the abortion controversy, other issues likely to face the court in upcoming years include affirmative action, voting rights, gay rights and the death penalty.
By SOFIA CARRASCO
Featured photo: Vox image.