Perspective on the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing

The Kavanaugh hearing is over. What now?

By Ritika Malkani

On September 27, 2018 the Senante Judiciary Committee, without a meaningful background fact investigation, conducted an eight (8) hour inquiry into sexual assault allegations brought by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The Committe did not entertain any testimony from witnesses other than the nominee and his accuser, notwithstanding the emergence of additional alleged victims and fact witnesses in the days leading up to the hearing. This afternoon, the Committee is expected to vote along party lines, 11-10, in favor of the nomination.

With few holdouts, Republican Senators on the Committee have made it clear that no matter what happened in the hearing, they were going to plow through and elevate Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by week’s end. At one point in her testimony, Dr. Ford  even said that she felt like she was “jumping in front of a train that was headed to where it was headed anyway.”

All of this is despite the fact that two more women have come forward, that Dr. Ford voluntarily took and passed a polygraph, that she was vocal about the incident prior to the nomination, and that she came forward at immense personal cost.

In the course of the hearing, Senators commented on the similarity to Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing in which Anita Hill recounted the alleged harassment perpetrted by the would-be Justice. It is shameful that there has been virtually no evoution in how sexual assault cases, and survivors are being treated in the face of the politically powerful.

At one point, Kavanaugh refused to answer Senator Harris’ straightforward question about whether he would be willing to ask the White House for an FBI investigation into the allegations. Instead of simply stating ‘yes’ or ‘no’ he repeated unproven “facts,” and repetitiously referred to the ‘diary’ he kept in high school. His tearful, angry, partisan and accusatory opening statement was in stark contrast to his tight lipped evasion of questions and rehearsed “swearing to god.”

Without meaningful investigation the Kavanaugh hearing failed to serve its constitutional purpose

This hearing was no more than an eight hour “he said/she said,” with each Party standing behind its constituent, instead of what it was supposed to be: a job interview for Kavanaugh.

September 27 was an important moment for women in the Law, for women in general, and for survivors of sexual assault. However, it was dirtied by politics, and thrown back out into the faces of the millions watching, as what can only be described as undoubtedly the worst “job interview” that has ever occurred.

This hearing let down the entire nation. Should the Committee move forward with its vote tomorrow, it will reverse institutional progress by decades, and spit in the face of order, procedure, and integrity.

Brett Kavanaugh may deserve to spend the rest of his life somewhere, but it is not sitting on the highest court, having sway over the course this Country takes.







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