Supreme Court justice under fire

Published 4 years ago -

Eric Guditz
Copy Editor

Emotions ran high at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 27, during the testimony of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Chris¬tine Blasey Ford, professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Ford accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault at a party in the early 1980s (Dr. Ford, aged 15, and Kavanaugh, aged 17, were allegedly at a private home with four other teenagers at the time of the alleged incident). Dr. Ford claimed that Kavanaugh and his friend, both “stumbling drunk,” forced her into a bedroom and “Kavanaugh pinned [Dr. Ford] 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, he put his hand over [her] mouth.” Kavanagh repeatedly denied the allegations during his testimony before the committee.

Ford says she was able to escape the situation once Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them and then fell to the floor. Dr. Ford stated that the experience “de¬railed” her for several years and contributed to her feelings of anxiety and post-traumatic stress symptoms. She said that she has kept quiet on the subject until recent years. She presented witnesses that have testified to having been aware of the incident before Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court.

One of those witnesses, Dr. Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, stated in an affidavit that he recalled Dr. Ford (around the time of their wed¬ding) telling him that she had been a victim of sexual assault. He also recalled that in 2012, during a couples’ therapy session, Dr. Ford had revealed that she had been “trapped in a room and physically restrained by one boy who was molesting her while another boy watched,” and that the molester’s name was “Brett Kavanaugh.” Dr. Ford provided the therapy notes from that session in court, that mentioned that stu­dents from “an elit­ist boys’ school” who even­tu­ally be­came “highly re­spected and high-rank­ing mem­bers of so­ci­ety in Wash­ing­ton had attacked her.

On August 7, Dr. Ford also took a polygraph exam, which her lawyers have since provided a copy, showing that she was being honest. Kavanaugh denied the allegation, and presented his calendar from 1982, showing no such party. Others that Ford named as being present at the gathering, including Mark Judge, claimed that they had no recollection of the party nor the attack.

Two other women have also come forward with allegations of sexual assault, both of which involve heavy drinking by Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations. Just a day after an FBI investigation looked into several sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, the Senate voted 51-49 to ad-vance Kavanaugh to a final confirmation vote. The following day, the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh, and later that day, Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy (whom Kavanaugh was to replace).

Kavanaugh has stated that he believes Dr. Ford’s testimony was an orchestrated attack on his Supreme Court nomination – a political stunt to tarnish his reputation and debase his political standing. Republicans wanted Kavanaugh to be in place by October before the mid-term elections, when they could potentially lose control of their chamber.

Supreme Court Judges hold their positions for life (unless they resign, retire, or are otherwise removed) and the Supreme Court has the final say in U.S. law. Both Democrats and Republicans know that the nomination of Kavanaugh will tilt the balance of the Supreme Court in favor of Republicans for decades.

Eric Guditz, a sophomore, is undecided. He is a copy editor for Le Provocateur.

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