This morning I sent a letter to both of my senators and to all of the senators who appear to be currently on the fence about Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court:
The Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate have the responsibility to advise and consent on nominations for judgeships and this is a huge responsibility. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life and should be fully vetted before being appointed. They should be experienced, fair-minded, impartial, and have a full understanding of the law and the Constitution of the United States. Brett Kavanaugh seems fully qualified, but there are too many lingering doubts about him to ensure that he is the right selection for the highest court in the land.
Judge Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault by a number of women. This is not something to be dismissed lightly. The American people heard the same thing about Donald Trump and still voted him in as President. The people have the right to elect someone to office, regardless of that person’s moral or criminal background. The Senate needs to be more deliberative and more careful.
Only one of the women who has accused Judge Kavanaugh was asked to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Why did the committee not invite the others? Why did they not invite his friend, Mark Judge, to testify under oath? Why are they not willing to take their time and fully vet the candidate? While some say the Democrats are trying to slow down the process for political reasons, and I believe this is true, it is also clear that the Republicans are trying to rush the process for political reasons. Dr. Ford, the woman who accused Judge Kavanaugh, was simply trying to get information to the committee so that they would have that information before voting one way or the other. Regardless of which side of the political aisle one falls on–and I am independent voter who has voted for several parties in various elections–the Senate has the responsibility to take whatever time it needs to make sure the appointment serves the American people.
I believe Dr. Ford. I am a male survivor of child sex abuse. I know how difficult it can be to name that. I know the shroud of secrecy that comes with it. I know how hard it can be to admit it to oneself, let alone publicly. Statistically, only 2-8% of all sexual assault allegations are false, and this is the same statistic as for other crimes. In the case of false sexual assault allegations, a very high percentage of the cases of false claims occur in contentious divorce cases. That is not the situation here. Dr. Ford came forward publicly only after journalists had figured out who she was, so that she could tell her own story. In addition, you will find that many, if not most, sexual assault victims, take years to process the assault. Very few immediately report the crime. There is too much shame and fear associated with sexual assault for it to be easy to talk about. Statistics show a large percentage of women and men who are victimized never report it.
Even if Judge Kavanaugh were fully innocent of this crime, and on paper fully qualified for the Supreme Court, his demeanor at the hearing on Thursday, September 27, should be disqualifying. Supreme Court justices are supposed to be above politics and fully independent jurists who remain objective. Their only guidance should be how they interpret the Constitution, not how they view one political party or the other. It was clear from Kavanaugh’s outbursts at the hearing that he cannot be an objective, impartial justice, that he opposes one of the two major political parties in this country, and that will undoubtedly impact his views and decisions on the bench.
I urge you, as a survivor and as a citizen of this great country, to fully consider the nominee, the accusations against him, and his behavior at the hearing and throughout his life, before you make a decision about his nomination. I believe that if you do so in good conscience you will have to vote against seating him on the Supreme Court.
Thank you for your consideration.