The Weddington Witness

Senate Hearings Continue, FBI Investigation Begins as Accusations Threaten Kavanaugh’s Nomination

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate.

Maggie Boyd, Staff

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Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings in front of the Senate determining whether he will be the new Supreme Court Justice have hit a snag after serious allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him were brought to light. These claims originate from Kavanaugh’s high school years at the all-boys Georgia Preparatory School as well as his years at Yale University. Over the past week, three women have spoken out about their experiences with Kavanaugh; A hearing between Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh took place on September 27th.

Ford, a teacher at the Stanford School of Medicine, was the first of the women to come forward, accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her under the influence of alcohol at a party. Ford’s husband, Russell, says she was nervous about coming forward about such a personal story, especially when it meant she would have to face political backlash, but she decided “her civic duty required her to speak out.”

Ford’s memory of the alleged assault is vague, but she has recently brought forth four people who she spoke to about the attack. Her husband states he was informed of an assault when they were married in 2002, but the first time she specifically said she was assaulted by Kavanaugh was in 2012. Another friend says the alleged assault was brought up during a meal in 2013. The other confidants were told of the assault more recently, within the time frame of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Fifty-three year old Deborah Ramirez was the nest woman to come forth about alleged inappropriate behavior displayed by Kavanaugh. Similarly to Ford, she was unsure about speaking out, as gaps in her memory due to intoxication prevented her from being certain Kavanaugh was involved for several days. After several days recollection, she has stated that it was, indeed, Kavanaugh who had committed sexual misconduct. Accounts from other students vary, but several acquaintances from college remember Kavanaugh as a heavy drinker and partier.  

The most recent allegation comes from Julie Swetnick, who was acquainted with Kavanaugh during the early 80s and attended several parties at which he was present. She did not accuse Kavanagh himself of sexually assaulting her, but she claims to recall Kavanaugh engaging in inappropriate and disturbing activities, including facilitating unwanted advances towards women and drinking heavily. She also included in her statement that he was present when she was gang raped. Swetnick is willing to testify and defend this allegation in front of the Senate.

Over 60 of Kavanaugh’s high school and college friends have countered Swetwick’s claims, insisting that “he has always treated women with respect and decency.”

Judge Kavanaugh has blatantly denied all aspects of these claims, claiming innocence and that he “never sexually assaulted anyone.” He became adamant and curt during the hearing, dodging questions and focusing more on the impact the accusations had made on his reputation. Kavanaugh stated on Thursday’s hearing, “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You’ve tried hard. You’ve given it your all. No one can question your effort, but your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and to destroy my family will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never.”

President Trump appears to be standing by his Supreme Court nominee, calling Kavanaugh a “gem”, as well as sending an email from the Trump campaign calling these accusations a “witch hunt”. In his most recent news conference, however, Trump stated that he would be willing to recall his nomination if he deemed the women’s claims to be credible.

There are nine Justices that form the Supreme Court, the head of the judicial branch, Making sure the candidate is properly qualified is a long and tedious process, as once a new Justice is appointed they serve until they die or choose to retire. Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired on July 31st of 2018, and would be the second Supreme Court Justice nominated by President Trump after Neil Gorsuch. If Kavanaugh is elected, it could influence national cases for decades to come. The final vote from the Senate that was scheduled for Friday, September 28th has been postponed in light of the accusations against Kavanaugh and the hearing that took place this week.

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