In 1991, it was Anita Hill speaking out against Justice Clarence Thomas. In 2018, it’s Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford speaking out against now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Both men now sit on the Supreme Court despite both having been accused of sexual assault.
Dr. Ford’s allegations gained traction in late September, and although she was the first to come forward, she was not the only one to do so. Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick also shared similar stories of their sexual assaults regarding Kavanaugh.
However, Ford’s quickly became a prominent national headline, and Kavanaugh’s “job interview” for the seat on the Supreme Court quickly became a hearing of the allegations.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), consists of 21 members with 11 Republicans in the majority and 10 Democrats in the minority. Each Senator was allowed five minutes to question Dr. Ford and the same amount of time for Judge Kavanaugh.
The GOP side of the committee hired Arizonian sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to ask questions on their behalf. Grassley defended this move, stating, “the goal [was] to depoliticize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding and giving senators an opportunity to launch their presidential campaigns.” However, many Democrats saw this as an act of weakness, with Republicans nervous to face Dr. Ford on their own.
The hearing took place on Sep. 27, with Ford speaking first and Kavanaugh following after an intermission. Neither witness was present for the other’s testimony.
Dr. Ford recounted the events of the 1980s house party. When prompted with a question asking to what degree of certainty she believed Kavanaugh had assaulted her, Ford responded with the now-famous, three-word statement, “one hundred percent.”
However, Ford was unable to provide concrete details to the story, including the date, which proved enough for the media to come after her with allegations of lying under oath and false accusations of assault against Judge Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, on the other hand, was brought under scrutiny for his temperament during the hearing. Repeatedly, he grew visibly frustrated with the questions being asked and the doubt that was transferred to him.
He continued to deny all allegations of Ford’s.
Regardless of the hearing, Kavanaugh was confirmed to a seat on the United States Supreme Court that Saturday, Oct. 6.
Since his confirmation, Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court has called for an investigation into Kavanaugh’s conduct during his testimony. Judge Karen Le Craft Henderson originally made the suggestion to Roberts, claiming that, “These complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge…The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
As of now, nothing public has come of the investigation, but we do know that Timothy Tymkovich, Chief Justice of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, is in charge of the plea. Ironically enough, Tymkovich was on Trump’s short list of nominees for the Supreme Court after Justice Anthony Kennedy retired earlier this year.