Kavanaugh hearings spark suspicion, division

Julianna Martinez—Staff Writer

While many citizens from the Republican base dismiss sexual accusations against SCOTUS nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, others argue that another FBI investigation is paramount to the confirmation process.

Although two other accusations have come out, the primary complaint comes from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor from Palo Alto University in California. She testified before the Senate that Kavanaugh assaulted her during the summer of 1982, when they were high school students. To date, there has been no hard evidence presented that this, or any other assault, took place; indeed, witnesses have come forward with written statements to exonerate Judge Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh also testified, adamantly denying the claims against him.

But Democratic senators—and a few Republicans, too—are responding to allegations by calling for extra precautions. On Friday, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said the Senate cannot “move forward [in the confirmation process] without hitting the pause button.” Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said, “I lament the way this hearing has come about.”

While neither Democratic nor Republican leaders have completely dismissed the allegations, Republican Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., says these claims are a “political sham” to undermine Republican progress in the U.S government. Graham even said this confirmation hearing was “the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics.”

The fact that Dr. Ford has not made these claims against Kavanaugh public until now, 36 years after the supposed event, has raised eyebrows. Kavanaugh himself went so far as to call the allegations an “orchestrated, political hit.”

Many affirm Kavanaugh has been treated poorly during the confirmation process, especially if the accusations of sexual abuse are false. His accuser, Ford, has also suffered: She has received death threats in the weeks following the publication of her claims and endured public interrogation when she wanted to remain anonymous.

If Republicans can secure a “yes” from Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., there will undoubtedly be a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the following days. Flake’s vote is important as, without it, Republicans may not have the votes necessary for confirmation. The Senate, through President Trump, is allowing for a brief FBI investigation on Kavanaugh, which should conclude by Friday. Of course, there is no guarantee of a strict adherence to this time restriction. At time of printing, there has been no official date set for a final Senate vote.

Knowing the truth of these allegations is important, but likely, unprovable.

Whatever the truth is, the accusations have certainly tainted the public opinion of the confirmation process, as well as damaged the reputations of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. Ultimately, the lives of both accuser and accused have been severely changed.

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