Republicans are forging ahead with plans for a Senate hearing they had hoped to avoid on a woman’s claims that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high schoolers.
In the face of growing demands by GOP senators and hoping to salvage the judge’s endangered Supreme Court nomination, Republicans reversed course and agreed to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.
Their sworn testimony, certain to be conflicting and emotive, will offer a campaign season test of the political potency of a #MeToo movement that has already toppled prominent men from entertainment, government and journalism.
Kavanaugh, 53, has vehemently denied the accusation. He said in a statement Monday that he wanted to “refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
On Capitol Hill Tuesday, reporters noted that there are no Republican women senators on the Judiciary Committe.
Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska urged their Repulican colleagues to conduct the hearing in a “respectful manner.”
Democrat Patty Murray of Washington said she ran for office following Anita Hill’s testimony during Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings.
“It’s serious and I hope all the members of the committee take this seriously and do this in the right way because it wasn’t done the right way with Anita Hill and we had a generation of women who said it’s not worth it coming forward. I do not want that to be dismissed message today,” Murray said.