Political history unfolded as Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford battled over his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. These two lives would be forever changed by the unequivocal accusations and denials that took place.
On Sept. 16, Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, publicly stated that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school gathering in 1982.
The onset of this case was launched when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on June 26. In early July, Ford contacted Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., about her accusations towards Kavanaugh due to him being reported to be on Trump’s shortlist for Supreme Court nominees. Then on July 28, President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to fill Kennedy’s former seat. Eshoo, realizing the magnitude and significance of Ford’s claims after meeting in person on July 20, met with Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who promised Ford that the information she shared would be kept confidential.
Kavanaugh’s nomination brought several accusations of sexual misconduct which led to another partisan debate between Democrats and Republicans. From Sept. 5-8, the Senate Judiciary Committee held public hearings about the nomination where both Ford and Kavanaugh testified. Ford alleged that Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take her clothes off, and she was afraid that he was going to rape her. In response, Kavanaugh testified that the sexual assault allegations were false.
“But your coordinated and well funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out” Kavanaugh stated in response to the allegations.
Ford’s testimony was reminiscent of that of Anita Hill in 1991, when she accused the then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
“I’ve had to relive this trauma in front of the world, and I have seen my life picked apart by people on television, on Twitter, and other social media who have never met with me or spoken to me,” said Ford.
The testimonies of both Kavanaugh and Ford created a deep divide in terms of voters. On Sept. 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee met again to decide to either allow or stop Kavanaugh’s vote from reaching the Senate.
The one Republican swing vote, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, ended up in support of Kavanaugh but only after the request of the Senate hearing be postponed by one week so the FBI could conduct a background investigation on the sexual assault allegations. The last vote, and another swing vote, sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, waited until Ford gave her speech and the FBI investigation concluded to make her decision of supporting Kavanaugh.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court with a slim margin on 50 to 48 on Oct. 6. He was then sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy shortly after the vote.
It is no surprise that Republicans want to secure their majority in the Senate in order to support judicial decisions in their favor. Brett Kavanaugh, a staunch conservative, had a likely chance of winning the Senate’s vote if the majority was Republican.