So for those of you who don’t follow the news/ US politics, you may have seen snippets here and there about Brett Kavanaugh; but have no idea what is going on. Below I have broken this down for you simply, I’ve tried to keep it as unbiased as possible, however I’m pretty opinionated on this one; so if some slips in – sorry about that. So let’s get into it, please remember, I have simplified this down.
So above is Brett Kavanaugh. He’s 53 and until recently he was serving as United States Circuit Judge – I say recently because as of the 6th October 2018, he was elected into the Supreme Court*, however I’ll cover this further on down. He attended Yale university.
*(The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. … The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but does not have power to decide non justiciable political questions.)
On July 9th 2018 – Kavanaugh was personally nominated by Trump for a seat on the Supreme Court. So this is a little background on Kavanaugh, now we are going to go into why there is such up roar currently.
He has now been accused by three women for sexual assault, there was no trial, just an inquest. Basically to see which senators believed him or not before they took the vote to elect him to the Supreme Court.
This is Dr Christine Blasey Ford. She alleged that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge sexually assaulted her in high school, she was 15 and he was 17. According to Ford, Kavanaugh pinned her to the bed, groped her, ground against her, tried to pull off her clothes, and covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she believed he was going to rape her. Ford took a polygraph test, paid for by Ford’s attorneys and administered by a former FBI agent, the test concluded she was being truthful.
Kavanaugh issued the following statement through the White House: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee* invited both Kavanaugh and Ford to provide testimony about the allegation on September 24, 2018.
*The Senate Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It considers matters related to the federal judiciary and the administration of justice in the United States.
Ford requested that the FBI investigate the matter first, however Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Chuck Grassley, declined the request, and gave Ford a deadline of September 21 to inform the Committee whether she intended to testify.
Trump commented on the initial sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh on September 17, 2018, saying, “Judge Kavanaugh is one of the finest people that I’ve ever known. He’s an outstanding intellect, an outstanding judge, respected by everybody. Never had even a little blemish on his record. The FBI has, I think, gone through a process six times with him over the years, where he went to higher and higher positions. He is somebody very special.”
A YouGov/The Economist poll on September 23–25 found 55% of Republicans thought he should be confirmed even if the allegations of sexual assault were true.
People are questioning why Ford didn’t come forward sooner; she stated she came forward so many years later because she felt “guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.”
If you would like to read Ford’s testimonial, you can read it in full here
After she testified, Ford was mocked by Trump, as she was unable to remember a couple of details during her testimonial. “Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it — I don’t know. But I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember,” he said as a crowd of thousands laughed and cheered.
This is Deborah Ramirez, she alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her in her dorm-room during a party in his freshman year at Yale.
Ramirez was reluctant to come forward because she had been drinking during the party and there were gaps in her memory, though she could remember key details.
She also recalls a fellow student yelling “Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.”
One classmate said he was 100% sure he heard at the time that Kavanaugh had exposed himself to Ramirez, and it was reported he independently recalled many details Ramirez had outlined, including that a male student egged Kavanaugh on.
The classmate told a large US publication, he remembered the incident as a “big deal” and that it had “been on my mind all these years when his name came up.” He also recalled Kavanaugh as being “relatively shy” but someone who could become “aggressive and even belligerent” when drunk.
In response to Ramirez’s allegation, Kavanaugh responded with the following;
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name — and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building — against these last-minute allegations.”
Julie Swetnick signed a sworn declaration alleging that she witnessed Kavanaugh and Judge display “abusive and physically aggressive behaviour toward girls” during a series of house parties in the 1980s. This would include guys spiking women’s drink’s with either booze or drugs so they would loose their ability to say no.
Swetnick alleges that this was done so that girls could be “gang raped” by a “train” of boys and has come forward as one of the victims of this.
“I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,” Swetnick stated in her declaration.
Swetnick is being represented by the same lawyer who is representing Stormy Daniels, who filed a few law suits against Trump.
In response to Swetnick’s allegation, Kavanaugh said: “This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is, and this never happened.”
An anonymous letter was also sent to Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, alleging Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman in 1998.
The author of the letter, stated her daughter and several friends had been drinking at a bar in Washington, DC, when Kavanaugh assaulted the woman in full view of the others.
“When they left the bar (under the influence of alcohol) they were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend against the wall very aggressively and sexually,” the letter says.
The anonymous letter writer goes on to say, that her daughter and the woman had both decided to remain anonymous.
Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said there was “no reason to assign the letter credibility.”
When asked about the letter, Kavanaugh told lawmakers: “We’re dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend. It’s ridiculous.”
So what’s happened now?
Kavanaugh has been sworn into the Supreme Court. The Senate earlier backed his nomination by 50 votes to 48.
Before the vote, hundreds of people protested against Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination in Washington. Mr Kavanaugh’s appointment is for life and he will strengthen conservative control of the nine-judge court, which has the final say on US law.
He may have been voted in, to the dismay of many American’s and the glee of others, but a movement has been started by the testimony of Ford.
A women who stood on the stand and was honest about how terrified she was to be there. She received death threats, as did her family, she had her home remodelled, adding a second front door because she had fears stemming from the incident. She has every part of her life under a microscope, scrutinised. She was mocked and ridiculed.
Her supporters and assault survivors, branded as “bullies” and were told to grow up by people in a position of power.
And you wonder why women are not reporting sexual assault when it happens. They fear being smeared, shamed and disbelieved and for Ford this happened on an international scale.
This woman took the #MeToo movement and relived her fear and terror of her sexual assault when she testified. She relived the fear or being assaulted, the fear of rape and the fact she feared for her life in the hands of Kavanaugh. A moment she says has affected her for decades.
It was basically a huge public version of the disbelief survivors are still met with.
So to finish, let me say, here on this public forum, the forum I use to blast my opinions to the world, Dr Ford, I believe you.