Washington D.C.- On September 27, 2018 Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in regards to allegations that Supreme Court(SCOTUS) Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in Montgomery County, MD in 1982(ish). Later in the day SCOTUS nominee Judge Kavanaugh had his own time with the committee. You can read Dr. Ford’s opening statement here. Below are statements given by various members of the State of Maryland Senators and Representatives concerning Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and Dr. Ford’s testimony.
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D)(Sept.27,2018 via Facebook):
Today we saw powerful testimony from a courageous Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—testimony that she knew would turn her life upside down, but that she felt compelled to give anyway because it was her civic duty to make sure the American people knew the truth. Thank you, Dr. Ford, for your strength and your honesty.
Judge Kavanaugh’s time before the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon stood in sharp contrast. His opening comments today—that the credible sexual assault allegations against him are an “orchestrated political hit” fueled by anger at President Trump and an attempt to get revenge for 2016—show his total disregard for Dr. Ford’s anguished testimony. Did Democrats manufacture her awful experience? Did Democrats tell her to share her anguish with her therapist years ago?
Today’s painful events could have been avoided if President Trump and Senate Republicans had allowed a full FBI investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. Why not have the FBI question Mark Judge?
But when repeatedly given the chance to call for the FBI to get to the bottom of all this, Judge Kavanaugh refused. My Republican colleagues were quick to point out that the FBI does not make a final determination, but they do collect and present all the facts. Why would anyone want to cast a vote on this lifetime appointment without all the facts?
Dr. Ford put the American people first by coming forward to tell her painful story when she had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Senate Republicans now need to do their civic duty, put politics aside, show the same courage. People of good conscience cannot rush forward with a vote on Kavanaugh. Please call on Chairman Grassley and Mitch McConnell to cancel the vote tomorrow.
Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-House District 2) Sept. 27, 2018) via Facebook):
The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to postpone the vote on Judge Kavanaugh until a thorough, serious FBI investigation into these allegations is complete. We need the FACTS.
Representative John Sarbanes(D-House District 3)(Sept. 3, 2018 via Facebook)
I believe Dr. Ford and thank her for her courageous testimony. #BelieveWomen
Representative Steny Hoyer(D-House District 5) Sept. 27, 2018 via Facebook)
I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She is courageous and compelling. We owe it to her, to those who have been subjected to such pain and trauma, and to our country to fully investigate all the allegations. There should not be a vote before that happens.
Press release by Senator Ben Cardin(D-US Senate Sept.28, 2018)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing.
“I listened carefully as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the allegations of sexual assault she has levied against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I found her to be both deeply compelling and credible. Dr. Ford was sincere, open and forthcoming in her accounting.
“Likewise, I listened carefully to Judge Kavanaugh. He had a right to defend himself. But he was openly hostile and antagonistic in the most unprecedented way for any judicial nominee. Moreover, his belligerent attacks on the Democratic members of the committee compel me to question whether he is truly the impartial, apolitical jurist he claims.
“It was a difficult day for the Senate and our country. In all the uproar, it is easy to forget the purpose of these hearings: to determine whether Judge Kavanaugh has the integrity to serve on the highest court in our nation. The U.S. Senate is not a court of law. It is a deliberative body designed to provide advice and consent on who should serve a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court – the ultimate authority to interpret the Constitution and laws of the United States. This is not a process that should be rushed – that was, of course the Republican rationale for never holding a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland.
“Republicans’ righteous indignation over Democrats’ handling of the process fails to address the key question relevant to today’s proceedings: whether Dr. Ford was telling the truth. For my part, I believe Dr. Ford, and I believe she showed remarkable courage in sharing her experience with the American people. I call on my Republican colleagues to now meet her courage with their own. Chairman Grassley should specifically ask President Trump to direct the FBI to fully investigate the incidents brought forward to the Judiciary Committee. The committee vote should be postponed until that investigation is completed. Failing a complete accounting of what happened and when, Judge Kavanaugh’s name should be withdrawn from consideration for the Supreme Court.”
Senator Ben Cardin(US Senate MD, Sept. 7, 2018 via Facebook) Before Dr. Ford testimony
Based on what I heard — and more often, didn’t hear — from Judge Kavanaugh at this week’s confirmation hearings, and having reviewed his writings and record as a judge, I believe any reasonable person would have cause to be concerned, even fearful, of his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
I will be voting no.
What I have witnessed over the last few days has been a struggle between Republican efforts to ram through a Supreme Court nomination – brushing off any and all criticism of the process and the nominee – and legitimately fulfilling a constitutional responsibility to provide “advice and consent” to presidential nominees for the highest court in the land.
This entire process has been rushed and the hearing should have been postponed. I had joined my Senate Judiciary Democratic colleagues in asking that these hearings be postponed until we, the Senate, could have adequate time to review Judge Kavanaugh’s full record, just as we did during the confirmation process for all other Supreme Court nominees. I requested a meeting with Judge Kavanaugh before the hearings began so that I could talk one-on-one with him about my policy concerns. But the request was denied by the White House. The 42,000-page document dump the night before the hearings started was an especially egregious display of contempt for the constitutional process. Much of the documentation that should have been provided to the Senate still was not provided. I also agree with Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein that no Senate or committee rule grants the chairman unilateral authority to designate documents committee confidential and keep them from the American people.
I was on the Judiciary Committee for the Sotomayor and Kagan hearings and I heard the calls from my Republican colleagues for more information and a need for full disclosure, which was provided. Those same colleagues now turn a deaf ear to the idea that the Senate should treat all nominees the same regardless of who controls the process.
I do not and would not oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination simply on the basis that I am a Democrat and he is a Republican nominee. But I have spent the last few weeks talking with Marylanders about my concerns about this nomination, especially the hypocrisy of a confirmation process that is disconnected from Senate precedent. I cannot support Judge Kavanaugh based on (1) his judicial track record, (2) his equivocation on whether presidents should be investigated while in office, even though he himself investigated President Bill Clinton for Independent Counsel Ken Starr, and (3) what little we have seen of his White House record.
I am concerned that Judge Kavanaugh is inclined to turn back the clock on civil rights and civil liberties, voting rights, reproductive choice, equality, the Affordable Care Act, workers’ rights, clean air and clean water, and protection from the abuses of corporate and political power, including the President of the United States. President Trump himself promised a litmus test for his Supreme Court nominees, including reversing Roe v. Wade.
Our Constitution created the Supreme Court as an independent check and balance against both the executive and legislative branches of government. It should not be a rubber stamp on presidential efforts to undermine the rule of law or the independence of the judiciary, self-pardon, or derail Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election. The next Justice of the Supreme Court should not be predisposed to enrich corporations over consumers, or hollow out protections against abuses of power, as Judge Kavanaugh’s record as an appellate court judge reveals.
This confirmation process is a turning point in American history. I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. I urge all my colleagues to think carefully, before they cast their vote, about the future of our nation. The consequences of their actions will effect this nation for the next generation.