judiciary committee

When a majority of Americans expressed reticence to the pace at which Brett Kavanaugh was proceeding, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) helped the Supreme Court nominee continue as he desired ignoring those objections.

Despite new allegations against Kavanaugh and plummeting public support for the nominee, the Judiciary Committee will vote Friday, the Associated Press reported.

That’s only a day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify to her allegations against Kavanaugh. The other accuser, Deborah Ramirez, will not be given a chance to testify. No investigation will be formally conducted. One accuser and the accused will testify and then the committee will vote.

“For Republicans to schedule a Friday vote on Brett Kavanaugh today, two days before Dr. Blasey Ford has had a chance to tell her story, is outrageous,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California). “Republicans don’t want this to be a fair process.”

After Grassley’s spokesperson, Taylor Foy, announced the vote, Sen. Grassley almost immediately started to walk back the decisive tone. He argued that he had to announce a Friday vote on the chance that one happened, per Senate rules.

“Judic Cmte noticed POTENTIAL exec mtg for Friday,” he tweeted. “Still taking this 1 step at a time.”

The decision to vote without hearing from Ramirez is a departure from what was seen as appropriate for Ford. Senate Republicans even advocated for a delay in the Judiciary vote in order to hear from Ford. The absence of Ramirez’s voice is an echo of the way President Trump discredited Ramirez Tuesday, with a form of victim-blaming familiar to many women.

“The second accuser has nothing,” said Trump. “She admits that she was drunk.”

Public support for Kavanaugh is historically low. When he was first announced, he polled as badly as historic Supreme Court nominee duds Robert Bork and Harriet Miers. He continued this streak of unpopularity through August, and a Fox News poll Sunday put opposition to his candidacy at 50 percent, while a USA Today/Ipsos poll had his support at 31 percent — equal to Bork.

No candidate for the Supreme Court in recent history has ever had higher that 40 percent disapproval during their confirmation. Kavanaugh has 50 percent.

And women hated Kavanaugh well before these allegations came out. While it’s easy to get absorbed in the #MeToo story, it’s important to remember the jurisprudence Kavanaugh uses puts him against fundamental rights essential to women’s lives, like access to contraception, health care and yes, Roe.

 

Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

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