As you are aware, Women Lawyers On Guard Action Network hand delivered a letter to all U.S. Senators (including those on the Judiciary Committee) outlining the substantive positions that Judge Kavanaugh has taken in the past that we believe signal a judicial view that will very likely adversely impact women.
As you are also aware, his nomination has grown even more contentious with the serious sexual assault allegations from Professor Christine Blasey Ford. Independent of any political affiliation, as women, this is a #MeToo moment in the making. How our Senate and country handles it will be a testament to what we and they have learned (or not) from this movement and the hearings involving Anita Hill in 1991.
As Anita Hill, herself, has so artfully noted recently (New York Times op-ed HERE), the Senate “had an opportunity to demonstrate its appreciation for both the seriousness of sexual harassment and the need for public confidence in the character of a nominee to the Supreme Court. It failed on both counts” in 1991, but it could and should get it right now.
Women Lawyers On Guard will be sending the Senate Judiciary Committee and all Senators a follow up letter tomorrow (no time to get signatures). So, we recommend that you take the following action to make your voices heard:
Call your Senator. If he or she is on the Judiciary Committee (list HERE) all the better, but don’t wait. If you are in DC, go down to the Senate and make your own opinion known.
Here are some points you could make:
- There must be a fair, independent and non-partisan hearing of this issue. Sexual assault is not a political football. It is the duty of the Senate when such serious charges are made, to provide such a hearing in order to vote on a fully informed basis.
- A full hearing requires a full panoply of witnesses. It is almost never a “’he said/she said” situation. All persons with knowledge of the events must participate.
- Experts must be engaged to do an investigation and to pose the questions. This is a serious sexual assault allegation. Let’s call it what it is – if the account is true, it is no less than attempted rape.
- The hearing should not be rushed. To do so means that sexual assault is not important. And we know otherwise.
- That this allegedly happened when Brett Kavanaugh was 17 is not a reason to dismiss the seriousness of the claim. “Drunken boys will be drunken boys” is no longer the measure of the applicable character for a Supreme Court nominee. What someone did at the age of 17 is a relevant window into one’s life. Denying it (if it is true) also reflects one’s character. And it affects the survivor for a lifetime.
- Mention your own experience with sexual assault, if applicable. And the fact that when survivors of sexual assault come forward, especially many years later, they are frequently not believed, bad motives are attributed to them, they are attacked, their personal lives upended, etc.-all things happening to Professor Blasey Ford today.
The Senate must objectively consider Professor Blasey Ford’s claims with the dignity deserving of the process. Our country needs to see the best side of the Senate and its members, not the worst. We must demand no less.
Thank you for carrying this message.