Hill Democrats and other opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court were putting on a full court press Monday in advanced of the planned Sept. 20 nomination vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The effort gained more traction over the weekend when the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct/assault identified herself (Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford) and said she would be willing to testify before that committee.
In the era of the #MeToo movement, all such allegations are a potential career-derailer.
“At this point, moving forward on a vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination without a full investigation would be like sticking a finger in the eye of every woman across this country," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Was.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee. "I urge the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to postpone any vote on his nomination until an independent investigator has been appointed who can conduct a thorough non-partisan investigation into these matters."
The White House issued a statement from Kavanaugh, who reiterated the charges were false and said he was willing to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This is a completely false allegation," said Kavanaugh. "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday (Sept. 16). "I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
"We believe Christine Blasey Ford and every member of the U.S. Senate should, too," said CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess. CREDO is a mobile phone company that contributes to progressive causes. "If Donald Trump had any integrity or a sense of decency he would immediately withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination," said Hess.
"Absent an outright withdrawal, senators must fulfill their Constitutional duty and keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court."
Then there were the more than two dozen civil rights groups that said the hearing must be delayed until the allegations--that Kavanaugh as a high school student held her down and groped her over her clothing--are fully investigated.
Those groups included the NAACP, People for the American Way, MoveOn, and the YWCA, Lamda Legal, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), and the American Federation of Teachers.
Democrats have been attempting to delay a vote on Kavanaugh until after the midterms, including trying to adjourn the confirmation hearing before it started, seeking subpoenas related to Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House, and more.
Kavanaugh is well known in communications circles as a judge on the D.C. federal appeals court, which oversees FCC decision challenges. Kavanaugh is on the record saying the FCC's 2015 Open Internet order was illegal and should have been overturned.
While the FCC has repealed that order, a request that the Supreme Court hear the ISP appeal of the 2015 regulatory order remains before the High Court, though it is unclear whether that court will grant that hearing. If so, and if Kavanaugh's nomination is confirmed, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), has asked him to recuse himself, though Kavanaugh was not willing to agree to that, saying at his hearing that he would not
comment on any decision that could come before the high court.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.