It has been almost two weeks since the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh emerged, but the hearing to vote on his nomination has been marked by partisan warfare over how to handle them.
Since then, lawmakers have heard from Ford, a California psychology professor who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in a high school bedroom in the early 1980s. Afterward, she said, she feared she could be ostracized at her university for coming forward, and said she has been harassed by Kavanaugh and his supporters since then. Kavanaugh denies her allegations.
On Friday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Ford’s attorneys had not shared the “credible” information she had provided with the committee last week. The committee voted on a motion to recommend Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate on Oct. 6, and by day’s end it was revealed that at least one Democratic senator had backed off her vote. By the end of the hearing, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she was “deeply disturbed” by Ford’s allegations. By Monday, at least three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Jeff Flake of Arizona — had said they would likely vote against his nomination.
On Tuesday, before a highly anticipated lunch break, the committee resumed the hearing with Kavanaugh and Ford, as well as more than a dozen other witnesses called by Republicans and Democrats to testify about the ongoing controversy.