A sitting president with around 20 allegations of sexual misconduct, has nominated a judge, who, too, has been accused of sexual misconduct, to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court.
On the face of it, the allegations explain the need for the #MeToo movement and confirm its relevance.
What’s more, one of the accusers, Dr Christine Blasey Ford, has been subject to a smear campaign attacking her credibility. Her family was forced to relocate after receiving death threats. She has been the victim of a character assassination online. Every worst fear she had of coming out with her experience of sexual assault has materialised. And people wonder why sexual assault victims fear to come forward.
It is unfair to say Kavanaugh is immediately disqualified simply because an allegation is made.
Equally, allegations of sexual misconduct, no matter how long ago, cannot be dismissed.
In any case, neither allegation nor denial should be assumed to be accurate. Not from a one-day hearing anyway. It strikes me as absurd that an allegation of sexual misconduct would be limited and handed in this way.
However, we have not received enough information to reach a clear conclusion on the allegations. It would be wrong simply go on a whim and confirm Kavanaugh, what were to happen if further evidence was brought up? What if the reverse were to happen?
It would seem like I’m stating the obvious when I say that further investigation is needed to make sense of the allegations. However, there are people who genuinely believe that getting the FBI involved is a conspiracy by the “left” to extend the investigation until the conclusion of the Midterm elections where the Democrats may have control of Congress (which is on November the 6th, by the way).
Regardless, it is a standard check by anyone seeking public office to have their background investigated. In effect, an FBI investigation is like an employment check. Indeed, the FBI has investigated the backgrounds of prospective nominees and appointments to public office before. One prominent example is when the then-nominee, judge Thomas Clarence, had accusations of sexual harassment made against him by Anita Hill. The FBI investigation took 3 days to complete.
Clearly showing that it does not take long, at all.
One thing that can be said for certain, is that it does not seem that many Senator came from a position of understanding. Almost no Senator came to learn anything from the hearing. The Senators had already cast their votes.
The hearing was politicised and featured a sectarian and divisive type of politics. Whatever the takeaway is from the hearing, this is not the way it should have gone down. Some Republican Senators echoed phrases attacking fairness of the hearing during Kavanaugh’s testimony, with Lindsey Graham reserving some strong words for his Democrat colleagues. With some Democrats walking out during the hearing in protest.
There is not enough information available in which to make a definite conclusion. The Senate, on the other hand, has the power and investigative tools to its advantage to look at the allegations much more deeply than a one-day hearing.
This makes the protests and grievances of the Democrats understandable. An FBI investigation would put the allegations to rest, further investigation may help determine what had actually happened to Dr Ford in the summer of 1982.