|You might favor this issue if:
► You believe the Senate should confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court Judge, as a majority of his records have already been made available to Senators in the confirmation hearings.
|You might oppose this issue if:
► You believe the Senate should oppose and postpone Kavanaugh's confirmation until all documents pertaining to his record in the Bush administration be made available to Senators in the confirmation hearings. Senators did not get a chance to read more than 42,000 documents released by the White House the day before the confirmation hearings.
With the nomination moving up for a Senate floor vote, Republicans hold a 51-49 majority. With three possible Republican swing votes, and one Democrat on the fence, it is still up in the air what the decision could be. Only having one swing vote would have a tie, which would then be broken by Vice President Pence. There needs to be at least two Republican flips, if all Democrats vote "no". Should Sen. Manchin (D) from West Virginia vote "no," three Republican votes would need to swing to defeat the vote.
These are the possible swing votes:
- Joe Manchin (D) from West Virginia;
- Senator Flake (R) from Arizona;
- Senator Susan (R) Collins from Maine; and
- Senator Lisa (R) Murkowski from Alaska.
Sen. Joe Manchin broke party lines because of re-election pressure. He will be facing reelection next year in a state where President Trump won by double digits. He said the FBI investigation report would face his decision heavily.
Sen. Susan Collins said she will be announcing her decision Friday afternoon, although she voted "yes" to advance the nomination up for a vote.
Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the key persons who fought for the FBI investigation, said he will vote "yes" unless "something big changes." He said the FBI investigation report doesn’t corroborate sexual assault claims.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski had joined other Republican Senators calling for the FBI investigation. She is not facing reelection until 2022 and said she had not made her decision yet until Friday morning.
With a vote happening on Saturday, this is the last chance to voice your opinions to your Senators regarding Judge Kavanaugh's nomination.
According to an article released by the New Yorker, Kavanaugh's second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s, accuses Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party when they were both freshmen at Yale University. Ramirez alleges that Kavanaugh along with some other friends were playing drinking games at the Yale's Lawrence Hall, which led to her intoxication. She recalls slurring her words and being on the floor and then having a male student exposing himself and shoving his penis in her face, saying she pushed him away, forcing to touching him in the process.
The New Yorker says that Ramirez was initially reluctant to come forward because of her intoxication during the incident and says "her memories contained gaps." The article then states that at first she "was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty," and that "after six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough" to come forward.
Julie Swetnick, Kavanaugh's third accuser and a lawyer, alleges that Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, and other students at Yale, targeted women with spiked drinks to make women “lose their inhibitions and their ability to say ‘no,' " so they could be “gang raped,” stating that she herself was a victim of one of these incidents. Swetnick accuses Kavanaugh and Judge of being present for the rape but does not directly accuse them of being involved in the actual rape.
Swetnick has signed multiple affidavits, alleging that she told two other friends about the incidents back in 2016 and 2017, but keeping the identity of Brett Kavanaugh from them, only telling them it was a Federal Judge. She did disclose Kavanaugh's identity to her husband, she alleges in the affidavits.
President Donald Trump weighs in, saying that Kavanaugh is a "fine man with an unblemished past," dismissing the claims as "unsubstantiated statements from people represented by lawyers."
A Fox News report states that Kavanaugh, at a request of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has submitted his 1982 calendar, which may be used by Kavanaugh to say there's no evidence he attended any of the incidents. Kavanaugh has denied any accusations of attending such parties.
Republicans are blaming Democrats for "dragging Kavanaugh through the mud."
A Washington Post article quotes Senate Majority Leader Sen. McConnell from a floor speech. “What lessons can we draw from this?” Sen. McConnell said. “If you write to Senate Democrats in complete confidence about an extremely sensitive matter, you will soon wind up a household name, and if you’re a public servant whose confirmation the far left happens to oppose because they dislike the fact that you will interpret the law and the constitution according to what they mean ... they will not hesitate to weaponize uncorroborated allegations and drag your name and your family right through the mud. That’s what these guys will do to you.”
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford then alleges that another student, Mark Judge, then stepped in, jumped on top of them, and sent them toppling off the bed, which gave her an opportunity to run off the room, lock herself in a bathroom, and then leave the House. She alleges that she kept quiet about the incident until 2012 during couples therapy.
According to a Washington Post report, the therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.”
Democrats are now demanding the confirmation to be postponed. Republicans started weighing in on delaying the vote.
"I've made it clear that I'm not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further," said Arizona senator Jeff Flake (R). "We need to hear from her."
"Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion. This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over, and if there is real substance to this, it demands a response," said Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R).
Kavanaugh strongly denies the allegations.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh's statement said. "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."
Republican Senator Susan Collins is calling for both Prof. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh to testify under oath.
"Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee," said Senator Susan Collins.
Confirmation hearings have ended and Senators are now deciding their votes and whether or not the vote should be delayed.
Democrats are doubling their efforts by possibly taking their fight to court regarding Kavanaugh's unreleased documents via requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
"We are going to be going to court sometime this week to compel compliance,” said Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) in a TV appearance at his home state.
Republicans seem confident in the eventual confirmation of Kavanaugh, even though Republicans cannot afford to lose two votes, since the senate chamber is now 51-49; the most likely of which can be Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
When asked about the Democrats' plan to block the confirmation, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said, "I don't think it has a chance of working because of the quality of the candidate...I'm pretty confident."
According to a Politico report, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told a radio host "Hugh Hewitt on [Tuesday Sept. 11] that he’s not heard anything in private conversations to suggest that either of his two more moderate GOP colleagues would vote against the high-court nominee."
According to a The Nation report, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the dean of the current US Senate, has accused Kavanaugh of committing perjury and lying during his testimony.
According to the report, the incident involved "Republican staffers on the Judiciary Committee who, between 2001 and 2003, hacked into the private computer files of six Senate Democrats (including Leahy) and stole 4,670 files, which 'they used to assist in getting President Bush’s most controversial judicial nominees confirmed.' The scheme was exposed late in 2003, when The Wall Street Journal published some of the stolen materials."
During the confirmation process, a total of 111 questions, from both Democrat and Republican Senators, were made to Kavanaugh regarding this incident. Kavanaugh denied knowing about it saying he "never received any stolen materials, and that he knew nothing about it until it was public."
But Sen. Leahy says, “there were numerous emails sent to him that made it very clear this was stolen information, including a draft letter from me.”
“Brett Kavanaugh used materials stolen from Democratic senators to advance President Bush’s judicial nominees ... He was asked about this in 2004, 2006 and [during the confirmation]. His answers were not true,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Lisa Graves, who as the chief counsel for nominations for the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the period in question wrote, "Kavanaugh actively hid his own involvement, lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee by stating unequivocally that he not only knew nothing of the episode, but also never even received any stolen material...Even if Kavanaugh could claim that he didn’t have any hint at the time he received the emails that these documents were of suspect provenance—which I personally find implausible—there is no reasonable way for him to assert honestly that he had no idea what they were after the revelation of the theft. Any reasonable person would have realized they had been stolen, and certainly someone as smart as Kavanaugh would have too. But he lied. Under oath."
Kavanaugh's Confirmation begins as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retires and Judge Kavanaugh is nominated by President Trump as his replacement. Judge Brett Kavanaugh was a staff secretary under President George W. Bush, assistant to the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton, and has served for 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The usual process for a Supreme Court Judge appointment is simple. The President makes a nomination, then the Senate confirms him or her via a vote. His confirmation process started Tuesday September 4th with an explosive reaction by Democrats as they received over 42,000 pages of documents, all relating to the Kavanaugh nomination on Monday, the night before the confirmation process.
🚨🚨 The Senate was just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing. This underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 4, 2018
Back in July, The New York Times had reported that that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel was worried Kavanaugh's extensive document trails could delay his nomination process. “The number of pages is said to run into the millions, which Mr. McConnell fears could hand Senate Democrats an opportunity to delay the confirmation vote until after the new session of the court begins in October, with the midterm elections looming the next month,” wrote Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin in the article.
According to the Washington Post, back in August, the National Archives, which holds many of Kavanaugh's documents pertaining to his time in the Bush presidency, said they could have the documents ready only until the end of October. Senate Republicans in the Senate's Judiciary Committee have said these documents could be reviewed in time for Tuesdays confirmation if sent by the Bush Library, which also had access to the documents. After receiving over 415,000 pages of documents, the White House, on Friday August 31st, said it would not release around 100,000 pages of documents, citing constitutional privilege. Out of these, the White House finally released around 42,000 documents to the Senate panel the day before the confirmation hearing. These are the documents Democrats are arguing they did not have enough time to analyze,“no matter how much coffee you drink,” said Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Only a few details have been disclosed regarding such documents, since they are allegedly confidential and to be seen by Senators only. One of these is a set of email threads from 2002 made public by The Washington Post where Kavanaugh was allegedly "blasted" for trying to protect presidential records, which prompted another White House staffer to write that they were, “denying historians and generations of American school children important information about their government.” Later in the thread, a second White House official wrote "Careful, these e-mails will all be disclosed in 12 years", to which the other White House official wrote "Not if Brett [Kavanaugh] can help it."
Republicans are accusing Democrats of inciting "mob rule," or taking control of the confirmation process with means outside the lawful realm, because of their constant request to either delay the confirmation process or vote to delay the process because of the untimely release of the Bush documents. Republicans state that Judge Kavanaugh "is not in the business of trying to make law, he is in the business of trying to interpret the law,” as Senator Shelley Moore Capito wrote on twitter. Still, Republicans are continuing on with the confirmation process.
Democrats, all throughout the first day of nominations, objected to what they say is a lack of critical information about the judge's record and demanded the proceedings to be delayed. They are asking Judge Kavanaugh himself to ask the Judiciary Committee to adjourn his hearing until Senate Republicans produce his full record for all to see. They are demanding that all documents pertaining to Kavanaugh's record be made available and to postpone the hearing so Senators have more time to analyze the documents.