Brett Kavanaugh defends himself in tumultuous senate hearing

TAKES THE STAND | Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Kavanaugh faces national critism for the sexual allegations made against him while President Donald Trump has to decide if Kavanaugh should move forward.

By Caroline Yablon | Reporter

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh defended himself Thursday against a sexual assault accusation brought forward by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in light of his nomination. Based on the hearing, which took place in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee will decide if they will recommend Kavanaugh to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Maxey Parrish, senior lecturer for the department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media, said the outcome of Kavanaugh hearing and confirmation will impact the lives of Baylor students and their peers for the next 25 years.

“I believe that for most Baylor students the fallout from today will be the most important news event in their life with the exception of 9/11. What happens as the result of the Kavanaugh hearings could go a long way in determining what the Supreme Court is like in 25 years,” Parrish said.

With Baylor having its own experiences with Title IX lawsuits, Houston junior Hanna Seay said this hearing can empower Baylor students who have been victims of sexual assault or rape to look up to and realize that they can speak out on this issue.

“I think that the grace and composure that Ford has and the way that she has presented herself to our nation is so empowering to survivors of sexual assault and rape and it gives survivors a person to look up to and realize that they can do it, and also I think in another way that it encourages people to talk about it,” Seay said.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh were granted an opening statement then proceeded with questions asked by outside prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, on behalf of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Democratic members of the committee.

In Ford’s testimony, she began by saying that she does not have all of the answers or remember as much as she would like from the night that she believes Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, however, these details are the ones that she says haunt her and are “seared in her memory.”

“I was pushed on to the bed and Brett got on top of me, he began running his hands all over my body and grinding into me. I believed that he was going to rape me,” Ford said.

Ford said that her certainty that Kavanaugh was her attacker is “100 percent.”

Although Ford is claiming the alleged sexual assault happened around 30 years ago, she said that a person’s brain has the capacity to remember details from events decades later and that she said she remembers that distinct sound of laughter between Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge.

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” Ford said. “The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”

In Kavanaugh’s testimony, he denied having any sexual encounter with Ford, saying he has never assaulted anyone. He also expressed how Ford’s allegations have destroyed his family and his name, a name that he said he worked to achieve for decades. He then proceeded to accuse the Democrats of targeting him to appease political grudges.

“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Donald Trump and the 2016 election,” adding they were seeking “revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in the money from outside leftwing opposition groups,” Kavanaugh said.

The hearing concluded Thursday evening and the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote today on whether to favorably recommend Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.