Here's What You Need to Know about the Kavanaugh Hearing

This Thursday, September 27th, there was a hearing concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh- President Trump’s nominee to replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Earlier in the summer, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sent a confidential letter attesting that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her over 30 years ago when they were both in high school. In the hearing, both Dr. Blasey and Kavanaugh appeared before a committee of senators to testify the allegations. The hearing was rife with emotions, and it was a significant and paramount part of our understanding of politics and history as a nation.

 

The hearing began with a tense back and forth during opening statements between committee chairperson, Senator Grassley and Senator Feinstein, concerning the timing of the allegations. Grassley then interrupted Feinstein during her opening statement.     

 

Dr Blasey, one of three women to publicly present allegations against Kavanaugh, then presented her emotional and gripping testimony. Dr. Blasey spoke, sometimes through tears, about her story. She goes on to describe her experience with Kavanaugh when she was in her late teens- him, in a drunken stupor, struggling to remove her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, attempting to rape her. Dr. Blasey recounts feeling as though he might kill her. She revealed that she had not shared the events of that night with anyone until 2012, when she shared the account of the attack in couples therapy with her husband. She rebutted the argument that she might not have remembered correctly and confused her attacker using her expertise, as a psychologist, on the workings of the human brain. Dr. Blasey distinctly recalls her attackers’ laughter. During the testimony, Blasey’s demeanor was controlled, fueled by emotion but calm and respectful- she read as a real, relatable, believable and most of all, sympathetic and scared human being.

 

Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, the counsel on behalf of the GOP, then proceeded to question Dr. Blasey, prodding her for details of the account and facts that she could recall.

Afterwards, Kavanaugh took the same seat hours later to testify and made a fierce defense. The enraged and roused Kavanaugh spoke about how the allegations had destroyed his family and his good name. He spoke about the work he had done for the country, his love of teaching, and how the allegations had ruined all of those opportunities for him. Kavanaugh’s demeanor, antithetical to Dr. Ford’s, was loud, full of rage, and impassioned. Kavanaugh continued to defend his character, meticulously recounting his social escapades and habits as a teenager at the time of Blasey’s assault. Kavanaugh was backed by an equally emboldened Senator Graham, citing the trials Kavanaugh was facing as an offense to the country.

 

The hearing concluded with Republicans agreeing on a vote for Friday. Regardless of the side, this issue has transcended the rights to a “winner.” A woman was violently assaulted and traumatized- something she will continue to carry with her for the rest of her life, and her truth cannot be silenced.