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House Dems push to delay Kavanaugh vote for investigation

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Washington, September 18, 2018 | comments
By Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

A group of 114 House Democrats signed onto a letter calling on Senate to delay their vote on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court until a "thorough investigation" is conducted into an allegation he committed an act of sexual assault decades ago.

In the letter, the lawmakers argue it would be inappropriate to move forward with the confirmation without a probe due to the gravity of the accusations.

The letter was spearheaded by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Brenda Lawrence(D-Mich.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday.

"To hold a vote now would be an insult to women and girls, sending a powerful message that they don’t matter and will not be believed. Let’s instead set an example for our children that sexual violence should be taken seriously and emphatically denounced," they wrote.

"If the allegations of sexual assault are true, they speak to Brett Kavanaugh’s character and ability to determine right from wrong. Before giving Kavanaugh power to make decisions about women’s lives, their protection under our laws prohibiting sexual violence, and their physical autonomy, Congress has a responsibility to allow the American people to learn the truth."

The call to delay proceedings comes in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford going public with allegations that Kavanaugh attempted to assault her while they were both in high school. According to Ford, Kavanaugh held her down and sought to prevent her from screaming for help while intoxicated during a party in high school.

Kavanaugh asserts the allegations are "false."

House Democrats said they believe Ford deserves to be heard, referencing the woman who came forward with sexual harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991.

"In the age of #MeToo, the vitriol that Anita Hill endured cannot happen again, both in our national discourse and throughout any testimony that Dr. Ford chooses to provide," they continued.

"Over this past year, survivors across the country have come forward with harrowing stories of sexual assault and harassment. Their bravery and experiences cannot be in vain," they wrote. "Dr. Ford did not want to go public with her story, knowing the hostility, retaliation, and disbelief she would face. We applaud her courage for risking it all. Now that Dr. Ford has taken the brave step to come forward, we must do all we can to treat her with decency and respect."

The Senate Judiciary Committee has invited Ford to testify before the committee Monday. Kavanaugh is also expected to testify under oath next week.

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