Brett Kavanaugh Controversy: A Review of The Previously Accusations Against Justice Kavanaugh
The fresh claim has prompted calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment from certain Democratic presidential aspirants as well as vehement denials of Kavanaugh from top Republicans, including the man who nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump.
Regarding the accusations made against Kavanaugh by Deborah Ramirez
Her claims were that during a party her first year in the freshman dorm on Old Campus, the quad where most freshmen live, she remembered being a part of a drinking game with a relatively small group of mostly guys with drinks being passed around, probably beers, where she was continuously and repeatedly targeted to drink.
Kind of “Drink, drink, Debbie, drink,” which she did excessively despite never having consumed alcohol in any significant way prior to attending Yale. And [she remembers] that at one point there was a kind of fake penis thrust in her face, she swatted it away, and then later there was a real penis thrust in her face. When she looked up, she saw Brett Kavanaugh pulling up his pants and laughing, along with all of his friends who were participating in the drinking game. She found this to be incredibly humiliating and the experience stuck with her.
In particular, the reporters spoke with at least seven people who had heard about the accusation before Ramirez made it public, including two people who did so mere days after the party.
Despite his denials, Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed
However, new information about Ramirez’s account, as reported by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly on Saturday, brought the accusations back into the public eye. Their account appeared in the Times Opinion section of the New York Times Sunday Review. It was derived from their upcoming book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.
Max Stier, another Yale alum, claims to have seen Kavanaugh undressed at a different party while buddies shoved his penis into the hand of a second female classmate, according to Pogrebin and Kelly. After the story was initially published, the writers noted that the female classmate had declined to speak to the Times and that according to her acquaintances, she does not remember the encounter. Nevertheless, the additional information supports Ramirez’s claim and raises the possibility that Kavanaugh has a history of behavior.
The latest revelation has sparked concerns about the FBI probe
Questions have been raised regarding how Ramirez’s charges were looked into last year in light of the fresh information released by Pogrebin and Kelly. Following Ford’s testimony, the FBI looked into the claims made by both women. The scope of the investigation was extremely constrained; as German Lopez of Vox noted last year, the White House set the parameters of the probe, and investigators declined to speak with a number of people Senate Democrats wanted to hear from.
The FBI investigation may have ultimately served less to uncover the truth than to give cover for swing Republicans, such as Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine, to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, according to Republican announcements that there was no evidence to corroborate Ford’s and Ramirez’s allegations. Last year, Kavanaugh suggested that if what Ramirez claimed actually occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” In fact, Pogrebin and Kelly write, “our reporting suggests that it was.”
In particular, the reporters spoke with at least seven people who had heard about the accusation before Ramirez made it public, including two people who did so mere days after the party. Max Stier, another Yale alum, claims to have seen Kavanaugh undressed at a different party while buddies shoved his penis into the hand of a second female classmate, according to Pogrebin and Kelly.
After the story was initially published, the writers noted that the female classmate had declined to speak to the Times and that according to her acquaintances, she does not remember the encounter. Nevertheless, the additional information supports Ramirez’s claim and raises the possibility that Kavanaugh has a history of behavior.
The Times has apologized
The post as “obviously improper and disrespectful.” However, some have also questioned other facets of how the publication handled the issue. For example, some have questioned why a fresh accusation against a sitting Supreme Court Justice was published in the paper’s opinion section rather than as a news item. The New York Times claims that the article appeared in Sunday Review because Times reporters frequently have book excerpts published there.
Also, a tweet that went out from the @NYTOpinion account yesterday was clearly inappropriate and offensive. We apologize for it and are reviewing the decision-making with those involved.— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) September 15, 2019
Kavanaugh’s new information has repercussions for the Court and 2020
Aside from the controversy around how they were revealed, the fresh information regarding the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh may have far-reaching effects. According to a December 2018 PerryUndem poll, Americans had doubts about Kavanaugh even before the allegations were made public: 57 percent believed he had lied under testimony, and only a third thought he would be objective on matters of sexual misconduct or topics supported by Democrats.
This term, the Court will hear a number of cases that have the potential to create partisan divisions in the nation and shine a spotlight on Kavanaugh’s past. For instance, the Court will hear three cases that center on the issue of whether federal civil rights law shields individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Court may also hear a case involving a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Opponents of the law claim it would turn Louisiana into an “abortion desert,” leaving only one clinic open, and it would also pave the way for other states to restrict access to the procedure through ever-tougher clinic regulations.
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