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Supreme Court Justice Nominee Accused of Sexual Assault

After the retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in July this year, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Kavanaugh has since been accused of sexual assault. Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor, came forward with allegations against the Supreme Court nominee. She claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party about 35 years ago. He allegedly held her down and tried to force himself on her, covering her mouth as she verbally objected his actions. She said she was able to run away and hide in a bathroom after a classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Mark Judge, interfered. Kavanaugh has denied these allegations.

This isn’t the first time a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual misconduct. In 1991, Clarence Thomas was nominated and his former assistant Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. Hill notified the Senate Judiciary Committee about the harassment, and the Judiciary Committee then sent the information to the White House. The White House council then asked the FBI to look into the allegations. In this case, allegations led to an FBI investigation. When considering a nominee for the highest court, it is common to have the FBI investigate allegations of this nature as part of their background check on the nominee. Hill testified to the Committee, and Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court.

After Ford’s accusations surfaced against Kavanaugh, there has been much controversy over whether or not the FBI should investigate. Ford demands that the FBI conduct an investigation, but members of the Senate and the White House want to avoid an investigation altogether. Ford was offered an opportunity to testify at a public hearing, a private hearing, a public staff interview, or a private staff interview. Ford’s attorneys have encouraged the FBI investigation and deemed it necessary before Ford testifies.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh testified on September 27. Ford testified without the FBI investigation to allow herself to be heard by the committee before the confirmation. Kavanaugh continued to deny the allegations that Dr. Ford has made in his testimony. Since the historical, televised hearing the FBI has launched an investigation into the Kavanaugh. After the investigation is completed, the committee is expected to vote on the Supreme Court nominee.

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