There are three Republican senators who hold the fate of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court (SCOTUS) nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in their hands. Thus far, the judge has presented a number of issues that have been working against him. One of those senators has to deal with yet another serious problem.
A major problem has been Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sworn testimony before the Judicial Committee hearing of Kavanaugh. She was not the only one to issue similar sworn statements of either sexual abuse or to corroborate Ford’s testimony. Another problem was the judge’s snarling belligerent demeanor, especially toward the Democratic senators. Then, of course, he provably lied under oath.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has long been an advocate for women’s right to abortions. In addition, she uniquely has to consider Kavanaugh’s anti-Native American attitude and actionable history. Murkowski comes from a state with a high Native American population.
Trump mocked Dr. Ford, the searing victim of sexual abuse, during his Mississippi rally, play-acting both the part of the interrogator and the woman with a ridiculing tone, CNN reported:
‘”How did you get home?” “I don’t remember.” “‘How’d you get there?” I don’t remember.” “Where is the place?” “I don’t remember.” “How many years ago was it?” “I don’t know.”‘
Reporters asked Murkowski about Trump’s mockery of the clearly distraught victim of sexual abuse. The Alaskan senator replied, according to CNN:
‘I am taking everything into account. I think the president’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable.’
Trump not only mocked Dr. Ford, he brought up false allegations of sexual abuse against men in a way that pulled at his voters’ emotions. That occurs in only two to seven percent of the cases, while untold numbers of women and men have failed to reporter sexual abuse. Officials estimate one in four women are molested, one in six men.
Another swing voter, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), said that POTUS’ comments were “plain wrong.” The final Republican swing voter, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Trump was “kind of appalling.”
Flake saved the committee from confirming Kavanaugh, when at the last moment, he stood and left the room. Apparently, his friend Chris Coons’ (D-CT) testimony swayed him along with the sexual abuse survivors protesting — especially on an open elevator with him, and the many phone calls he received from sexual abuse survivors.
The Arizona senator, who is retiring at the end of his term, requested an FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations. He indicated that if the FBI’s report comes back with no additional information, Flake would vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Of course, there has been some question about how many restrictions Trump and the Senate placed upon the FBI.
Murkowski and Collins have not indicated how they intend to vote.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held open a SCOTUS seat for nearly a year during President Barack Obama’s presidency. However, he has been chomping at the bit to rush Kavanaugh through at breakneck speed.
That makes sense in a perverse way, because every day that the judge has been before the people, he has garnered more negative attention. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes to the Democrats, because they only carry 51 Senate seats.
Vice President Mike Pence could come and also vote. McConnell changed the Senate rules, so that SCOTUS nominees only need a simple vote for confirmation.
So far, the Democratic senators have held firm, but Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are running in very red states. A vote for Kavanaugh would help them immensely.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.