Just days after Christine Blasey Ford came forward to publicly accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, a public hearing has been set so that Ford and Kavanaugh can testify.
While the Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to vote on advancing Kavanaugh's confirmation this Thursday, it will now be postponed, and the public hearing will happen on Monday, Sept 24.
According to the Washington Post, Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down, groping her, grinding his body on hers, attempting to remove her clothes, and placing his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, all during a gathering in high school. "I thought he might inadvertently kill me," she said "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing."
Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, announced the hearing, saying this will be a chance to "give these recent allegations a full airing," according to The Hill. He continued, "Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard."
Senators from both sides of the aisle have expressed that Ford should be able to tell her story before voting continues. The Hill reports that Sen. Jeff Flake said, "She deserves to be heard. That was the overwhelming decision... I would say it was overwhelming, certainly a majority-more felt that way than not-that she needed to be heard," referring to the GOP's opinion on the hearing. Flake previously said he would vote no on Kavanaugh if Ford wasn't able to testify in public.
Republicans have a slight majority in the Senate (51-49), so they can't lose many Republican senators if they want to confirm Kavanaugh. GOP Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are already considered swing voters in the nomination and both said Ford should be heard under oath.
Many are beginning to compare the hearing and allegations to the Anita Hill hearings from 1991. Back then, Hill testified publicly about sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was still confirmed after the testimony.
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