Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Defends Himself in Op-ed

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
October 5, 2018Politics

Brett Kavanaugh, the judge who President Donald Trump nominated for the Supreme Court vacancy left by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, has written an op-ed defending himself while admitting he got too emotional during a public hearing after he was accused of gang rape and sexual assault without any evidence supporting the claims.

Kavanaugh penned a piece in the Wall Street Journal declaring that his 28-year record shows he’s an independent, impartial judge and noting that while he was emotional during the public hearing, he was there “as a son, husband, and dad.”

Kavanaugh underwent a lengthy period of meetings with Senators and answered 1,300 additional written questions before a week of public hearings during which Senators grilled him on a number of topics.

After the hearings concluded in mid-September, Kavanaugh was expected to pass through the Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans at a 51-49 margin. But an accusation of sexual assault was then made public, despite being received by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in July.

Christine Blasey Ford may have lied
Christine Blasey Ford (C) is flanked by her attorneys, Debra Katz (L) and Michael Bromwich, as she testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 27, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Vote Pushed Back

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for vetting Supreme Court nominees, then pushed back the vote on Kavanaugh and scheduled another public hearing so that the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford of California, could testify about the claim. Ford, though, has been unable to provide any evidence that backs her claim and she and her lawyers have refused to provide requested materials to the committee for review. Her testimony was also rife with inconsistencies.

Kavanaugh testified after Ford and became emotional during his opening statement and under questioning by Senators. In the op-ed, he explained his mindset.

“I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations. My time in high school and college, more than 30 years ago, has been ridiculously distorted. My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats,” he wrote.

“Against that backdrop, I testified before the Judiciary Committee last Thursday to defend my family, my good name and my lifetime of public service. My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony—both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character. My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled.”

Brett Kavanaugh gets emotional during hearing
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh speaks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 27, 2018. (Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

‘I said things I should not have said’

Kavanaugh said he has never been as emotional as he was during the hearing.

“I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said,” he wrote. “I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband, and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”

Kavanaugh promised to be the same judge and person he’s been for decades, despite what happened.

“I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law,” he concluded.”

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