As Senate weighs Kavanaugh, Thomas example offers cautions

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Kavanaugh denies the allegation, but his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, came back with an offer to testify publicly to Congress. Kavanaugh did the same.

Across multiple morning shows on Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway pushed for Ford to be allowed to testify before lawmakers.

Ford told the Post that Kavanaugh "was trying to attack me and remove my clothing" at a teenagers' party one summer in the early 1980s.

A spokesman for Grassley complained about the timing of Ford's public accusation, saying it "raises a lot of questions about Democrats' tactics and motives to bring this to the rest of the committee's attention only now rather than during the many steps along the way". But Democrats say that staff calls ― normally routine for most Supreme Court nominees ― aren't the appropriate way to handle the matter.

Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks said that while she opposes Kavanaugh's nomination "based on his judicial record", she's "uncomfortable with asserting that his behavior as a teen tells us anything about his "character" at this point.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) isn't necessarily concerned by Christine Ford's allegations that Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her when they were in high school. Spurred on by the #MeToo movement, sexual misconduct receives much more attention than it did then, and allegations of wrongdoing have toppled powerful men in politics, media, the arts and other fields. As one of only a handful of GOP women in the Senate and a key undecided vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, Collins' views may carry outsize weight with Grassley.

As of Monday noon, both agreed to appear before the Senate for further questioning.

Joe Manchin said both Ford and Kavanaugh should have an opportunity to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee "as quickly as possible". And since the Sunday publication of her story, statements from senators-including some Republicans-suggest they could be swayed to vote no on Kavanaugh.

Earlier, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer of NY said it would be "a deep insult to the women of America" if Grassley did not postpone Thursday's meeting.

In the end, "I doubt very seriously any minds will be changed by this", says Ross Baker, a political scientist and expert on the Senate at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Mr. Judge has said the incident never happened. That remark seemed his latest in which he's veered from messaging by congressional leaders.

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"He's an outstanding intellect".

Those looking to how the public received Hill's accusations against Thomas in hopes that Kavanaugh will still prevail may see a good sign in that the percentage of Americans supporting his nomination did not drop after Hill's allegations and testimony.

All eyes were on potential defections by Republicans, whose narrow Senate majority affords them little margin for error.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein listens to an aide during a markup hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 13, 2018, on Capitol Hill. "We need to delay the vote", Leahy said.

There was enormous pressure on GOP Sens.

"In order for me to assess the credibility of these allegations, I want to have both individuals come before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testify under oath", Collins told reporters. Neither senator faces re-election this fall.

Dr Ford's attorney general Debra S Katz said her client considered the incident to be an attempted rape.

"Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday", Kavanaugh added.

Trump says he wants a "full process" to investigate the allegations.

Republicans had also displayed no willingness to delay a Judiciary panel vote that Grassley had planned for this Thursday to advance the nomination.

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