U.S. Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who's accused the embattled Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, will both testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat, will both have opening statements. Ford will be the first to testify and be questioned by the senators in the committee. Because all the Republicans in the committee are men, they've recruited Arizona-based prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who specializes in sex crimes, to question Ford on their behalf and avoid the bad optics. After Ford finishes testifying, she will leave the room to allow Kavanaugh to be questioned.
Since she has spoken up, two other women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Deborah Ramirez claims he "exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away" while both were freshmen at Yale University. Meanwhile, Julie Swetnick alleges that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge conspired to drug girls and gang rape them at house parties in the early 1980s; she also said both men were present while she was victim to one of these gang rapes.
It's been nearly 27 years since Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that her former boss, Judge Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. Thomas was confirmed anyway and today he sits on the U.S. Supreme Court bench.
It remains to be seen whether a similar fate awaits Kavanaugh and the women who have accused him.