While Republicans continue to try and cram Brett Kavanaugh onto the highest court in the country, plenty of questions, many of which he has dodged, remain about both his record and his moral character. There are serious concerns about his interpretation of the law when it comes to abortion rights, same-sex marriage, executive power, and more — concerns that put him at odds with the majority of the public.
As we learned on Sunday, he is also allegedly an attempted rapist, which for many Republicans doesn't seem to disqualify him from the lifelong appointment of Supreme Court justice. Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who came forward and said that Kavanaugh forced himself on her in high school, is now in hiding after receiving death threats for telling her story.
But with the midterm elections (and, let's not forget, possible impeachment) hanging over their heads, even the White House is now reportedly worried that brazen support for Kavanaugh could cost them. According to Vanity Fair's reporting, Trump may be holding back from antagonising Ford — the way he has antagonised other alleged sexual assault survivors — because he fears the Republicans will lose the House and Senate in November. Plus, White House advisors reportedly worry that even more damning information about Kavanaugh will come out.
One source told Vanity Fair that Ivanka Trump has told her father to "cut bait" and drop Kavanaugh. But we also know that whenever there's a crisis, information inevitably trickles out about Ivanka trying to temper her father's extreme views or reactions. It's unclear whether she ever vehemently opposes him — it's always a whisper in the wings, just like when she finally spoke up about family separations.
Carol Robles-Román, an attorney and women's rights leader who has extensive experience in judicial selection and vetting, says that it's quite possible Ford's allegations have come up. in the past. She also says that it's not unlikely there are more allegations against Kavanaugh.
"There’s oftentimes more than one allegation. Most women don’t complain, most women don’t report," she tells Refinery29. "I have to assume these allegations that this professor is bringing forward were not totally unknown. I find it hard, personally, to believe that this is the very first time this is coming up. And I suspect that it probably came up in some way, some form, in one of the many positions he has been vetted for."
When asked what she would say to those who cast doubt on whether this incident matters for Kavanaugh's future because it allegedly happened in high school, she said, "This is an honour and a privilege that is reserved for our most brilliant jurists and those that have the utmost integrity. And if you’ve exhibited in your background violence against women, if you’ve exhibited a tendency to live in a world where misogynist things are said and done in your presence, and you have either been a part of it or stayed silent...you do not have the integrity to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court."
To Robles-Román, the question is a moral one: Do you believe Christine Blasey Ford? In other words, why would a woman risk her entire life to come forward, and tell her therapist about the incident in 2012, if the allegations are false? It's a question that many Republicans seem to be dodging: We posed it to every single Republican woman in the Senate, and not one has gotten back to us.