Kavanaugh: Harris, Jayapal issue clarion calls to continue the fight

Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh; credit: C-SPAN

The Senate confirms Kavanaugh as the ninth justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday.

Just hours after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed a Supreme Court judge, Indian American lawmakers Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington have issued clarion calls to continue the fight that saw the nomination of the controversial judge nearly derailed in the Senate.

Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault by California academic Christine Blasey Ford when both were in high school more than three decades ago, was confirmed 50-48 on Saturday.

“There is no question today was a really tough day,” Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who led the fight against the judge, said in a video message. “But I wanted to speak to all of the survivors of sexual assault. And I want to thank you for speaking your truth, for sharing your stories, for having the courage to require people to understand and to hear. And I just want you to remember that your strength your leadership, your courage is so important and you will not be silenced.”

She added: “We are all in this together. Let us keep this fight going.”

Earlier, in a Senate floor speech filled red meat, Harris had denounced the Republicans’ decision to stick with Kavanaugh despite the allegations against him.

“Is he fit to be a jurist in the place where we have said justice in our country occurs?” she said. “When it comes to Dr. Ford’s allegations, we fell short. We fell short. We did not do her justice, we did not do the American people justice.”

On Saturday, Jayapal, a member of the House Judicial Committee, questioned the legitimacy of Kavanaugh. She said in a statement: “Eleanor Roosevelt once said: ‘We go ahead together or we go down together.’ Today, it is clear the party of Donald Trump wants us to go down together, ramming through a Supreme Court nominee at the expense of the legitimacy of our highest court and public trust.”

The Washington Democrat said the Republicans and the White House could have chosen another nominee. “They could have let a full investigation find out all the facts,” she said. “Instead, for the first in our modern history, the Senate has confirmed an individual whose relevant documents were not released to the public and who has, at best, mislead the Senate about his involvement in critical issues such as warrantless surveillance and past judicial confirmations. Worse still, this nominee has a giant asterisk next to his name around the multiple sexual assault allegations against him. In the end, his over partisanship, belligerence and disrespect during his last hearings were shocking and made it clear that he is simply not fit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.”

Jayapal said Kavanaugh’s “confirmation, opposed by a plurality of the American people, undermines the reputation, credibility and, ultimately, the success of the highest court of this land.”

She pointed out that “FBI investigators did not even speak to” Ford, “at the White House’s apparent direction.”

Jayapal added: “Judge Kavanaugh‘s confirmation today is, simply, a slap in the face to all women across our country who simply have not been believed for so long. Today, to those survivors of sexual assault who are weeping and despondent, I send courage and strength. Do not lose hope. Your experiences are real, your pain and stories are part of the tapestry of injustice that only calls us even more strongly to work together for justice and rise up — together.”

The Democrat said, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, she will do “everything in my power to ensure full oversight and accountability — no matter what the US Senate does today. We will never be deterred in the fight for justice that we can all believe in.”

Also criticizing the Senate vote on Saturday was Jayapal’s Democratic colleague in the House and fellow Indian American Ro Khanna. He tweeted: “Today’s vote is very troubling but we will continue to press forward. Let the anger and concern renew our commitment to the fight for gender equality and social justice.”

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