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  • Curt Levey

Accommodate Kavanaugh Accuser but Don't Allow Delay for Delay's Sake

The following is a statement from Committee for Justice president Curt Levey:

We support Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's decision late last night to extended, for the fifth time, the deadline for Christine Ford to decide whether she wants to testify before his committee concerning her allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. While it appears that Senate Democrats are cynically exploiting Ford's allegation for delay and political gain, that does not change the fact that Ford should be given every opportunity to tell her story to the committee if that is indeed what she wants.

Some conservatives believe the time for further accommodation has passed. To be sure, some of the demands by Ford's attorney are baffling, like the objection to a female outside counsel after Ford's supporters insisted she could not get a fair hearing if questioned by a bunch of old white male senators. Nonetheless, Sen. Grassley is doing the right thing by going the extra mile to make accommodations he believes will enable Ford's testimony.

Though the desirability of having a ninth Justice on the Supreme Court when it begins its new term on October 1 is obvious, we will support any reasonable delay that Chairman Grassley believes will serve a constructive purpose. Delay simply for the sake of delay will not be tolerated by Grassley and should be unacceptable to all involved, as it would result in an intensification and prolongation of the very "media circus" Ford's attorneys say she fears.

Senate Democrats' rationales for delay are not constructive. The vast majority of them have already announced that they will vote against Judge Kavanaugh, and everyone understands that the handful of red states Democrats who might vote yes will do so only if doesn't matter—that is, if there are enough GOP votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

Under other circumstances, similar to the ones surrounding Anita Hill's allegation, a delay for an FBI investigation might be constructive. However, in this case, the FBI investigation requested by Ford's attorneys falls far outside the agency's jurisdiction for several reasons and was never a serious request. That's why the request was quickly dropped once negotiations began.

Moreover, common sense tells us that 36 years after the fact and without corroborating evidence, no investigation is going to definitively resolve the conflict between what Ford remembers and what Kavanaugh and other witnesses say never happened.

With definitive resolution impossible, all that is left to do is for the decision makers—Judiciary Committee members and ultimately the full Senate—to listen to Kavanaugh and Ford tell their sides of the story if she is willing, then judge their credibility and vote for or against confirmation based on that judgment. Accommodations that will genuinely help Ford to comfortably tell her story are warranted. Delay for delay's sake is not.



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