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Kavanaugh Column, News

“I’m Not Going Anywhere”

According to the New Yorker magazine, a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, now claims that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Ramirez told the New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drinking party when they were both Yale freshmen. Ramirez has not made a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she admits that her recollection of the alleged incident is clouded by extreme inebriation at the time and that it took six days of “carefully assessing her memory and consulting with her attorney” before she was ready to make the charge. Kavanaugh, for his part, retorted quickly: “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.”

Judge Kavanaugh, with his wife, Ashley, by his side, appeared on Fox News Monday night to make another round of denials. “I’m not going anywhere,” Kavanaugh said in response to those who suggest he should withdraw his name from consideration. “I was a virgin” until well into adulthood, Kavanaugh declared, laying his dignity on the altar of his integrity. And he penned another letter to the Judiciary Committee, which is well worth a full read. Kavanaugh stated:

Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring.

These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.

As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The lastminute character assassination will not succeed.

I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley continues to haggle with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys over what process is “due” Ford in the scheduled hearing this Thursday, with Ford’s lawyers repeating their charge that the proposed committee procedures are “unfair” to Ford. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised that a floor vote on the nomination will occur regardless of what transpires this week.