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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Not just he said, she said


Why I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey Ford’s only public appearance so far has been her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27.

During that appearance, she was forthcoming, self-critical and consistent, in stark contrast to now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who spent the majority of that hearing perjuring himself and avoiding the Committee’s questions.

Kavanaugh is unfit to preside over a court of law. His weak defense against an allegation of sexual assault relied almost entirely on self-characterizations of who he was as a teenager.

According to Kavanaugh, his teenage self was devout, personable and diligent; all of which may be true and none of which means he did not sexually assault Ford in a second-floor bedroom when he was 17 years old.

A lot has been said about Kavanaugh’s temperament at the hearing–that he was rude, prone to lashing out and quick to anger. All of those things are true.

Kavanaugh was exceptionally rude to several (notably female) senators who were asking him straightforward questions pertinent to why he was appearing before them. In a particularly jaw-dropping moment, Kavanaugh responded to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s question about whether he had ever consumed alcohol to the point of blacking out with “I don’t know, have you?”

While temperament should be a consideration when evaluating a candidate for any job, it is Kavanaugh’s propensity for lying repeatedly, unflinchingly and under oath that should be of greater concern.

Kavanaugh’s first line of defense during the Sept. 27 hearing was a talking point about how each of the four witnesses Ford identified in her testimony denied that the gathering she described ever took place. This would be pretty damning evidence against Ford, except for the fact that it is not true.

What each of the witnesses actually testified to was that they had no memory of one specific night 36 years ago.

While Leland Keyser, a friend of Ford, did testify that she did not remember the gathering Ford described, she went on record with The Washington Post saying that she believes Ford’s allegation.

Despite repeatedly touting his Yale Law School credentials during the course of the hearing, Kavanaugh appeared not to know the difference between a legal witness not recalling an event and stating that the event didn’t happen.

What is more likely is that he did in fact know the difference and willingly misrepresented the facts.

Kavanaugh’s drinking habits were one of the main focuses of the hearing due to Ford’s description of both Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge as “visibly drunk” during the alleged assault.

Kavanaugh testified that while he did drink in high school, he was not a heavy drinker and did not drink to the point of blacking out.

When senators asked him about things written in his high school yearbook which blatantly refer to excess alcohol consumption—Kavanaugh was apparently treasurer of the “Keg City Club”—he refused to answer their questions directly, instead talking about his high school service work and academic record.

Kavanaugh’s refusal to be straightforward about his high school drinking habits is one of the most telling recurrences in his hearing.

To me, it speaks to a fear that Kavanaugh and his advisors have regarding Ford’s potential boost in credibility if he admitted to excess drinking in high school.

Maybe he did assault Ford, senators and pundits alike would suggest, but he just doesn’t remember it. It seems Kavanaugh is very aware of what specifically he should admit and wishes to draw attention away from a potential landmine that would severely damage his credibility.

Ford, by contrast, was straightforward in her testimony. She admitted the faults in her original letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein, amending that letter in the interest of providing accurate testimony and knowing that she would be inevitably characterized as an inconsistent and unreliable witness in doing so.

Beyond that, Ford had nothing to gain from coming forward. If her allegation is true, which I believe it is, she has just relived the most traumatic moment of her life in front of the entire world only to be called a liar.

A candidate for the highest court in the United States lied under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was confirmed anyway. If that isn’t motivation to vote this November, I don’t know what is.

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