On September 27, 2018, the nation witnessed Professor Christine Blasey Ford testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed when they were teenagers, placed a hand over her mouth, and tried to take off her clothes. Other victims subsequently came forward with experiences of sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of Justice Kavanaugh, including Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale with him. The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and a plethora of other organizations called for a full Senate investigation of Kavanaugh at the time, but he was later confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 50-48. He continues to reside on the U.S. Supreme Court, entrusted with the nation’s most important legal decisions.
Now, nearly one year later, the New York Times reports that their own investigation corroborates many of the sexual misconduct allegations against Justice Kavanaugh, including Ms. Ramirez’s experience of seeing him pull down his pants at a dormitory party and thrust his penis at her. In addition, the Times reports a separate incident where Justice Kavanaugh similarly exposed himself to a female student, as recalled by one of his classmates at the time.
“To Professor Christine Blasey Ford and to Deborah Ramirez: we believe you. We believed you then, and we believe you now. What happened to you is horrifying and unacceptable,” says Shundrea S. Trotty, spokesperson for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Unfortunately, we now have a situation where someone who has credible allegations of sexual misconduct against him by multiple women holds a seat on the highest court of the land. Sadly, this is not an anomaly. For far too long, society has dismissed the experiences of victims and survivors while those in power are left unchecked. The coalition calls on members of Congress to conduct a full investigation, once and for all, into the numerous allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Furthermore, we call on the U.S. Senate to reform its process for handling sexual assault claims, and for the FBI to fix its investigative process. The victims who came forward, and those who would corroborate what happened to them, were denied a proper and thorough investigation into the facts surrounding Justice Kavanaugh’s actions. In the era of #MeToo, Congress owes it to their constituents—and, more importantly, to victims and survivors—to finally do the right thing.”