Recently appointed 4th Circuit Judge Nicole Berner is legally married to the pro-abortion lawyer who represented Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her.

The Washington Post describes Berner as “the first openly gay judge and the first labor lawyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit,” which covers Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Berner, who is also pro-abortion, formerly served as a staff attorney for Planned Parenthood, where she focused on “protecting and expanding access” to chemical abortion drugs.

Debra Katz represented Ford in her high-profile #MeToo accusations against Kavanaugh. In subsequent remarks, Katz said that her client was partially motivated to accuse Kavanaugh out of a desire to protect Roe v. Wade, the monumental Supreme Court case that was overturned in June 2022.

Ford recently reappeared in the national news cycle through the announcement of her upcoming book, “One Way Back,” a memoir about her experience accusing Kavanaugh.

Katz issued a joint statement at the time with fellow attorney Lisa Banks, saying, “Five years ago, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s courageous testimony changed the world. She told the truth to the United States Senate, she stood up to enormous public pressure, and she sparked a national reckoning on sexual assault. Her bravery empowered countless survivors to speak out and seek justice.”

“We are proud to have fiercely represented her during the Senate proceedings,” they added. “The impact of Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony changed American culture. We stand beside Dr. Blasey Ford and all our brave clients who have come forward to hold powerful individuals accountable.”

The book was published on March 19, the same day that Berner was confirmed to the court. Representatives did not immediately share with The Daily Signal whether this was a coincidence.

During Berner’s nomination hearing in December, Republicans grilled her about her past statements and related political topics, including the Kavanaugh confirmation, according to The Washington Post.

“I believe Justice Kavanaugh, just like every other justice of the Supreme Court, was legitimately confirmed, and were I to be confirmed, I would follow his opinions and the opinions of every justice,” she told the Republicans present at the hearing.

“The role of a judge is a very different role than that of an advocate,” she added.

Pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood Action Fund celebrated her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in late March in statements that suggest confidence that she will consistently side with abortion advocates.

Alexis McGill Johnson, the president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said that Berner “knows firsthand the evolving state of our nation’s reproductive and other fundamental rights,” and Reproductive Freedom for All President and CEO Mini Timmaraju emphasized that Berner “understands that reproductive freedom is a fundamental right.”

Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh sparked a media circus, stories filled with debunked anonymous sources, a Senate investigation, a highly televised Senate hearing, and more. The Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately found “no evidence” to corroborate the claims against the Supreme Court justice, who was confirmed to the court on Oct. 5, 2018.

“After an extensive investigation that included the thorough review of all potentially credible evidence submitted and interviews of more than 40 individuals with information relating to the allegations, including classmates and friends of all those involved, Committee investigators found no witness who could provide any verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations brought against Justice Kavanaugh,” the 414-page report says.

Katz has been described as “the feared attorney of the #MeToo movement.” She is a founding partner of Katz Banks Kumin LLP, where she focuses on sexual harassment and whistleblower retaliation.

In video footage obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation in 2019, Katz revealed that putting “an asterisk next to” Kavanaugh’s name before “he takes a scalpel” to Roe v. Wade was “part of what motivated” Ford to speak out.

“In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court,” Katz explained in April 2019 at the University of Baltimore’s 11th Feminist Legal Theory Conference.

“He will always have an asterisk next to his name,” Katz continued. “When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”

The video was first reported by Ryan Lovelace in his book Search and Destroy: Inside the Campaign Against Brett Kavanaugh.” The author told the Daily Caller News Foundation at the time that it calls into question everything that Ford and Katz have previously said on the matter.

Lovelace additionally suggested that had this information been known during the Kavanaugh hearings, there might have been different questions and different results. Ford had told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she came forward out of a sense of “civic duty.”

“Ford’s audience was not the Senate, as Katz had previously suggested, but the American people,” Lovelace wrote. “If they could be persuaded that Justice Kavanaugh was a predator, then they might not accept a future ruling by the five Republican-appointed justices altering the right to obtain an abortion established by Roe v. Wade.”

“Had the Senate understood Ford’s real motivation, as described by Katz, it might have appreciated more fully the pressure that ‘organized forces’ were applying,” he added.

Katz’s remarks at the Baltimore conference rang partially true: The notoriety of the Kavanaugh hearings caused Kavanaugh to become a target for protesting. In the days following the leak of the draft opinion indicating that Roe would soon be overturned, protesters repeatedly showed up outside Kavanaugh’s home where they yelled, sang, and chanted, often accusing him of being a rapist.

Shortly before Roe was overturned, authorities arrested a man near the Kavanaugh family home who said that he had traveled from California to kill the justice out of a desire to protect abortions in the United States. That man’s name is Nicholas Roske. Almost two years later, there is still no trail date or plea agreement in his case, as The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Attorney Debra Katz, left, helps her client Christine Blasey Ford as she testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Sept. 27, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)