Sen. Flake, I Was Assaulted by a Stranger. Here’s Why I Want Kavanaugh Confirmed.
Penny Young Nance /
This letter was sent Oct. 2 to Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
The issues of rape and sexual assault are not abstract concepts for me. In 1996 while pregnant with my first child, I was assaulted by a stranger on my morning run near my home in Northern Virginia. His intent was to rape me, but thanks to a good Samaritan who heard my screams and came quickly to assist me, I was spared the pain so many other women have endured.
Sexual exploitation is also one of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s (CWALAC) seven core issues, and many of our supporters have shared their personal and emotional stories of sexual assault with me.
I recently shared their concerns as I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the Debbie Smith Act reauthorization, advocating for improvements that can help us bring even more effective help to victims of abuse. I dedicated an entire chapter of my book “Feisty and Feminine” to the topic, and I have written countless op-eds advocating for victims.
I share all this to strongly suggest a deep divide exists between many members of the #MeToo movement and those who wish to politicize and weaponize it for their own purposes. I fear that the circus around Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation under the veil of helping victims of sexual abuse is demeaning to victims and will have lasting, damaging impact on the seriousness of our cause going forward.
Make no mistake; we must stand squarely on the side of victims of sexual assault and hear their pain, but we must also embrace the principle of a presumption of innocence for every man and woman.
As much as we would like to believe women, we learned the hard way from the Duke lacrosse case, Rolling Stone’s UVA, and others the reason justice must remain blind to all immutable characteristics, including gender. The idea of supporting women and blind justice are completely compatible, and if we fail to recognize either, we will hurt our efforts to combat sexual exploitation.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, while emotionally compelling, is not conclusive. All the corroborating witnesses she named have denied any knowledge of the event in question. She doesn’t remember the date, time, place, how she got there, or how she went home. This, in and of itself, does not negate her story, but we need something definitive to go on before any reasonable person could make an ultimate determination on her claims and stand against Kavanaugh.
As Rachel Mitchell, the impressive female prosecutor with decades of experience in these types of cases concluded, “A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.”
This is why it has been shocking to see many senators jump to conclusions and declare Kavanaugh guilty of sexually assaulting Ford, without any corroborating evidence. They have even been willing to declare true the outlandish allegations of two other women whose claims have now been proven completely unreliable.
There is, of course, mounting evidence of malicious political motivations behind this entire episode by the same people who stoked fear with hysterical allegations that “women will die.” These are the same people who created signs saying, “oppose Judge XX,” paid protesters to disrupt Senate hearings, and paraded around the Hart building dressed as handmaids and human condoms.
Ford, whether she wanted to or not, contributed to the perception of political motivation by reaching out to only one side of the aisle, coordinating her allegations and even her legal representation with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and tipping off The Washington Post before ever asking for an impartial investigation.
Whether intentional or not, Feinstein’s withholding of this information only to be released at the 11th hour in order to inflict maximum political damage casts further doubts on the credibility of Democrats’ efforts. For the matter not to have been brought up at least during the private session of the hearings is inexcusable.
Contrast that picture with Kavanaugh’s extensive record as an impartial jurist who shows extraordinary initiative to help minorities, especially women.
As you are aware, Kavanaugh employed the first all-female class of law clerks in the history of the D.C. Circuit Court, and more than half of his law clerks have been women. They all speak highly of him, and there have been no complaints against him in all these years.
There is no question that his incredible efforts to advance women in the legal field will yield incredible fruit for generations to come. As a matter of fact, one of his clerks, Britt Grant, is already being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh’s extensive judicial record alone gives a clear and accurate picture of his unwavering fidelity to the Constitution. But beyond that, the unprecedented amount of material available for consideration, coupled with stellar recommendations from so many who know him personally and professionally, only corroborates that he should be confirmed without delay.
I and the half million members of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee across our nation urge you to support Brett Kavanaugh and swiftly confirm him to the U.S. Supreme Court.