THE US Supreme Court nominee facing allegations of sexual misconduct from three different women is today set for a dramatic public showdown with one of his accusers.
Both Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford – who says he pinned her down and tried to rip off her clothes at a high school party – will give evidence at the Senate hearing.
Brett Kavanaugh and one of his accusers will give evidence at the public hearing todayAFP or licensors
Their evidence could determine whether Republicans can salvage his nomination after a third woman this week went public with accusations against him.
Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy following his retirement from the Supreme Court.
Democrats are fighting the move though as they believe Kavanaugh will tilt the Court – which handles landmark Constitutional cases – to the right of the political spectrum.
Ford alleged in an interview with the Washington Post earlier this month that Mr Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to undress her when they were both teenagers.
Christine Ford has said she is terrified at giving evidence but believes it is important the Senate hears the ‘truth’
Deborah Ramirez, 53, who was at university with Kavanaugh, claims he exposed himself at a party and thrust his penis into her face when they were both drunk at a dorm party.
And just this week Julie Swetnick said in a sworn statement that she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s”.
Kavanaugh himself has repeatedly denied all the allegations, saying he’d never even heard of the latest accuser and calling her accusations “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone.”
The hearing will be the first time the country sees and hears from the 51-year-old Ford beyond the grainy photo that has been flashed on television in the 10 days since she came forward with her contention.
In testimony released in advance of the hearing, she said she was appearing only because she felt it was her duty, was frankly “terrified” and has been the target of vile harassment and even death threats.
“It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court,” she was to tell the senators. “My responsibility is to tell the truth.”
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The stakes for both political parties and the country are high. Republicans are pushing to seat Kavanaugh before the November midterms, when Senate control could fall to the Democrats and a replacement Trump nominee could have even greater difficulty.
Kavanaugh’s ascendance to the court could help lock in a conservative majority for a generation, shaping dozens of rulings on abortion, regulation, the environment and more.
But Republicans also risk rejection by female voters in November if they are seen as not fully respecting women and their allegations.
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