Throughout Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, one of the most prominent Republican talking points in support of his confirmation was that he was such a great guy. The Judicial Crisis Network spent $1.5 million on an ad to reinforce exactly this narrative after Christine Blasey Ford made her story public.
But now, with the mountain of claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh growing by the day, some of the judge’s most ardent defenders have begun backing off their initial support for the nominee.
On Monday evening, after publishing the second public claim of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, The New Yorker reported that two signatories of a letter supporting the judge had asked the magazine to take their names off.
“[I] never saw or heard anything like [Deborah Ramirez’s claim that Brett Kavanaugh had drunkenly pushed his penis into her face during a drinking game],” Louisa Garry, who was featured in the above ad in which she described herself as a friend of Kavanaugh for 35 years, said.
“But,” she added, “I cannot dispute Ramirez’s allegations, as I was not present.”
Joining Garry in her change of heart is Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate Dino Ewing, who had initially expressed support for the nominee to The New Yorker, only to tell them later: “I also was not present and therefore am not in a position to directly dispute Ramirez’s account.”
But Garry and Ewing aren’t alone in their sudden reluctance to be associated with Kavanaugh’s nomination. In a letter published Monday to the Yale Daily News, law professor Akhil Reed Amar wrote that he was having “second thoughts on Kavanaugh,” despite his having both written a New York Times op-ed supporting the nomination, and testifying on Kavanaugh’s behalf at his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Now that serious accusations have arisen about his conduct in his teenage years, I believe that these accusations deserve the best and most professional investigation possible — even if that means a brief additional delay on the ultimate vote on Judge Kavanaugh, and even if that investigatory delay imperils his confirmation.
While Amar’s essay focuses more on the legal, procedural, and constitutional issues at play with continuing Kavanaugh’s confirmation process amidst these allegations, it’s nevertheless a pointed U-turn for someone who just recently called the nomination “President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move.”
Things likely aren’t going to get any easier for Kavanaugh anytime soon. Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and attorney Michael Avenatti is promising that a third accuser will make her story public sometime before then.