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Yellow Paper Series | #MeToo Amplified: Understanding Reactions to the Kavanaugh Hearings

Amplify: to expand something by the use of detail, illustration, or closer analysis. To make larger or greater (as in amount, importance, or intensity). To increase the strength or amount of.


On July 9, 2018, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, was nominated by President Trump for the Associate Justice vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh began on September 4, 2018, and soon thereafter, allegations arose that Judge Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in high school. The Senate Judiciary Committee paused the confirmation hearings until September 27, 2018 to give both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey Ford the opportunity to respond to the allegations. During the pause in the hearings, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick also alleged that Judge Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted them. Judge Kavanaugh denied all the allegations.

Dr. Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the morning of September 27th. She was questioned by the Democratic Senators on the Committee; Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona, questioned Dr. Blasey Ford on behalf of the Republican Senators. Judge Kavanaugh testified on the afternoon of the 27th.

After being confronted by tearful sexual assault survivors following the hearing, Senator Jeff Flake convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay the confirmation vote by a week to give the FBI a chance to investigate the allegations.

The full Senate voted on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination on October 6, 2018. Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice by a 50-48 vote.

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