Several people that initially supported Brett Kavanaugh are now having second thoughts. Following the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault, two dozen of Brett Kavanaugh’s former classmates at Yale Law School penned a letter testifying to Brett Kavanaugh’s impeccable character.
The letter, submitted to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 27, lauded Kavanaugh’s intellect and legal acumen. According to Daily Kos, his old classmates also praised Kavanaugh’s “friendly manner, good sense of humor, and humility”.
But after an abrupt change of heart, three of the letter’s signatories, Kent Sinclair, Douglas Rutzen, and Mark Olster, made a statement to the Washington Post calling for an investigation into their former classmate.
The statement read that there should be a “fair and credible investigation” following the fresh allegations made against Kavanaugh by Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez. Sinclair added that “the confirmation process should be conducted in a way that fosters trust in the process and the Supreme Court, and that seriously considers allegations of sexual violence”.
The Washington Post also reported that a fourth signatory of the Yale Law School’s letter of support, Robert Rivera Jr., has also suggested that an investigation would be helpful.
The former classmates were the latest to rescind their unconditional support of Kavanaugh’s nomination. One of his earliest supporters, Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar, also changed his stance.
Amar initially wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in support of Kavanaugh and testified on his behalf in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, but yesterday he published a column in the Yale Daily News entitled ‘Second Thoughts on Kavanaugh’.
Amar suggested that an investigation is in Kavanaugh’s best interests. He wrote in the Yale Daily News piece, “if the investigation’s facts and findings support him, then he will join the Court in the sunshine and not under a cloud”.
Republicans have rebuffed calls for a full investigation into the alleged sexual assault. Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Character witnesses from Kavanaugh’s youth withdrawing support and calling for a full investigation should raise some serious red flags. It indicates that the same people who praised Kavanaugh’s “humility” and “friendly manner,” to the get to the bottom of these very serious allegations against him.
If they prove to be unfounded, then as Amar says, Kavanaugh can join the Court without the slightest cloud. But if the allegations are not investigated at all and Kavanaugh wins his seat, his stint on the Supreme Court will be forever marred by the darkest of clouds looming over his nomination.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.