With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court taking place today, Deborah Ramirez of Boulder, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while the two were students at Yale University but whose allegations were swept under the rug during the FBI’s pro forma investigation, released this updated statement:
Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh. As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior. [Pols emphasis] This is how victims are isolated and silenced.
But I do have corroborating witnesses speaking for me, although they were not allowed to speak to the FBI, and I feel extremely grateful for them and for the overwhelming amount of support that I have received and continue to receive during this extremely difficult and painful time. There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors. This is truly a collective moment of survivors and allies standing together.
Thank you for hearing me, seeing me and believing me. I am grateful for each and every one of you. We will not be silenced.
Personal views of this epic struggle and its end in victory for Kavanaugh will vary sharply, but predictably along partisan lines. An important but as-yet unmeasurable exception to that rule will be how independent women voters in particular respond to this outcome. Kavanaugh’s outlasting of the serious allegations against him places partisan team sports cheerleading in direct conflict with deeply-held apolitical values about respect for women–and about believing women who have been victims of sexual violence. The betrayal of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez by a Republican-controlled Senate that never wanted to acknowledge their story is a lesson that millions of women who followed this battle can never forget.
For all the talk of this pitched confirmation battle energizing downtrodden Republican base voters ahead of the 2018 midterms, the voters expected to form into a Democratic wave this November should if anything find in Kavanaugh’s confirmation all the more reason to turn out. There’s certainly nothing that happened here to demotivate voters for whom the upcoming election is a referendum on Donald Trump.
In the end, Justice Brett Kavanaugh is just another inevitable consequence of the 2016 elections.
If that makes you angry, start by never letting what happened in 2016 happen again.