Christine Ford's Lawyers Respond To The Kavanaugh Confirmation With A Chilling Comparison
In a 50-48 vote Saturday, the Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime appointment as a Supreme Court Justice. A day later, Christine Ford's lawyers responded to the Kavanaugh confirmation by comparing the way women are treated today vs. how Anita Hill was treated in 1991 when she testified in front of the Senate. Still, one of Ford's lawyers stated prior to Kavanaugh's confirmation that she doesn't regret her choice to come forward.
One of Ford's lawyers, Lisa Banks, reflected on Ford's testimony experience on MSNBC on Sunday. Banks told the show's host that she believes that the way the Senate treated a woman making sexual misconduct allegations against a SCOTUS nominee was even worse now than it was in the 1990s. "We thought it was bad back in 1991 [when Anita Hill testified at Clarence Thomas' hearings], and it’s even worse today the political climate and how women are treated,” Banks said. Both Kavanaugh and Thomas have denied any sexual misconduct allegations against them.
Another one of Ford's lawyers, Debra Katz, revealed that her client is still not even able to live in her home because of the endless stream of threats she and her family have received. As Katz described to MSNBC on Sunday:
This has been terrifying, her family has been through a lot ... They are not living at home, it’s going to be quite some time before they’re able to live at home. The threats have been unending, it’s deplorable.
Ford alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982 while they were both in high school. Kavanaugh denied her claim "unequivocally, and categorically," telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that he "never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describe[d]." Ford's allegations, and eventual testimony, played a significant role in what has been a divisive and tumultuous political battle over Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
But Ford reportedly isn't looking to continue to oppose Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court following the vote. Katz told CNN late Friday that Ford did not wish to see Kavanaugh impeached from the Supreme Court bench should Democrats take control of Congress following the midterm elections.
According to Katz, Ford was not interested in seeing debate and action against Kavanaugh's appointment drag on after his confirmation. Rather Katz said Ford had only wanted to share her story with those tasked with evaluating whether Kavanaugh was fit to serve in a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
"Professor Ford has not asked for anything of the sort," Katz told CNN when asked if Ford would support efforts to impeach Kavanaugh should he be confirmed. "What she did was to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and agree to cooperate with any investigation by the FBI and that's what she sought to do here."
Banks, Ford's other attorney, told CNN Friday that the California professor had no regrets about coming forward with her allegations against Kavanaugh. "I don't think she has any regrets. I think she feels like she did the right thing," Banks said, adding that Ford had felt it vital to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with her story "so they could make the best decision possible."
"This was what she wanted to do," Banks said.
However, while Ford may not have regrets about coming forward, she is nonetheless still dealing with threats. Whether Ford and her family will be able to return home and to a sense of normalcy over the next few weeks remains to be seen.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.
Sarah Friedmann has contributed to this report.