Rachel Maddow Claims Kavanaugh Could Lose His SCOTUS Seat Even If He's Confirmed — Here's How

By Renae Reints
The Rachel Maddow Show/MSNBC

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has come under close scrutiny following a sexual assault allegation he vehemently denies. But Republican leadership remains poised to confirm Kavanaugh's nomination, given the chance. If confirmed, however, there's the possibility Kavanaugh might not serve for life, as Supreme Court justices are meant to. According to Rachel Maddow, Kavanaugh could lose his SCOTUS seat if his accuser ever decided to press charges and the ensuing criminal investigation found reason to indict him.

Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, publicly accused Kavanaugh of attempted rape earlier this week, saying that Kavanaugh held her down, groped her, and attempted to take her clothes off at a party in the '80s, covering her mouth when she attempted to scream.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the claim: "This is a completely false allegation," he said in a statement, CNBC reports. "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or anyone."

Despite the decades passed, Ford could still potentially press charges against Kavanaugh. There is no statute of limitations for rape in the first or second degree in Maryland. This is because rape is a felony, and Maryland puts no limit of time on prosecutions for this category.

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Ford "could, at any point, make that criminal complaint to the police in Maryland," said Maddow on her MSNBC show Thursday night.

Thus, even if Kavanaugh were to be confirmed, "there would remain the possibility, indefinitely" that he could be investigated and indicted for a criminal offense. According to Maddow, "there is no rule against indicting a sitting Supreme Court justice."

"Local authorities in Montgomery County, Maryland now say that while this allegation does pertain to their jurisdiction, the reason they have not yet opened a criminal investigation of this matter is because they have not received a criminal complaint of the alleged victim in this case," Maddow continued. "I don't know if it will always be that way."

According to Randolph Rice, an attorney specializing in sex crimes who spoke to The Washington Post, the alleged incident Ford detailed would be second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. Both are misdemeanors with a statute of limitations of one to three years. In order for Ford to press charges today, something further than what she reported to The Post must have occurred.

Maddow, however, said otherwise on Thursday. According to the Maddow Blog on Twitter, there is no statute of limitations "for a felony like what Brett Kavanaugh is accused of."

While she has yet to mention criminal charges, Ford has called for an FBI investigation into her claims, CNN reports. According to a letter her lawyer sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, "a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions."

Such an investigation would only test the validity of Ford's statement, not bring charges against Kavanaugh.