Seth Abramson has some chilling words regarding the long term impact of the Republican decision to ignore sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.
Editor’s Note: Samuel Wynn Warde is the editor-in-chief of Liberals Unite as well as a contributor. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. You can view a list of his articles here.
CBS News reported on Saturday that Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into office after being confirmed by the Senate “with a Senate vote largely divided along party lines. The vote occurred shortly before 4 p.m.”
That confirmation would not have been possible were it not for the vote of Sen. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who delivered a 45-minute speech on the Senate floor on Friday defending Kavanaugh.
As NBC News reported, Collins went further than Trump with her defense of Kavanaugh, stating that she did not believe Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford:
In a dramatic Senate floor endorsement that essentially sealed Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation Friday, the Maine Republican said she ultimately didn’t believe Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were in high school.
Ford’s claims, she said, “fail to meet the more-likely-than-not standard.”
Former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney, Seth Abramson, weighed in on the situation, offering some chilling points to consider regarding Collins’ performance, the behaviors of fellow Republicans, and what this means for women moving forwards.
He began his analysis, writing that:
The damage Republicans have done to Americans’ understanding of legal terms, criminal investigation, and the types of evidence deemed reliable in sex-crime cases is incalculable. Forget Kavanaugh—millions of sexual assault victims will suffer because of what Republicans did here.
The damage Republicans have done to Americans' understanding of legal terms, criminal investigation, and the types of evidence deemed reliable in sex-crime cases is incalculable. Forget Kavanaugh—millions of sexual assault victims will suffer because of what Republicans did here.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) October 6, 2018
Addressing Collins’ floor speech, Abramson continued:
- Susan Collins stood up and said that “corroboration” in sex-crime cases requires either eyewitnesses or a confession. She said that the suspects in a sex crime are “witnesses” who must confirm their accuser’s account. Stop and think about what that means for women in America.
- Collins stood up and said that certain sexual assault allegations—see Ramirez—can be ignored, presumably because they’re not attempted rapes, they’re “only” sexual assaults. And then she lied about the content of a sworn and corroborated affidavit (Swetnick) for partisan gain.
- Collins and her peers said that not only do uncharged sexual assaults from one’s youth not matter—people can change—but that that same forgiveness should be extended to those who never take responsibility for their crimes and lie repeatedly under oath as an adult to hide them.
Continuing his analysis, Abramson chilling wrote that “the Republican party is endangering women’s lives.”
- The Republican Party is endangering women’s lives by revamping the nation’s understanding of evidence collection and even moral culpability in sexual assault and rape cases. They’ve mis-educated a nation on violence against women to score a cheap political win. That is *evil*.
Abramson spent the next several posts elaborating on specifics. A few highlights include:
- There’s no convention of discourse that prevents us from calling Republicans “rape enablers” in this instance—as that’s literally what they did. They called sexual assault suspects mere “witnesses”; lied about sworn affidavits; lied about evidence; and demanded no contrition.
- Moreover, they advanced specious—and misogynistic—defenses to sexual assault, saying that sex crimes in one’s youth shouldn’t matter when one is an adult *even if one never takes responsibility for one’s actions and one lies repeatedly under oath before Congress to hide them*.
- Republicans could’ve withheld their votes on Kavanaugh because he never acknowledged culpability for his past acts; because he perjured himself; because he demonstrated a lack of temperament; because he bared partisan ambitions and threatened Democrats. But no, *all* ignored.
- Republican leaders declared war on our traditions and institutions—and in so doing placed themselves on the wrong side of history’s “heroes-and-villains” line. This *isn’t* about GOP presidents not getting conservative Justices—they *do*. This is about honoring US traditions.
- The Republican Party has shown itself capable of—and *interested in*—destroying American democracy, norms, and spirit in the interest of accruing power. An organization with that ambition should be no part of American public life until it has redefined itself completely.