GAYLE: Sexual Assault, An American Issue

By Armena Gayle, second vice president of the Brooklyn Bar Association

Yesterday, I witnessed Congressional members of the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee trivialize the issue of sexual assault in favor of partisan politics. Sexual assault affects women and men of all political persuasions, races and economic backgrounds. It is neither a Democrat or Republican issue, but rather an American issue. Yet, the Senate’s handling of this issue became so partisan that Christine Blasey Ford’s voice and story were muted, leaving America’s victims of sexual violence hopeless and voiceless.

It appears the Republican wing of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee may have lost a huge opportunity to affirm to victims of sexual violence that not only does the story of Dr. Ford and her bravery to come forward matter, but to commit to Ms. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh's other accusers a duty to offer a thorough investigation into all of their allegations before voting to confirm him.

Apart from the allegations, Americans witnessed Judge Kavanaugh give an extraordinary partisan and vitriol speech of left-wing conspiracies used to smear him tinged with promises of revenge against the Democratic members of the Committee whose only crime was adhering to their responsibilities to thoroughly investigate allegations of sexual assault lodged against Mr. Kavanaugh.

His contentious responses to the allegations is indicia of a judicial candidate lacking in judicial temperament, fairness, and fitness not to mention a disrespect for the process evaluating him and a disregard for the pain suffered by Ms. Ford, particularly when he responded that he did not even listen to or watch her testimony.

It is my hope that either the committee or the president request an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations involving Judge Kavanagh so that members of Congress can evaluate the results of that investigation in light of these recent developments. To confirm Judge Kavanaugh absent an FBI investigation would be an injustice to the American people who deserve and require more answers and who deserve a fair and impartial jurist on the land's highest court.