See also: Reactions to Trump's July 9 Announcement on Kavanaugh

Potential Hiccup in Kavanaugh Nomination 

(Sept. 17, 2018) The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, which had been moving steadily forward despite Democrats' objections, has run into a potential obstacle with allegations that he assaulted a woman when he was in high school.  Kavanaugh flatly denied the allegations.  The woman first wrote a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein in July, then came forward publicly in September (See: Emma Brown.  "California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault," The Washington Post, Sept. 16, 2018.)  The effect of this late development on Kavanaugh's nomination going forward remains to be seen. 

Kavanaugh had emerged seemingly unscathed from four days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee (Sept. 4-7), although the hearings were frequently disrupted by protesters.
Sen. Chuck Grassley
Sept. 17, 2018

Grassley Statement on the Supreme Court Nomination

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 
“Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard, so I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.
“The standard procedure for updates to any nominee’s background investigation file is to conduct separate follow-up calls with relevant parties. In this case, that would entail phone calls with at least Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. Consistent with that practice, I asked Senator Feinstein’s office yesterday to join me in scheduling these follow-ups. Thus far, they have refused. But as a necessary step in evaluating these claims, I’ll continue working to set them up.
“Unfortunately, committee Republicans have only known this person's identity from news reports for less than 24 hours and known about her allegations for less than a week. Senator Feinstein, on the other hand, has had this information for many weeks and deprived her colleagues of the information necessary to do our jobs. The Minority withheld even the anonymous allegations for six weeks, only to later decide that they were serious enough to investigate on the eve of the committee vote, after the vetting process had been completed.
“It’s deeply disturbing that the existence of these allegations were leaked in a way that seemed to preclude Dr. Ford’s confidentiality.
“Over my nearly four decades in the Senate I have worked diligently to protect whistleblowers and get to the bottom of any issue. Dr. Ford’s attorney could have approached my office, while keeping her client confidential and anonymous, so that these allegations could be thoroughly investigated. Nevertheless, we are working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.”

via the White House
Sept. 17, 2018
The White House press office has passed along the following statement from Judge Brett Kavanaugh:

“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone. 

"Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. 

"I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”

two statements from Sen. Dianne Feinstein
t. 13 2018

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement:

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”


Sept. 16 2018

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement:

“It has always been Mrs. Ford’s decision whether to come forward publicly. For any woman, sharing an experience involving sexual assault—particularly when it involves a politically connected man with influence, authority and power—is extraordinarily difficult.

“From the outset, I have believed these allegations were extremely serious and bear heavily on Judge Kavanaugh’s character. However, as we have seen over the past few days, they also come at a price for the victim. I hope the attacks and shaming of her will stop and this will be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

“I support Mrs. Ford’s decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee.”


three tweets from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Re: WaPo report on Judge Kavanaugh, Sen Grassley must postpone vote until, at a very minimum, these serious & credible allegations are thoroughly investigated. For too long,when women have made serious allegations of abuse, they have been ignored.That cannot happen in this case.

Judge Kavanaugh’s credibility has already been seriously questioned because of his answers regarding Manny Miranda, Judge Pryor, and other issues during his time in the Bush White House, and now his credibility is even more suspect.

To railroad a vote now would be an insult to the women of America and the integrity of the Supreme Court.