Alan Dershowitz calls for delaying vote on Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation


Brett Kavanaugh

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor and one of the best-known jurists in the United States, called for delaying the vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Dershowitz, an advocate of President Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh, offered his views in an op-ed published Friday on Fox News hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee was to vote on the confirmation and possibly send the nomination to the full Senate. Three women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, miring the nomination in controversy.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to slow down and postpone its vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court until the FBI can investigate accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him by three women,” Dershowitz wrote.

On Thursday, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, and the judge delivered emotional testimony on Capitol Hill before the committee. Ford said she was “100 percent sure” that it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers, and Kavanaugh said he was “100 percent sure” he is innocent.

Anat Cohen at The Sheldon

Before the vote, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., made a motion that Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, should be subpoenaed as a witness to appear before the committee. Ford alleged that Judge was in the room during her 1982 assault.

Blumenthal acknowledged that Judge, now an author and journalist, had sent a “cursory six-sentence” letter with a statement denying any recollection of the incident. The motion was defeated on a party-line vote.

Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, who is Jewish, stepped forward this week, alleging that he engaged in sexual misconduct as a high schooler.

On Wednesday, Swetnick’s lawyer said she had witnessed Kavanaugh drinking heavily at parties and engaging in “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls” as a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s.

Among other things, Swetnick said that Kavanaugh had fondled and grabbed girls, attempted to remove their clothing and made “crude sexual comments” at house parties in the Maryland suburb near Washington, D.C., where they attended school.

She also said she “became aware of efforts” by Kavanaugh, Judge and others “to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped.’” Swetnick said she was raped at one of the house parties where Kavanaugh and Judge were present.