(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement:
“First of all, I want to thank Professor Ford for her bravery. I can only imagine the trauma and heartache involved in sharing and reliving a sexual assault like this. But she should know that I and millions of people are standing by her side and stand ready to help however we can.
“I was motivated to run for the Senate after watching the truly awful way Anita Hill was treated by an all-male Judiciary Committee interrogating her about the sexual harassment she endured at the hands of now-Justice Clarence Thomas. And though we’ve certainly made progress since then—at the very least we now have some amazing women on the Democratic side in that Committee—there’s a whole lot that remains the same, and I am already seeing shameful partisan attacks against a woman speaking up about her sexual assault. I urge my colleagues to listen to what Professor Ford has to say, to speak out against these attacks, to not get caught up in the partisanship and politics, and to focus on what this new information should mean for our evaluation of the kind of person we want on our Supreme Court. And I implore them to, above all, treat this survivor with empathy and humanity and make sure that the United States Senate in 2018 doesn’t send the signal it sent to millions of women in 1991 who were scared to speak up, afraid to share their stories, and watched on television as someone very much like them was attacked and maligned. We can do better this time, and we must.
“This week’s Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Kavanaugh should be delayed. It’s not a debatable or difficult decision. Whatever one may think about the timing of this new information, whatever one may think about the substance of it, and whatever one may think about Judge Kavanaugh as a nominee—the fact is that Senators now have new information about a potential crime committed by a nominee for the highest court in the land and an accuser who has come forward with details of the alleged criminal act. At this point it would be inconceivable and abhorrent to hold a vote on this nominee in the coming days—we need time to evaluate this new information and give it the scrutiny it deserves. Anything less for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court would be an absolute abdication of the United States Senate’s constitutional advice and consent role, and it would be absolutely wrong.”