Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is defending his “emotional” testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27.
In an unprecedented move by a nominee, the judge wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, which was published Thursday on the eve of the Senate’s first votes on his imperiled confirmation to the high court.
“I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times,” Kavanaugh, 53, wrote.
“I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters,” Kavanaugh continued.
During the hearing last week, Kavanaugh — at times crying— addressed the committee following a three-hour testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, the 51-year-old research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, who claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s.
Ford claims Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
“At times, my testimony— both in my opening statement and in response to questions—reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character,” Kavanaugh wrote in his op-ed.
While Kavanaugh pleaded with the public to be sympathetic towards his emotions, he promised his behavior from the hearing will not affect his duty as a judge.
“Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good.”
“I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”
Kavanaugh also claimed he has a “long record of advancing and promoting women.”
“A majority of my 48 law clerks have been women,” Kavanaugh wrote before adding he was a “longtime coach of girls’ basketball teams.”
Despite the many protests to prevent his confirmation, Kavanaugh wrote he is trying to remain positive.
“Every day I will try to be the best husband, dad, and friend I can be. I will remain optimistic, on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will continue to see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone,” Kavanaugh concluded.
Following Kavanaugh’s hearing, the FBI conducted a week-long investigation into the allegations, further delaying his confirmation vote.
At this time, senators are reviewing the findings of the investigation and a full Senate vote for Kavanaugh to take a seat on the highest court in the land is expected this weekend.
On Friday, all 100 United States senators will hold a vote on what is called “cloture”— basically voting to see if they want to limit debate on Kavanaugh to 30 hours, and in essence, moving him along to a final vote.
Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion Wednesday to have Friday’s cloture vote, which is expected to pass.
The Pew Research Institution describes a cloture as an effort to “push presidential nominations past a recalcitrant minority” — and in this case, that minority is the Democrats, who number 49 (including two independents).
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A simple majority of 51 is needed to pass the cloture motion.
Once that critical vote concludes, a final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh is expected up to 30 hours later, as early as Saturday.
While some Republicans have said they are pleased with the report, critics claim it wasn’t a fair investigation.
Democrats say the White House put numerous restrictions on who the FBI could interview, and the agency reportedly did not speak with multiple witnesses who say they could corroborate sexual abuse and other allegations made by Ford and Kavanaugh’s other accusers Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.
Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations.
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).