[Read the update to this story at the bottom of the article]
The dean of Yale Law School, Brett Kavanaugh‘s alma matter, has called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone its vote on whether to send the judge’s nomination to the Supreme Court to the Senate floor for a vote.
In a statement released by the school this Friday, Dean Heather Gerken called for further investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. The statement comes on the heels of the American Bar Association expressing the same sentiment.
“I join the American Bar Association in calling for an additional investigation into the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh,” she said. “Proceeding with the confirmation process without further investigation is not in the best interest of the court or our profession.”
Dean Gerken Joins the ABA in Calling for Further Investigation. pic.twitter.com/SYAsVHwsi7
— Yale Law School (@YaleLawSch) September 28, 2018
On Thursday night, American Bar Association (ABA) President Bob Carlson released a letter calling on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley(R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) to conduct a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh only after the FBI completes an investigation into the allegations.
“We make this request because of the ABA’s respect for the rule of law and due process under law,” Carlson wrote.
“The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI.”
Roughly a week ago, Christine Blasey Ford came forward with accusations against Kavanaugh, saying that he sexually assaulted her in 1982 when she was 15 and he was 17. According to Ford’s account to The Washington Post, an intoxicated Kavanaugh held her down on a bed and groped her while covering her mouth to prevent her from screaming. She also said he tried to pull her clothes off.
Soon after, The New Yorker published a bombshell report revealing that Senate Democrats were looking into new allegations, time stemming from his time as a freshman at Yale University during the 1980s. The allegations came from Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh shoved his penis in her face during a night of heavy drinking at a party. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
According to Ramirez, Kavanaugh shoved his exposed penis in her face while she was intoxicated, causing her to touch it without her consent. Speaking to The New Yorker, Ramirez says she wants the FBI to investigate the alleged incident.
“I would think an FBI investigation would be warranted,” she said.
Update: CNN is reporting that President Trump has released a statement ordering the FBI to conduct a “supplemental investigation to update Kavanaugh’s file.”
“As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” Trump’s statement read.
The fast-moving developments Friday mean that the full Senate will not vote early next week, as expected. Members voted Friday night to formally open consideration of Kavanaugh’s nomination, a procedural move that allows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep his options open.
The delay is the result of a last-minute change of heart by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, whose stunning move to force an investigation was quickly backed by several senators considered swing votes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Flake made the demand for the FBI probe after a chaotic scene at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in which the panel advanced Kavanaugh by a 11-10 party line vote — saying his vote was conditioned on a probe taking place, and that he would oppose Kavanaugh on the floor of the Senate unless his demand was met.
Featured image via YouTube