A Letter to Senator Durbin on the Kavanaugh Hearing

September 20, 2018

Dear Senator Durbin:

On behalf of the undersigned groups, I am writing to you as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to express our opposition to holding the hearing scheduled on Monday, September 24th for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to testify about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This rushed process, without a fair and independent investigation into Dr. Ford’s allegations of sexual assault perpetrated by Judge Kavanaugh, is unacceptable and must be postponed.

We appreciate your statement in support of a full and fair process including an FBI investigation. The Senate has, hopefully, learned from the way Anita Hill was treated in 1991, that the process must not accuse and retraumatize a survivor. Sexual violence can have short-term and long-lasting emotional, economic, psychological, and physical impacts on a survivor. Survivors’ rights to decide when, how, and to whom they tell their own stories must be respected. While Dr. Ford shared confidential information with Senator Feinstein, her story was leaked to the media, which not only invaded her privacy, but has exposed her to vilification, including death threats. Her courage now must be met with a process that reflects the necessary integrity.

Before any hearing, there must be an investigation led by independent, trauma-informed professionals who can respectfully handle a matter involving sexual assault, including speaking to other relevant witnesses. The decision on how to proceed with a future public hearing should add witnesses besides Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, and include others such as Mark Judge and experts on the issue of sexual violence and trauma. In addition, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing the senators should be present to ask questions of witnesses, and not defer this to others.

We are relying on you to take the time necessary to ensure a thorough process to assess whether Judge Kavanaugh has the character required to serve a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. I welcome discussing this with you, and can be reached at smajmudar@womenemployed.org, or 312–782–3902.

Sincerely,

Sharmili Majmudar
Interim CEO, Women Employed
65 E. Wacker Place, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60601

Signed On By:

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE)

Chicago Foundation for Women

Healing to Action

Mujeres Latinas en Accion

Pride Action Tank (A project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago)

Resilience (formerly Rape Victim Advocates)

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

We Believe You Fund

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago