The American Bar Association is reportedly calling for on the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone the consideration of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until an FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against him is conducted, CNN and other news outlets are reporting.
“We make this request because of the ABA’s respect for the rule of law and due process under law,” the ABA said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which CNN said it has obtained.
“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,” said Robert Carlson, president of the organization, in a Thursday night letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein.
The letter further added that the credibility and reputation of both the Senate and the country highest court are at stake.
The ABA’s letter comes as a surprise as the organization gave Kavanaugh the highest rating of a unanimous “well-qualified” following his Supreme Court nomination in July, CNN pointed out.
The ABA’s strongly worded letter follows a tumultuous day of testimony before the Senate committee in which Ford recounted the alleged sexual assault she suffered 36 years ago and doubled down on her assertion that she is “100 percent” sure that Kavanaugh was the perpetrator.
The letter is also surprising considering that Kavanaugh mentioned his ABA rating during his testimony on Thursday, in which he denied Ford’s sworn testimony that he attempted to rape her when they were teenagers. Calling the Senate’s confirmation process a “circus” and “a national disgrace,” Kavanaugh used the rating as evidence of his innocence.
“For 12 years, everyone who has appeared before me on the D.C. Circuit has praised my judicial temperament,” Kavanaugh told the Judiciary Committee members on Thursday, as CNN quoted. “That’s why I have the unanimous, well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association.”
Kavanaugh and Republican senators have repeatedly dismissed the requests by Ford and other women who have accused him to have the FBI investigate. As NPR noted, Democratic senators sent a letter to the president last week asking that he consider launching an investigation into the accusations.
Democrats have accused Republicans of rejecting the investigation out of fear that the nomination is pushed until after the November elections, fearing that Democrats might take control of the Senate. This scenario could mean that consideration of any Trump nominee could be more difficult, NPR reported.