C-Span is not a channel on television that is often known as “must see” television. It is more likely to be tuned into as a sleep aid for most people as it is to be legitimately watched. That was not the case today. The much anticipated confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh was all that the political world could talk about, and the entire set of hearings was streaming on C-Span the entire day.
How the Morning Began
The hearings were set to begin precisely at 10 AM EST before the Senate Judiciary Committee. They were to open with testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She was the first of numerous individuals to have alleged sexual misconduct and assault by the nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States from decades ago.
Much of the buzz surrounding this event had to do with exactly what Dr. Ford, a professor of psychology, would testify to having happened to her. Many wondered if she would even show up to testify in the first place. She did show up and was prepared to testify before the committee.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa opened up the hearings with a long-winded opening statement before handing over the floor to ranking member Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. She also submitted a lengthy statement before handing it over to Dr. Ford to present her opening statement and allowing the questioning to begin.
A Female Prosecutor From Arizona
Numerous outlets reported on the fact that Republican Senators had opted to allow a female prosecutor from Arizona to ask questions of Dr. Ford. The Washington Times summarized their decision to do so as follows:
Republicans announced Tuesday they have hired a female lawyer to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, during Thursday’s major hearing — a move that Ms. Blasey Ford objects to.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s “not uncommon” for senators to rely on professional staffers to lead questioning at hearings, and pointed to the Watergate investigation as precedent.
Speculation swirled that the purpose for this was to avoid the awkward optics of having an all white male panel of Republican Senators grilling a female accuser. This might appear to have shades of the Anita Hill hearings from 1991 that went so poorly for Republican Senators at that time.
Democratic Senators said that they would ask their own questions of the witnesses at these hearings. They would each receive five minutes to ask a question and receive a response. Many of these Senators took their allotted time to tell Dr. Ford how much they were proud of her bravery for having come before the committee to tell her story.
The prosecutor who asked questions of behalf of Republican Senators was seen as ineffective at times. Some spectators viewed her questions as lacking emotion and not digging deeply enough into the credibility of the witness. There were even rumors that the President himself seemed upset that Dr. Ford seemed to be a credible witness.
JUDGE KAVANAUGH TAKES THE STAGE
When the questioning of Dr. Ford ended approximately four hours after it had begun, the cameras and eyes of the nation turned towards Judge Kavanaugh. After a break of about forty minutes, Judge Kavanaugh was set to take the stage.
A similar procedure took place with an opening statement given by Senator Chuck Grassley. He then gave the nominee the chance to give his opening statement. Many have been surprised by the amount of emotion that has dripped from Judge Kavanaugh in his opening statement. He has seemed intense and angry at first, and then very tearful through many parts of his opening statement. He has had to take numerous pauses throughout his statement in order to compose himself.
He has already said a number of newsworthy quotes just in the opening statement alone. These include:
- “I will not be intimidated and I will not back down”
- “My 10-year-old daughter said that we should pray for the woman, that is pretty smart for a 10-year-old”
- “I liked beer, I sometimes drank too many beers, I still like beer. If everyone who has drank a beer is accused of sexual assault in this country, then we are in a dark place indeed”.
Will all of this have an impact on the way that Senators vote on Judge Kavanaugh? Will other accusers have an opportunity to give testimony before a vote is held? These are questions that are still up in the air at this very moment. The only question that has definitively been answered at this point is that today will go down as a pivotal moment in American history no matter how it all turns out.
For further updated information about this hearing and its impact on society, please contact us.