FBI could easily investigate claim against high court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

We aren’t surprised that the “caveman caucus” made up of Republicans in the U.S. Senate intends to push through Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination – regardless of how believable his accuser may be about her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Appellate Judge Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegation and will appear before the GOP-run Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions.

His accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, has agreed to testify Thursday, national news outlets reported Saturday. She also has been seeking certain concessions, some of which were rejected last week by Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, but other terms are to be negotiated today, the outlets said.

What does surprise us about this very serious turn of events in the Kavanaugh nomination process is the deafening silence of most Republican female members of Congress. We are also taken aback by the very unChristian-like attitude of evangelical activists, who have thrown caution to wind just to get another anti-choice conservative in the highest court of the land.

The fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no qualms about speaking at the Values Voters Summit and promising evangelicals that “In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court” speaks volumes.

The label “Caveman Caucus” was used many years ago by Democratic female legislators in the Ohio General Assembly to describe a group of conservative Republican lawmakers who were bound and determined to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights and other issues affecting their lives.

Now, a similar drama is playing out in the nation’s capital, where Republican male members of Congress are simply shrugging off the allegation made by Dr. Ford that demand a serious, objective evaluation.

The GOP’s rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh reflects a mindset that cannot be ignored by thoughtful Americans who believe fairness dictates an independent investigation of the claims.

The FBI is eminently qualified to conduct such a review, given that there are agents who spend a great deal of their time vetting nominees for the federal bench and applicants for high-level federal government posts.

Historical perspective

Indeed, 27 years ago, then-President George H.W. Bush asked the FBI to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct made by Anita Hill, a law professor, against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. The federal investigative agency concluded its probe in just a matter of days. Thomas was subsequently confirmed and is still serving as an associate justice.

Republican President Donald Trump, who initially reacted to Dr. Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh with the appropriate level of understanding, took a different tack Friday. H e tweeted:

“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with Local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place.”

Notwithstanding the president’s snarky reference to the accuser’s parents, the fact is that women who are victims of sexual assault keep silent or even bury the memory without confiding in anyone. They are frequently overwhelmed, confused and ashamed by the sexual attacks.

For Trump and others of his ilk not to recognize this reality is at once troubling and saddening. The Associated Press noted that the government says fewer than 1 in 4 rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police in 2016.

Is it any wonder that Dr. Ford never mentioned the alleged incident to anyone until 2012, when she revealed it during a marriage-counseling session with her husband?

The now 53-year-old professor says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

She initially asked for an FBI investigation, but Republican members of the Judiciary Committee slammed the door shut on that very reasonable idea. She then agreed to testify before the committee, but sought some key concessions to ensure a fair hearing. Again she was turned down.

Republicans in the Senate aren’t about to let Ford’s allegations derail Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. They are making a mockery of the “advice and consent” authority granted the Senate by the U.S. Constitution.

The GOP must stop living in the past.