U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Tuesday spoke on the Senate floor about the latest unfounded and “incomprehensible” claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Video of Blackburn’s remarks is available here.
Earlier in the week, Blackburn also voiced her support for Kavanaugh, The Tennessee Star reported. She reflected back on the Democrats’ smear campaign during the confirmation hearings, comparing it to a “political circus.”
U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and other Democratic presidential candidates are calling for Congress to impeach Kavanaugh after a report resurrected allegations against him. Harris was reacting to a story in The New York Times from reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who wrote an upcoming book called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”
However, the Senate Judiciary Committee last November released its final report of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, finding ‘no evidence’ to corroborate the claims.
Blackburn’s remarks from Tuesday follow below.
Thank you Madam President.
I’ll get straight to the point.
I find it incomprehensible that my colleagues across the aisle are making the same mistakes that turned last fall’s Supreme Court confirmation battle into a black mark on the history of this body.
I want to make it clear that I have no desire to re-litigate the disputes born from Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
I do not want to hear my friends on the other side of the aisle leverage more of the same baseless, salacious allegations in the name of partisan politicking.
But when you stop and think about it, and since they have chosen to go there, it is imperative that I speak out – that we speak out – about what about what is transpiring.
I wasn’t in the Senate for the first go-around on this, but I’m here now, and I can tell you that I intend to give their arguments exactly the amount of deference and respect they deserve.
You know, sitting on the sidelines is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when you’re watching a fight you know you could help win.
I know this feeling very well.
Last fall, I was fighting to become the first female senator from the great state of Tennessee. While on the campaign trail, I got more than an earful from other Tennessee women who were watching the breathless coverage of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Those women were concerned that their voices were not being heard in this debate.
They were concerned, also, for spouses, sons, brothers, male colleagues. They could see these baseless claims and they were concerned about the lack of due process.
They didn’t like what they were seeing — and neither did I.
These women—conservative and independent, mind you—were disgusted by the nature of the sexual assault allegations, but they were also horrified by what they rightly saw as an eagerness to set due process aside in favor of making an example out of Kavanaugh.
Were flimsy allegations and social justice buzzwords really the new standard for credibility?
As much as I wanted to reassure these women that sanity would prevail, in the back of my mind I remained fully aware that, if left unchecked, insanity is fully capable of carrying the day.
As it turns out, conservatism prevailed in Tennessee, and sanity prevailed in the United States Senate.
I was humbled when Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh performed my ceremonial swearing-in this past January, and when I received the additional honor of being one of two Republican women afforded a seat on the Judiciary Committee.
Humbled, but prepared for a fight. I will not abide the lack of civility, of decency, and of rationality we saw during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
This is more serious than just evaluating a final tally of political points on the board.
Politicians, journalists, and activists are leveraging unfounded criminal allegations against a duly confirmed Supreme Court justice in an effort to undermine his work, and ultimately, the Court as an institution.
Is this honestly what we have come to? Is this the new low of lows? Can no one see the danger in this?
We are a nation of laws; and the Senate is a body built on process and deliberation. Who will stand and defend it?
As a woman, as a new United States Senator, and as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I stand to defend the process and for civility.
I refuse to leave this political chaos unchecked, and I welcome my colleagues to join me in recognizing that due process and civil discourse are required for constructive, respectful debate.
I yield the floor.
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