Fresh off the seeming success of the smear campaign against Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), a liberal feminist group is attempting to connect Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the sexual harassment of his former boss.
Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Now the liberal group UltraViolet is trying to derail his nomination using the anti-sex abuse harassment known as #MeToo.
Kavanaugh had previously clerked for 9th U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski from 1990 to 1991. Kozinski abruptly retired last year after 15 women accused him of sexual harassment. Now Ultraviolet is tying Kavanaugh to Kozinski by demanding an investigation into whether the Supreme Court nominee knew about his former boss’ alleged abuse.
“Judge Kozinski’s office had a long history of being a toxic and dangerous environment for women,” chief campaigns officer for UltraViolet, Karin Roland, told McClatchy in a statement. “The American public deserves to know what Kavanaugh saw and heard, and if he did witness or hear about any harassment, what he did or could have done to report it.”
Unlike the rumors surrounding Jordan, no one has come forward to claim Kavanaugh knew about Kozinski’s abuse but did nothing, but critics wrote in a memo prior to Kavanaugh’s nomination that he must have known.
Kozinski was accused of “abuse, including showing them pornography in his chambers, forcibly kissing them and inviting them to have sex,” according to McClatchy.
Multiple former colleagues and employees of Kavanaugh have now reached out to defend the judge.
Eighteen women who formerly clerked for Kavanaugh also signed a letter on his behalf and sent it to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for holding a hearing on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“We know all too well that women in the workplace still face challenges, inequality, and even harassment. Among other things, women do not enjoy a representative share of prestigious clerkships or high-profile legal positions,” the women wrote. “But this Committee, and the American public more broadly, should be aware of the important work Judge Kavanaugh has done to remedy those disparities. In our view, the Judge has been one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers.”
The women wrote that Kavanaugh has hired more women than men (25 as opposed to 23) as law clerks, and that in one year he hired four women law clerks, which they believed had never previously been done. He has also sent 21 of those 25 women on to clerkships at the Supreme Court.
The Daily Signal also compiled a list of other former employees who are defending Kavanaugh. (Full disclosure: The Daily Signal is part of the Heritage Foundation, my former employer.)
“I worked for Alex Kozinski in the summer of 1992, while Brett Kavanaugh was a law clerk. It was a completely professional environment, and I never saw or experienced any harassment, nor did I ever feel uncomfortable,” wrote Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley, a summer extern who worked in Kozinksi’s chambers when Kavanaugh clerked. “Brett Kavanaugh is, moreover, a consummate gentleman, and I cannot imagine he ever knew about or condoned any workplace misconduct by Judge Kozinski or anyone else.”
Yale Law School professor Amy Chua called Kavanaugh a “mentor to women” in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. The Journal also wrote an editorial about Kavanaugh’s “guilt by association” accusations from “sleaze-slingers,” referring to UltraViolet.
So far, more than 20 women have come forward to defend Kavanaugh.