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Budowsky: Murkowski’s big Kavanaugh truth

Budowsky: Murkowski’s big Kavanaugh truth
© Anna Moneymaker

On Tuesday, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate advances Trump energy pick after Manchin flips The Senate must reject Bernard McNamee’s nomination for FERC Overnight Defense: Congress pauses to mourn George H.W. Bush | Haspel to brief senators on Khashoggi killing | Soldier is fourth to die from Afghan IED blast MORE (R-Alaska) spoke one of the most powerfully important truths offered in the modern history of the Senate. She said the search for truth regarding the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGraham vows to push Trump’s AG pick through Judiciary Committee Log Cabin Republicans leader 'not nervous' about conservative Supreme Court impacting LGBT rights Dem pollster says concerns over Kavanaugh were 'merit-based,' not about partisanship MORE would be advanced by a fair and professional background check from the FBI, and that a great question facing the Senate is whether or not a woman who has been a victim at some point in her life is to be believed.

Christine Blasey Ford comes forward as a person who is respected, admired and trusted by her friends, colleagues and neighbors. She has passed a polygraph examination and offered significant corroborating evidence of her credibility and her claims. Deborah Ramirez is similarly highly regarded by those who knew her and has been scrupulously careful and honest describing the allegations she makes.

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We need not make final judgements today about the allegations they make. But these women, all women, and all who care about justice deserve a fair confirmation process and honest search for truth that can ONLY be accomplished through a professional and independent FBI background check with witnesses questioned under oath.

It is true, as Murkowski stated, that the president needs to direct the FBI to conduct the full background check that is historically normal and routine in confirmations. It is equally true that Murkowski and other senators can make it clear they will not vote to confirm Kavanaugh until an FBI background check is conducted and finalized, at which point they can cast their votes based on the best possible information.

Andrew Jackson said that one man with courage can make a majority. Murkowski could prove in our times that one woman with courage can make a majority in the Senate, and perform a timeless service for women everywhere. If she insists on the FBI background check before voting on the nomination, at least one fellow senator and probably more will almost certainly follow. Justice would be done because of her integrity and courage.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful and noble if one courageous senator, followed by others, does the right thing for the right reason to ensure that women who come forward receive the fair treatment, respect and honest search for truth they seek and deserve?

The treatment of women who came forward during the Kavanaugh confirmation is one of the great moral shames and miscarriages of justice in the history of the Senate. They are demeaned and insulted by a president who attacks them, a Senate that is asked to disrespect and ignore them, and a confirmation process that is even more dastardly than the injustices committed against professor Anita Hill.

It is an outrage against justice that powerful male Republican senators are reduced to hiring a female prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, whose GOP clients presumably want her to destroy the credibility of the woman in what could resemble a rape trial where defense lawyers attack the victim.

This Republican prosecutor should be asked: Do YOU favor an FBI background check? Shouldn’t everyone?

By scheduling votes before testimony is received, Republican leaders seek to bully senators to vote before the facts are known. They do not seek the truth. They obstruct the search for truth. They treat the hearings like a show trial that is fixed before evidence is presented, while corroborating witnesses are silenced and the defamation war against the women escalates to a fever pitch.

Across America, in every state represented by every senator, there are women who have been brutally beaten and raped. They will be rooting for Ford—some visibly and others silently—when she is cross-examined by the female prosecutor hired by Republican men who fear and oppose the honorable search for truth that an FBI background check, not a partisan show trial hearing, could provide.

Truth, justice, honor, integrity and decency demand a fair FBI background check. If one woman with courage makes a majority on this matter, America will be better tomorrow than it is today.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.