What NJ leaders say about Brett Kavanaugh sexual misconduct allegations
TRENTON — At least three of the state's leading Democrats — including the two who have a vote on the next potential Supreme Court justice — have come out against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh has been accused by Professor Christine Blasey Ford of attempting to sexually assault her when they were both teenagers. Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has said Kavanaugh thrust his penis into her face at a party in college. The attorney for Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had sex with President Donald Trump, says another client of his also alleges misconduct by Kavanaugh. The Senate judiciary commmittee is expected to hear testimony on at least some of those matters later this week.
If Kavanaugh's nomination clears the judiciary committee — and possibly even if it doesn't — it will come up for a vote by the full senate. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, both Democrats, have already come out against the nomination, with Booker being one of the most outspoken objectors to Kavanaugh — even before the allegations of sexual misconduct.
The following New Jersey leaders and politicians have weighed in on the allegations:
Sen. Cory Booker (Democrat): As a member of the judiciary committee, Booker will be one of the first people in the senate to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination. Booker has been an early detractor for the judge, and also has drawn criticism himself for leaking what he said were confidential documents about Kavanaugh.
"The allegations ... about Judge Brett Kavanaugh are serious, credible, and deeply troubling," Booker said in a statement earlier this month. "It takes enormous courage to come forward publicly as Ms. Ford has. The Senate owes it to her and every survivor of sexual trauma to listen to her story and gather all of the facts before moving forward with this nomination."
Bob Hugin (Republican): Menendez's challenger in the November election has said he'll reserve judgment on the Kavanuagh nomination, but said it's "disappointing to see career politicians like Bob Menendez denounce nominees before they've even been named or gone through the rigorous confirmation process."
"An allegation this serious in nature should be fully investigated," he said in a Tweet on Sept. 16. "I am hopeful that senators in both parties will ensure that happens immediately."
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (Democrat): "Dr. Ford's account seriously calls into question Mr. Kavanaugh's moral code,' Watson Coleman said in a Tweet on Sept. 17. "There is no time limit when making a lifetime appointment. A vote MUST NOT be held until she is heard and we have all the info."
Rep. Albio Sires (Democrat): In responding to Kavanaugh's nomination, Sires said President Trump had "turned his back on Justice Kennedy's legacy and role on the court." putting protections people rely on at risk. On Monday he encouraged the senate to delay the vote for what he called "multiple credible allegations of sexual misconduct."
"This is a lifetime appointment and any claim of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated," he said.
Rep. Leonard Lance (Republican): Lance was one of New Jersey's representatives to support Kavanaugh's nomination when it was first made back in July. He has not been quoted on the record since the allegations against the judge were made.
"He possesses great intelligence and impeccable ethics," Lance said in a statement following the nomination. "I hope Judge Kavanaugh will serve as a Supreme Court Justice in the mold of the jurist he will succeed and for whom he clerked, Justice Kennedy."
Former Gov. Chris Christie (REPUBLICAN): Now a contributor for ABC News, Christie was on Good Morning America last week defending Kavanaugh from the allegations, according to The Daily Caller. Christie said senators raising issues about Kavanaugh have credibility issues themselves. "It's going to come up to ... folks like Sen. Flake, Sen. Corker, Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Collins. What do they consider to be a fair and thorough review?" he said on the program.
New Jersey Republican Party: While not making any specific statements, the New Jersey Republican Party has posted several items on its Twitter account in support of Kavanaugh before and since the allegations were made public, including a petition people can sign to support him. The site also has a petition people can sign in support of an Booker being investigated for releasing documents.