WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will answer questions before a Senate hearing stemming from accusations against him regarding an alleged sexual assault.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, next Monday, Sept. 24 at 10 a.m.
Ford says Kavanaugh sexually attacked her at a party when he was 17 and she was 15. She came forward to the Washington Post over the weekend and said she began talking about it with a therapist in 2012.
Kavanaugh continues to deny his involvement in the sexual assault, but some Republican senators expressed concerns about Kavanaugh after Ford's story came out, including Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Three Democrats who have been on the fence about the Kavanaugh nomination and are facing tough re-elections in red states also called for a new hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kavanaugh nomination draws parallels to Clarence Thomas
The sexual assault allegations facing Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh bring up another case nearly three decades again, with another Supreme Court nominee.
Nearly three decades ago, Professor Anita Hill accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of workplace sexual harassment. The allegations resulted in last minute hearings.
There are now distinct parallels between the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas and those of Kavanaugh, who will answer questions before a Senate hearing on the alleged sexual assault allegations next Monday.
As Hill prepared to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about alleged sexual harassment by then-nominee Clarence Thomas, Georgetown Law Professor Emma Coleman Jordan organized the pro-bono legal team to represent her.
“She was very articulate, very organized, very clear and very psychologically centered,” Coleman Jordan said.
Now, 27 years later, a similar situation is playing out after Professor Christine Blasey Ford put her name to allegations against Kavanaugh.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee does not appear to be any better prepared to handle this kind of claim than it was before,” Coleman Jordan said. “There’s a scrambling to respond.”
Thomas was ultimately confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 52 to 48, and with Democrats in the majority in 1991, the outcome was surprising to Hill’s legal team.
“We thought our chances of having a favorable response was fairly good. That was disappointing,” she said.
While the cases have similarities -- both men denied the accusations, both women initially wanted to stay anonymous, they both have similar professions, it's their stories that diverge in important ways.
“The accusation in this case is an accusation of physical violence, that’s very different,” Jordan said.
“Anita’s case was verbal harassment using pornography, talking about pornography, pressuring her for dates,” she explained.
As a bitter battle over one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. collides with the Me Too movement, will the outcome in this case be different?
“I don’t know. I would like to think it would be,” Coleman Jordan said.