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What are the responses to the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh? Show more Show less

Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court nomination, Brett Kavanaugh, has been accused of attempted rape by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The incident allegedly took place at a party when Kavanaugh was 17-years-old.

Even if Brett Kavanaugh did assault Dr. Blasey Ford, it’s not a big deal Show more Show less

Whether he did it or not is not really important. It should not affect his nomination.
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Brett Kavanaugh interaction with Dr. Blasey Ford was just “Rough horseplay”

The allegations describe don't amount to attempted rape or sexual assault. They are just two teenagers playing around.

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Context

On Tuesday, September 18th, a spokesperson for the Judicial Crisis Network downplayed Kavanaugh’s accusations.[1]

The Argument

Carrie Severino told CNN, “[Ford] is certainly implying that it is attempted rape… I’m saying the behaviour she describes could describe a whole range of things”. She explained Kavanaugh’s behaviour could “cover a whole range of conduct, from boorishness, to rough horseplay, to actual attempted rape”.[1]

Counter arguments

The scenario Ford describes is attempted rape without a doubt. In her letter to Dianne Feinistein, Ford describes the incident. “Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room. They [Kavanaugh and Mark Judge] locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help. Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with [Mark Judge], who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.” [2]

Framing

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Premises

The incident Ford describes does not necessarily constitute attempted rape.

Rejecting the premises

Ford is clearly describing an attempted rape. The description appears to describe an event that goes well-beyond the parameters of “rough horseplay”.

Proponents

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Further Reading

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References

  1. https://www.thecut.com/2018/09/brett-kavanaugh-sexual-assault-excuses.html
  2. https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/16/politics/blasey-ford-kavanaugh-letter-feinstein/index.html

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This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Dec 2019 at 11:12 UTC