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While Women's Rights Group Demand Kavanaugh Withdraw, Susan Collins Doesn't "Know Enough to Make a Judgment"

"NOW respectfully demands that Brett Kavanaugh withdraw and if he doesn't, that the Committee and the full Senate rejects the nomination of this flawed nominee," said Toni Van Pelt, president for the National Organization for Women

 Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh meeting with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in her office on Capitol Hill on August 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.

 Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh meeting with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in her office on Capitol Hill on August 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

While women's rights groups have jumped to the defense of Christine Blasey Ford, the college professor who on Sunday came forward publicly to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were high school students, many members of the Republican Party—including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine—have yet to say whether they believe the serious and credible charges are cause for delaying a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week.

"Christine Blasey Ford has demonstrated tremendous courage in coming forward. We will not sit by and let Republicans attempt to undermine and defame her."
—Shauna Thomas, Ultraviolet
Asked by a CNN reporter for her reaction to the Ford's allegations, first made public in comments published by the Washington Post on Sunday afternoon, Collins said she was "obviously very surprised" by the accusations but that in a phone call with Kavanaugh on Friday said the nominee "emphatically" denied the assault. Asked if she believed Ford's account, Collins said, "I don't know enough to make a judgment at this point."

While other Republican Senators considered possible swing votes on Kavanaugh—including Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—have now expressed at least some support for a delay in Kavanaugh's vote until more is learned about the accusation or Ford is given a chance to testify before the Judiciary Committee, Collins suggested she needed more time to think. On whether the vote should be delayed, Collins was only willing to tell CNN she would "be talking with my colleagues, but I really don't have anything to add at this point."

Other lawmakers and women's rights groups, however, did not apparently need more information "to make a judgement" on what should be done now that Ford has come forward.

"We believe women and we believe Christine Blasey Ford," said Shaunna Thomas, executive director and co-founder of UltraViolet.

"Ford has demonstrated tremendous courage in coming forward," Thomas continued. "We will not sit by and let Republicans attempt to undermine and defame her. We will hold anyone who attempts to discredit Ford accountable, and we will demand that all Senators take her story with the seriousness that it deserves."

Given the seriousness and credibility of Ford's accusations, she added, "Kavanaugh should withdraw his nomination immediately. Violence against women should have no place in our society and it certainly should have no place on the highest court in the nation."

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Calif) did not need more information to believe Ford's story or to make the judgement that a committee vote for Kavanaugh should be postponed:

Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), agreed.

Her group, said Van Pelt, "is firm in our demand that Brett Kavanaugh withdraw his name from consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court."

"NOW respectfully demands that Brett Kavanaugh withdraw and if he doesn't, that the Committee and the full Senate rejects the nomination of this flawed nominee," she said. "Our nation simply must deal with bullying, dating, domestic violence, sexual harassment, misconduct, assault, and rape. And until we make sure our homes, schools, workplace, and communities are a safe haven, we will continue to have deaths and lifetime trauma on our hands. Enough is enough."

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