Rep. Ayanna Pressley intends on Tuesday to introduce a resolution calling for an impeachment inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a move that is meeting resistance from her own party.
"Sexual predators do not deserve a seat on the nation's highest court."
—Rep. Ayanna Pressley
In a statement to Boston's WBUR Monday, Pressley, a Democrat from the Massachusetts city's 1st District, emphasized her concerns for the victims of the justice's alleged high school and college sexual assaults.
"I believe Christine Blasey Ford," said Pressley. "I believe Deborah Ramirez. It is our responsibility to collectively affirm the dignity and humanity of survivors."
The 3-paragraph resolution was posted online Monday night by Boston.com reporter Nik DeCosta-Klipa.
.@AyannaPressley plans to introduce a resolution tomorrow calling for the House Judiciary Committee to launch an "impeachment inquiry" of Brett Kavanaugh following the NYT's reporting over the weekend pic.twitter.com/VqKycrIFMu— Nik DeCosta-Klipa (@NikDeCostaKlipa) September 16, 2019
The resolution comes just days after an explosive report from The New York Times revealed that accusations from Ramirez that Kavanaugh harassed her during their time at Yale, sticking his penis at her, were backed up by other witnesses but that the F.B.I. did not investigate the matter. On Monday, the Times further reported that Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) had also reached out to the F.B.I. on Ramirez's alllegations, only to be similarly rebuffed.
"The revelations today confirm what we already knew," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, tweeted Sunday. "During his hearing, Kavanaugh faced credible accusations and likely lied to Congress. I support any appropriate constitutional mechanism to hold him accountable."
The reporting indicates that Kavanaugh perjured himself during his hearing testimony before the narrow 50-48 confirmation vote that gave him one of the court's nine seats.
"Sexual predators do not deserve a seat on the nation's highest court and Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process set a dangerous precedent," Pressley told WBUR. "We must demand justice for survivors and hold Kavanaugh accountable for his actions."
An impeachment inquiry into Kavanaugh, however, presents difficulty for advocates of such an approach in the reluctance from Democratic leaders to take action against the court.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a Monday Politico article on the split in the party over impeaching Kavanaugh that Pressley and others advocating for holding the judge accountable for perjuring himself during his confirmation need to "get real."
"We've got to get beyond this 'impeachment is the answer to every problem,'" said Durbin. It's not realistic."
Durbin was joined in his resistance to taking any action over Kavanaugh's likely perjury by fellow Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahey (Vt.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) as well as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.).
"During his hearing, Kavanaugh faced credible accusations and likely lied to Congress. I support any appropriate constitutional mechanism to hold him accountable."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told Politico she supports Pressley's efforts to hold the justice accountable.
"I'm pretty sure Jerry Nadler cares if somebody, particularly somebody is getting a lifetime appointment, whether that person lied to Congress," said Hirono. "I hope he'll change his mind."
That point was echoed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is running for her party's nomination for president. But, Harris said, given the lack of action from the Senate on President Donald Trump's misbehavior, she's not holding her breath.
"If you gauge what the United States Senate has done to the current leadership, it has been coddling and frankly not holding it to account, this administration, on a number of levels," Harris told NPR. "But it doesn't mean that those of us who have a responsibility to act shouldn't act."