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At Values Voter Summit, Religious Conservatives Stand by Kavanaugh

Katelyn Burns

"Sexual predators ... it's abominable, and there's just no room for it as far as I'm concerned. Having said that, we must also recognize that there are two sides to every story,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson during the Values Voter Summit.

Religious conservatives and legislators reassured the crowd at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday that Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court within a few weeks.

Amid emerging details about a possible U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing involving Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, whose allegations of attempted rape against the nominee came to light earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reinforced to those attending the summit that Republicans are still committed to winning the confirmation fight.

“You’ve watched the fight, you’ve watched the tactics,” McConnell told the crowd. “But here’s what I want to tell you, in the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the U.S. Supreme Court …. Don’t get rattled by all of this. We’re gonna plow right through it and do our job.”

“Look at how angry the left is. The angrier they are, the better we’re doing,” he said before criticizing Democrats for trying to delay the nomination.

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson detailed several political dynamics he believes are at play in Democratic opposition to Kavanaugh. “Sexual predators … it’s abominable, and there’s just no room for it as far as I’m concerned. Having said that, we must also recognize that there are two sides to every story,” he said, before comparing Ford’s allegations to a time he had his wages garnished for alleged non-payment of child support.

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council (FRC), the group that hosted the summit, praised McConnell’s leadership in giving the federal court system a hard turn to the right. “Leader McConnell’s decision not to move former President Barack Obama’s pick is one of the single most courageous political acts to have ever been done in the history of the United States Senate,” Perkins said of the majority leader, later adding that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would put the Supreme Court on a “path of restoring this constitutional republic.”

Prominent religious conservative Gary Bauer, president of American Values, spoke about his experience shepherding justice Clarence Thomas through the confirmation process in 1991. The Thomas confirmation fight was infamous for Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against the nominee, which have now been echoed as Ford has stepped forward with allegations of her own.

“This is a travesty,” said Bauer, referring to Ford’s allegations. “ I cannot imagine what it has felt like for Judge Kavanaugh to be in that hearing room with some of the things that have been pulled. I mean, and it’s almost like political waterboarding. That’s what our confirmation process has become.” After saying the women who protested the first round of Kavanaugh’s hearings were “acting like little Nazis,” Bauer called Ford’s letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) a Democratic “insurance policy.”

“Look, I have sympathy and I am praying for the accuser out in California for whatever happened in her life,” he said. “What she’s saying is unproven and I would argue its unprovable. There’s reasons why most laws and most crimes have statutes of limitations.” Maryland, where the Kavanaugh’s alleged attempted rape reportedly took place, has no statute of limitations on sexual assault.

Many anti-choice organizations have stayed vocal in their support for the nominee. Bauer was similarly nonplussed, laying bare the endgame for Kavanaugh. “The left is scared to death that at some point there might be five justices on the Supreme Court that will actually make a ruling that could save a few babies,” he said.

Religious conservative leaders maintained an air of confidence regarding Kavanaugh’s confirmation, telling participants to be prepared for victory. “When Clarence Thomas was sworn in to the Supreme Court of the United States, man, I celebrated that night,” said Bauer. “In a few weeks, when Judge Kavanaugh is sworn in as the next Supreme Court justice, we will not only celebrate that day, we will be celebrating for the next 30 years.”

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