10 October 2018, The Tablet

Supreme Court controversy: politics makes an ass of US law

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Mr Kavanaugh has now been confirmed by the Senate as a member of the United States Supreme Court, after a series of bad-tempered and polarising sessions shown live on television that were watched across the world. He trenchantly dismissed the moving evidence of Christine Blasey Ford, that when he was 17 and she 15 he had taken her to a bedroom and tried to remove her clothes with the apparent intention of forcing himself on her.

Rarely has such dirty linen been washed so publicly. Her allegation aroused such intense interest outside as well as within the United States because it fell at the intersection of two extremely emotive public debates – one, about the sexual abuse of vulnerable women by rich and powerful males; and the second, about abortion.

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