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Amnesty International Just Called for Vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to Be Postponed Citing Human Rights Abuses

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh fends off multiple accusations of sexual assault, human rights group Amnesty International is asking Senate Judiciary Head Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to postpone Kavanaugh's confirmation vote--an extremely rare move for the organization.

Executive Director Margaret Huang said in the letter:


Amnesty International USA calls on you to halt the vote on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Amnesty International takes no position on the appointment of particular individuals to government positions, unless they are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law and could use their appointment to the position in question to either prevent accountability for these crimes or to continue perpetration. At the same time, the organization calls on governments to thoroughly vet candidates in regard to any human rights concerns arising from their prior conduct.

As noted in the letter, Amnesty International rarely voices opinions on Supreme Court nominees unless they believe the candidate poses a serious risk for human rights.

In addition to concerns regarding the allegations of sexual assault levied against Kavaugh, Amnesty International also expressed worry regarding Kavanaugh's position on torture, citing his involvement with the administration of George W. Bush. Amnesty International suggested that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee found two documents suggesting that Kavanaugh may have had involvement in the CIA torture scandal after 9/11.

Some were in agreement with Amnesty International's request.

Others thought it reflected poorly on the organization.

However, Amnesty International's requests that all documents be turned over and Kavanaugh be re-vetted echo those of many who want to see the allegations of sexual assault investigated.

When Dr. Christine Blasey Ford first came forward with her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats and others called for the FBI to reopen its background check of the judge.

As happens all too often when victims of sexual abuse come forward, Dr. Ford was widely accused of lying. Yet when she requested an FBI investigation be conducted before she faced public questioning before a committee whose majority consists of adversarial Republican men, her requests were denied. This is most likely because of the unexpectedly contentious nomination's proximity to the 2018 midterms, as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham implied.

Others are citing several reasons that an FBI investigation is warranted, including:

  • The FBI specializes in tracking down information, even and especially on decades-old allegations like this.
  • If Ford is lying, why wouldn't Kavanaugh and Senate Republicans want it fully investigated in order to clear the judge's name?
  • There is not a time limit on this process, so there is plenty of time to have these investigations adequately examined.

As more allegations surface, calls for an investigation are growing louder.

As Amnesty International adds its voice to the calls for an investigation, Kavanaugh's all-but-inevitable confirmation is now treading water.