Sen. Marsha Blackburn: Targeting Kavanaugh for character assassination again is appalling

After the breakdown of due process and civility during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, I am appalled that many of my Senate colleagues have chosen to resurrect their attempted character assassination against a man a majority of senators deemed qualified and more than fit for the bench.

By reigniting these attacks, the professional left is not merely questioning the integrity of a duly sworn justice; they are challenging the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as an American institution.

I was not yet a member of the Senate when the Kavanaugh nomination was used as an excuse to overthrow regular order. I was watching from the campaign trail as partisan hysteria hijacked the confirmation hearings and twisted the public perception of Kavanaugh into something synonymous with depravity.

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As the fallout drifted further from the Beltway bubble, I saw that women were being isolated and intimidated by a coordinated PR campaign.

At event after event, women representing all factions and creeds expressed their dismay over the way politicians, activists, and the media were treating Kavanaugh and his family.

They were scared to voice their support for the judge for fear of being attacked as “anti-feminist.” Even identifying as a conservative felt risky.

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When the people of Tennessee did me the honor of making me their first woman senator, they put me in a position to strike back against what I believe to be efforts to intentionally chill conservative speech. Senate leadership must have agreed I was up to the task, because soon after the election, I was named one of two Republican women to secure a seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

When I accepted my place on the end of the dais, I accepted dual responsibilities: to support the nomination process and to help control it. It was in that moment I promised myself that I would never abide the lack of civility and decency that made a mockery of what should have been a deeply serious moment in American history.

When the next confirmation battle or floor fight looms large, I will be there.

The next time the professional left comes knocking on the hearing room door, I’ll be there to cross-examine witnesses and expose the truth behind baseless allegations. There will be no need for a special prosecutor.

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I have no doubt that there will be other Kavanaughs. The left’s appetite for outrage far exceeds any one body or official’s capacity to encourage moderation.

But as a new United States senator, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a woman, I will stand up to defend order, civility, and the integrity of the deliberative process against this resurgence in political chaos.

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