Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso are sitting back from the firestorm of controversy surrounding U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after allegations of sex abuse dating back decades came to light over the weekend.
The pace of Kavanaugh’s nomination, which is currently being weighed in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, has been slowed after the allegations, originally made in an anonymous letter to Democratic lawmakers over the summer by law professor Christine Blasey Ford, were made public.
Ford has since been invited to testify before the committee on Monday, Sept. 24. However, as of Tuesday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated Republicans have yet to hear from Ford or her attorney about the date. Ford's lawyers, late Tuesday night, announced they would be rejecting the committee's invitation to appear Monday, demanding a full investigation be conducted of the allegations before any vote on Kavanaugh's nomination be allowed to proceed.
Sen. John Barrasso, prior to the allegations, spoke on the Senate floor endorsing Kavanaugh’s confirmation, saying that Democrats on the other side of the aisle were working to obstruct the judge’s nomination and that some had made up their minds even before the nomination was announced.
“What people learned is that Judge Kavanaugh is a well-respected, mainstream, highly qualified person for this important job,” Barrasso said of the early hearings, before the allegations were made public.“What people also saw is that some Democrats in the Senate were totally unwilling to give him fair consideration.”
Post-revelation, Barrasso’s office says the senator supports the decision to field testimony from both parties on the allegations.
“Senator Barrasso believes Dr. Ford should be given a fair and dignified opportunity to testify about a very serious allegation,” a spokesperson said. “Because Democrats chose to withhold this account throughout the nomination and until after public hearings concluded, Kavanaugh deserves the same opportunity to respond. He supports the Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to consider the allegation prior to a vote.”
Barrasso’s office did not add whether he had changed his mind on a commitment to vote for Kavanaugh, a pledge he made after endorsing him Aug. 2.
Enzi, who voted to confirm Kavanaugh to be a United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006, has not said in explicit terms whether or not he would vote for the justice, only that he supported his nomination and was excited to review his qualifications. His office refrained from any specific opinions on the current state of the nomination process.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee is still reviewing the nomination,” his office said in a statement. “Senator Enzi is closely following these deliberations.”
Representative Liz Cheney said, "If Ford is unwilling to appear, the Judiciary Committee should vote Thursday, as originally planned, on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination." in a tweet Tuesday night.