Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah slammed Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee for their plans to have female staffers question Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during her testimony next week regarding allegations of attempted sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, Pace Law School’s distinguished criminal justice fellow and longtime U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York offered her thoughts on the various demands and conditions being set by the all-male panel of Republican senators. She said:
This idea that they’re gonna have female staffers questioning Dr. Ford..,that is just shameful on top of shameful. If they are going to try and question her credibility, attack her, smear her in the way that they have been, they should have the guts to do it themselves and not put a front up of a woman staffer. It’s not her fault that there are no female Republican senators right now. So, they should have the guts to stand up and do this themselves.
The potential of the all-male majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee deferring to female staff during Ford’s questioning has long been a sticking point with Ford and her attorneys.
Over the course of the past week, through a series of public and private negotiations with committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ford’s legal team, led by attorney Debra Katz, has vociferously objected to the GOP using female stand-ins.
Earlier on in the segment, Rocah was asked to summarize the moment at hand in the context of Anita Hill‘s sexual harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
Rocah said, “I think this is even bigger in a lot of ways. I became a lawyer in some ways because of what I saw Anita Hill go through and I’m sure that there are young women out there now being galvanized by this — and I can’t see what they do with it.”
The former prosecutor continued, taking a broad view of the allegations and coming proceedings:
This is more than about the Supreme Court, more than about this nominee. This has really become a lens and a focus on..how powerful men in this country, — not all, but certainly the ones who are in power in the Republican Party right now — are treating women and how they view women. And I think the reason that it’s upset so many women so much is that we see a little bit of all of us in Christine Ford. And so, I think this may end up being an even bigger moment than Anita Hill. Not that that was not a big moment–but now with social media you have a wider net.
[image via screengrab]