Will Brett Kavanaugh face jail time

US judge candidate Brett Kavanaugh : Christine Blasey Ford wants to testify on Thursday

Two people know the truth, but violently contradict each other. You, this is the psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, he, this is the candidate for the US Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. Blasey Ford accuses Kavanaugh of attempted rape during a school party 36 years ago. Kavanaugh denies this and speaks of a "dirt campaign". Should his nomination be confirmed by the Judiciary Committee of the US Senate this Friday, Donald Trump and America's Conservatives will cheer. The last word then has the Senate plenary, in which the Republicans have a wafer-thin majority. Supreme Court decisions shape American society. There is a lot at stake.

A preliminary decision should be made this Thursday. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh will testify before the Judicial Committee, which includes 21 senators. You will be interviewed, have to provide details, the hearing is open to the public, there is a pause every 45 minutes. Who is more credible? Which version sounds better? A whole nation will form a judgment based not on evidence but on statements about a possible crime. If the occasion weren't as shocking as it was outrageous, one could speak of an exciting, even dramatic, spectacle.

Party loyalty can quickly take revenge

Blasey Ford is under personal protection for receiving death threats. She is accompanied by two lawyers who also negotiated the terms of the hearing. The Republicans, in turn, have asked Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor, to interrogate the alleged victim. Mitchell has been involved in sex offenses for many years and is recognized as an expert in the field. It is clear why an external woman should take over the questioning: all eleven Republican members of the judiciary committee are men who do not want to be suspected of being misogynistic through aggressive interrogation methods, for example.

Who is with whom? Party loyalty can quickly take revenge when the public pendulum swings in the other direction. There is a small group of conservative Democrats who are not (yet) ruling out a nomination by Kavanaugh. A small group of moderate Republicans, on the other hand, expressly linked their vote to the course of the hearing.

As the first celebrity in the #MeToo era, actor Bill Cosby was sentenced to at least three years in prison for sexual assault on Tuesday. The message was clear and should have reached Congress: crimes will be punished.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page