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Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC.  © 2018 Getty Images/Tom Williams

(Washington, DC) – The United States Senate should not confirm the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, Human Rights Watch said yesterday in a letter to US senators. It is the first time in its four-decade history that Human Rights Watch has taken a position for or against a nominee to the US Supreme Court.

“The allegations against Brett Kavanaugh have not been adequately investigated,” said Nicole Austin-Hillery, US program director at Human Rights Watch. “Putting him on the Supreme Court now would send a message to survivors of sexual assault that their voices don’t matter.”

Human Rights Watch cited three major concerns that led it to oppose Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh stands credibly accused of sexual assault, and in Human Rights Watch’s view the allegations against him have not been adequately investigated. Given the opportunity to speak to these allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh displayed no sensitivity to the rights of women who come forward with allegations of sexual violence. Finally, there are serious reasons to believe he was untruthful under oath. Taken together, Human Rights Watch said, these unresolved allegations and concerns should lead senators to vote against his confirmation.

“It’s time to take a stand on the Kavanaugh nomination,” Austin-Hillery said. “As an organization dedicated to protecting human rights, we cannot remain silent in the face of the extraordinary factors present in the case of Judge Kavanaugh’s possible appointment to a lifelong position on the US Supreme Court.”

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