RI NOW: We support Senator Whitehouse’s efforts to #StopKavanaugh and denounce Flanders statements

Hilary Levey Friedman, RI NOW President

Since July 10, 2018 when Brett Kavanugh was nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the National Organization for Women has opposed his nomination. Much of the opposition rests on his stated positions on women’s healthcare, but now Judge Kavanaugh is facing a serious allegation of sexual assault.

In Rhode Island we are lucky to be represented by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who is a thoughtful, fierce advocate for women. Senator Whitehouse has shown his leadership at the national level throughout the confirmation hearings. In light of the assault allegations Senator Whitehouse, along with many Republican Senators (including Senators Corker, Flake, and Murkowski), has suggested a delay in the confirmation vote is warranted.

Unfortunately, Bob Flanders, the Republican nominee for United States Senate, is standing with more extreme factions. Yesterday he issued a statement saying, “Uncorroborated allegations of uncharged and uncomplained of misconduct against a judge that supposedly occurred 35 years ago when he was a minor are not a sufficient basis to delay, much less derail his confirmation to the Supreme Court.” Mr Flanders went on: “65 women have come forward to verify that the judge has never mistreated them or other women, and the statute of limitations has long since run out on any criminal or civil claims that could possibly arise from such untimely and stale allegations.”

Robert Flanders should be ashamed for suggesting that a credible sexual assault allegation against President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court is not even worthy of consideration. RI NOW is glad that the nominee did not assault 65 of the approximately 125 million women in the US, but that does not change the nature of the allegations by one brave woman. Mr Flanders shows callous disregard for a woman who says she was assaulted as a young teenage girl and has lived with that trauma for decades. Clearly Mr Flanders will stop at nothing to carry out President Trump’s agenda, even if it means going out of his way to tear down the voices of women and declining to hold his fellow Republicans accountable for allegations of sexual misconduct.

Mr Flanders owes an apology to every survivor who has bravely come forward at great personal risk to their families and careers to get the justice they deserve.

RI NOW is proud to support Senator Whitehouse in his efforts to #StopKavanaugh and be a leader for all of Rhode Island’s women.

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About RI NOW 3 Articles
Hilary Levey Friedman is the President of Rhode Island NOW, an organization that takes action to bring women into full participation in all aspects of public and private life without experiencing barriers based on gender. We seek to create a world where all women and girls have access to comprehensive health care services, are free from violence in all forms, have achieved economic equality, have equal rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and are free of racism, which diminishes us all. We realize that purpose in the State of Rhode Island as we successfully empower women, including ourselves, to be the difference we wish to see in the world.

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