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Mormon women demand LDS senators halt Kavanaugh hearings so misconduct allegations can be investigated

The Washington Post logoThe Washington Post 9/26/2018 Michelle Boorstein
Brett M. Kavanaugh listens to senators make their opening statements during his confirmation hearing Sept. 4, 2018. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post) © Melina Mara/The Washington Post Brett M. Kavanaugh listens to senators make their opening statements during his confirmation hearing Sept. 4, 2018. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

An organization of Mormon women formed in response to President Trump’s election is calling for the four Mormon members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to pause hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh until the claims of two women alleging sexual misconduct can be investigated.

Mormon Women for Ethical Government on Monday issued a statement to the committee and in particular, it said, “to the four members who share our faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” — GOP Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Mike Crapo of Idaho.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh,” the group’s statement read, a “thorough independent investigation” must be conducted “to ensure that these charges be taken seriously and that every attempt be made to ascertain the truth of the situation. Our mutual faith teaches that any sexual abuse or assault in any context is contemptible and worthy of the most severe condemnation.”

“If these accusations are proved false, an investigation will prevent harm to the court’s legitimacy. If they are true, then Judge Kavanaugh must not be confirmed,” it said.

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Kavanaugh has denied the allegations of two women who have come forward in recent days. Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students in Maryland. Deborah Ramirez told the New Yorker that he exposed himself to her when they were students at Yale University.

Republicans in Congress have resisted calls for an FBI investigation of the women’s claims. The committee is scheduled to hear from Ford and Kavanaugh, separately, on Thursday.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday that Lee has said he wants to hear more from the accusers and from Kavanaugh. Crapo hasn’t commented publicly, the paper said. Flake has expressed concern about the allegations and said early on that the committee should hear from Ford.

Hatch has referred to Ramirez’s allegation as “phony,” and when pressed on why he characterized it that way, Hatch responded: “Because I know it is. That’s why.”

“I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be,” Hatch said of Kavanaugh being confirmed.

The Mormon women’s group, which has dozens of offices across the country, highlights on its website its advocacy on immigration, gun violence, voter access and civility.

Its Facebook post Monday, around the same time as the letter to the senators, was a spiritual meditation calling for people to guard against being defensive. Instead, it said, "we can call upon our divine nature to be gracious, forgiving, and loving — even to those who have not in that moment offered the same to us.”


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