Penn Law professor Amy Wax, notorious for making controversial comments that have attracted national attention, has weighed in on the sexual misconduct allegations levied against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In an online video entitled "Affirmative Action, Kavanaugh, and #MeToo," Wax characterized Christine Blasey Ford's allegations of sexual assault against the conservative judge as "stale" and "not fair."
“I think it violates principles of basic fair play for her to be bringing this up. I think she should have held her tongue — if I were her, I would have. I think basic dignity and fairness dictates that, you know, it's too late, Ms. Ford, even if there would have been consequences to bitching about it at the time. So there's that,” Wax said in a virtual discussion published Thursday on Youtube.
That same day Ford and Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a contentious hearing. Ford, a Palo Alto University professor who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, reiterated her claims that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high school party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh maintained his unequivocal denial of the allegations.
President Donald Trump nominated Kavanuagh after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in June. In the past two weeks, three women have come forward levying allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Kavanaugh.
Wax explained her perspective in a digital talk with Brown University Professor Glenn Loury as a part of his online discussion series, "The Glenn Show."
Wax also questioned punishing Kavanaugh for a "momentary act of recklessness" that allegedly occurred when he was a teenager and suggested Ford was exaggerating her traumatic responses in order to disrupt his nomination process.
“But even if he did it, 17 years old, we now are saying that a man is going to pay for the rest of his life for a momentary act of, you know, recklessness, which … didn’t create any permanent harm, except through this manufactured idea that this is such a horrible, traumatic thing," Wax said, adding, "His whole life now is ruined.”
"There is no perfect justice," she continued.
Wax criticized the second woman to allege misconduct of any sort, Deborah Ramirez, for coming forward with sexual misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh. Ramirez, who attended Yale University with Kavanaugh, told the New Yorker that the nominee exposed himself and pushed his penis in front of her face at a college party.
“Her story was so flimsy — it’s beneath attention,” Wax said. “But no, they’re blowing it up into something as if it’s actually happened and it’s true.”
Wax previously garnered negative attention the last time she appeared on Loury's show last fall when she claimed she had never seen a black law student graduate at the top of their class. Following widespread backlash, Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger stated that her claims were false and barred her from teaching mandatory first-year courses.
The controversial professor first rose to national prominence in August 2017 when she co-authored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer arguing for the return to 1950s American cultural norms. In a subsequent interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian, she praised white bourgeois values as superior.
Since then, she has given a number of speeches and published op-eds including one which bashed the lack of "civil discourse" on campus and claimed that Ruger asked her to resign.
University spokesperson Stephen McCarthy did not immediately respond to request for comment.
On Friday, the Senate confirmation vote was delayed after a key swing voter, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), called on the FBI to investigate the allegations. Now, Kavanaugh’s confirmation hangs in the balance as several key Republican and Democratic senators alike are holding off announcing their votes.
Wax said she is unsure if Kavanaugh will be confirmed, but she hopes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will tell senators "we need to balance off the pros and the cons, and on balance, this man is good for us and he's good for America, and we need to vote for him.”
"Here's my view as a Republican,” Wax said. "I am looking to McConnell to save the day and just say 'Enough of this. Let's hold the vote.'"