Republican Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday dodged questions about the increasingly contentious nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but said there should be an investigation into allegations against the judge before a Senate vote.
When asked by a reporter, he did not directly answer whether he thinks Kavanaugh is fit for the nation’s highest court, nor whether he believes Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges the federal judge sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denies that claim, as well as accusations of sexual misconduct from two other women.
Baker reiterated his position that the allegations against Kavanaugh should be independently investigated. He also said that no vote should be taken until an outside investigation is complete.
Speaking at an unrelated event in Boston, the governor said when people make allegations like Ford’s, “they deserve to be heard.”
In November, Baker faces Democrat Jay Gonzalez, who has said he is vehemently opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation and that he believes Ford, a California professor.
Both Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify before senators Thursday.
Senate Republicans have scheduled a committee vote on the nomination for Friday and have dismissed calls for an FBI investigation into the claims against the judge.
Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump to fill the seat vacated by former associate justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who was a key swing vote on the high court.
Here’s the full back-and-forth:
The Boston Globe: “Based on what you know now, do you think Judge Kavanaugh is fit for the Supreme Court?”
Governor Charlie Baker: “I said before and I’m going to say it again: I think there should be an independent investigation of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, and I also believe there should not be a vote until there is an independent investigation. Period. And I hope that that’s the direction that the Senate chooses to go in.”
Boston Globe: “Do you believe — ”
Baker press aide: “Last question!”
Boston Globe: “Do you believe Dr. Ford? Do you believe Dr. Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh?”
Governor Charlie Baker: “I said earlier that I think when people make allegations like this they deserve to be heard. I said the same thing when the allegations associated with the Senate came out earlier this year in Massachusetts. I believe there should be an independent investigation. I believe that investigation should preclude anything associated with a vote. And I think until that investigation gets done, they should put off voting on this.”
Joshua Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.