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In the category of: History in the making that goes beyond this nomination.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, asked Christine Ford about the things she remembers about the night of the alleged attack.
Here’s how she answered:
“The stairwell, the living room, the bedroom, the bed on the right side of the room — as you walk into the room, there was a bed to the right — the bathroom in close proximity, the laughter, the uproarious laughter, and the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so.”
In the category of: #metoo has a long way to go.
Critics say she has no evidence. She gathered her own.
As women have learned again and again, an allegation alone is almost certainly never enough to prompt any kind of action — including an impartial review. When women bring these claims, it’s not an effort to dismantle due process and argue for an automatic conviction, as some have argued; it’s an effort to simply have their stories heard.
To even reach that point, however, they not only have to endure the attacks that come with speaking out, they also have to have a bulletproof case built from the get-go.
It’s something Ford clearly knew all too well.
In the category of: Experts are rarely unbiased.
Since her career became the subject of national attention, two failures have been repeatedly mentioned: In 2003, Mitchell’s office was criticized after it declined to prosecute a man for abusing his quadriplegic wife. (The woman went on to write a harrowing memoir about her experience.) In 2011, Mitchell granted a plea deal of only six months to a Jehovah’s Witness who was found guilty of assaulting a teenaged boy. What’s been largely left out of this narrative are the wide-ranging institutional failures of Maricopa County when it has come to reporting, investigating, and prosecuting sexual assault, particularly when reported in Latinx and immigrant communities.
Mitchell has worked under several different bosses, and the stark failures of the bureaucracies are never the fault of a single person. That said, her career trajectory raises significant questions about her role in advocating for victims and correcting the problems that plagued these offices.
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