News Releases

Following the Senate’s narrow vote to close debate on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, Senator Murray joined Senators Kamala Harris & Richard Blumenthal on the Senate floor to underline Judge Kavanaugh’s lack of fitness for the nation’s highest court, urge their colleagues to vote against his confirmation 

In back and forth with her colleagues, Senator Murray highlighted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations and credible testimony against Judge Kavanaugh, questioned what message his elevation to the nation’s highest court would send to other women & survivors

Senator Murray: “We're changing. We're growing. We're speaking out…and it's so imperative that this Senate stand behind those women”

Senator Murray: “I am concerned that this message could be the wrong one for young men and women who are coming behind us, and we have to stand up for them”

Senator Murray’s floor remarks follow rushed, limited FBI investigation of Dr. Ford & other women’s sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh – MORE HERE

ICYMI—PBS NewsHour last night: Sen. Murray: Confirming Kavanaugh will tell women to keep quiet – MORE HERE

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Assistant Democratic Leader and the highest-ranking woman in the United State Senate, joined her colleagues on the Senate floor today to slam Senate Republicans’ continued efforts to jam through President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh and highlight the multiple ways he is unfit to serve on the nation’s highest court. Following a procedural vote today to close debate and set up a final vote for Saturday to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, during remarks on the Senate floor Senator Murray outlined in detail her reasoning for believing Dr. Ford’s compelling testimony against Judge Kavanaugh, and noted that elevating him to the Supreme Court following the sexual assault allegations raised by Dr. Ford and other women would not only discourage other survivors from sharing the truth of their own experiences of assault, but would also send a harrowing message to young girls and boys about what behavior is considered acceptable in our country. Reminding her colleagues that women, men, and survivors across the nation are paying attention to how the Senate handles this and future allegations of sexual assault, Senator Murray urged her colleagues to listen to women and survivors, including Dr. Ford, and vote against confirming Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Below are key excerpts and the text of Senator Murray’s floor remarks, which can also be viewed here.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor remarks:

“Now it is extremely disconcerting to me, as someone who watched the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, and is sitting here, that I have heard people dismiss her, put her down, all the way up to the President of the United States. What message does that send across the country today to other women who are so bravely now telling their stories so it will not happen to anyone else? What does it say to them? What does it say to young girls in high school and college today? They're going to get away with it, so be quiet, because it'll only ruin your life, not theirs. What message does it say to young men? I have heard my colleagues say, well, it was high school, it was college. Really? Is that what we want, young boys in high school today to think that it's okay, don't worry whatever you do in high school does not count? Whatever do you in college doesn't count? I do not want my grandson to hear that message. I do not want my granddaughters to hear that message. I want my country to be better than that.”

“Dr. Ford is a real person. She is not alone. And if any Senator here in the United States Senate is listening, they will hear voices in their own states from places they knew, from their own relatives, from friends they have not ever known about, bravely come forward because Dr. Ford did. This Senate, with the action that we are pursuing, could quash those voices forever. Now, to my friends out there and to everyone who has a story, do not be silent. That is not how we win this for the future. But know that we do believe you.”

“But we have to in this Senate think about the consequence of this vote to so many people who are listening today and asking, do I say anything or do I let it happen? And I would just urge my colleagues to remember the lesson of 1991 where too many people felt, I can't speak out. We're changing. We're growing. We're speaking out and it's imperative that this Senate stand—and it's so imperative that this Senate stand behind those women. You need to tell your story and you need to have the courage and we'll be behind you. But I would say to the Senators who are joining me today, both who have been involved in these cases, that I am concerned that this message could be the wrong one for young men and women who are coming behind us, and we have to stand up for them.”

Text of Senator Murray’s floor remarks below:

“I thank the Senator from California and I so agree.

“And this is one of my biggest fears about this moment, and let me talk about why that is true.

“I was just a mom at home in 1991. I was a state Senator, but really not interested in what was happening here at all. My interest came because I  watched the Clarence Thomas—Anita Hill hearings, and I watched how woman shared a very difficult story with an all-male panel of the judiciary committee at the time, and she was disbelieved, she was swept aside, she was treated as if her voice wasn't important, and she was not believed.

“I was so angry as a woman because, like so many women in this country, I knew of so many people with experiences much like hers who, too, at work at that time had been dismissed, not believed, or afraid to speak up.

“And I was angry. And I went to a gathering that night and I told some of my friends back in 1991 the night of the hearing, I’m going to have to run for the U.S Senate because I need to be inside that, to speak up for these women. That's what motivated me to run.

“I was not given one chance of winning that Senate race, but here I am today, 27 years later. Why? Because so many women and men who understood shared that experience and knew that voice needed to be here. That's what brought me here to the United States Senate.

“So let me talk about Dr. Ford because I listened to her, like everyone else did, and I heard her voice, and it rang -- and I heard her voice and it rang so true to me.

“I watched her with tears in my eyes because she was honest, she was sincere, she was persuasive, she was credible, she had no reason to lie -- none

“In fact, I think we should remember, she did not want to come forward initially. She was worried about the attacks that would come. She knew the history, as every one of us do, what happens to those courageous voices when they speak up, the invasion of privacy that they have. She knew what it would mean for her family.

“She only came forward when Judge Kavanaugh was on the very short list for the Supreme Court, before he was ever sent to us. She came forward, she spoke out. But no one called her. And she didn't want to do it publicly. She didn't want to have this become what she was known for in her life. But she did, and if it wasn't for her, we would not be at this point.

“Now, Judge Kavanaugh was selected and only then was Dr. Ford able to get her information to the people who would pay attention, and she insisted that it be kept confidence – and she insisted that it be kept confidential, to none of our surprise.

“She didn't want a spectacle, she didn't want show.

“Why did she do that? She felt it was her civic duty, that we as United States Senators who were giving essentially a job interview to a man who wanted job on the highest court in the land.

“She took a polygraph test. She did everything right. She had told people before, she presented her case credibly.

“Now it is extremely disconcerting to me, as someone who watched the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, and is sitting here, that I have heard people dismiss her, put her down, all the way up to the President of the United States.

“What message does that send across the country today to other women who are so bravely now telling their stories so it will not happen to anyone else?

“What does it say to them?

“What does it say to young girls in high school and college today? They're going to get away with it, so be quiet, because it'll only ruin your life, not theirs.

“What message does it say to young men?

“I have heard my colleagues say, well, it was high school, it was college. Really? Is that what we want, young boys in high school today to think that it's okay, don't worry whatever you do in high school does not count? Whatever do you in college doesn't count?

“I do not want my grandson to hear that message. I do not want my granddaughters to hear that message.

“I want my country to be better than that.

“Dr. Ford is a real person. She is not alone. And if any Senator here in the United States Senate is listening, they will hear voices in their own states from places they knew, from their own relatives, from friends they have not ever known about, bravely come forward because Dr. Ford did.

“This Senate, with the action that we are pursuing, could quash those voices forever.

“Now, to my friends out there and to everyone who has a story, do not be silent.

“That is not how we win this for the future.

“But know that we do believe you.

“The Senate has changed since then. I was proud of the Judiciary Committee members on our side because, unlike what I watched the Senate in 1991, there were women and men there who were listening, and they are today.

“But we have to in this Senate think about the consequence of this vote to so many people who are listening today and asking, do I say anything or do I let it happen?

“And I would just urge my colleagues to remember the lesson of 1991 where too many people felt, I can't speak out.

“We're changing. We're growing. We're speaking out and it's imperative that this Senate stand -- and it's so imperative that this Senate stand behind those women.

“You need to tell your story and you need to have the courage and we'll be behind you.

“But I would say to the Senators who are joining me today, both who have been involved in these cases, that I am concerned that this message could be the wrong one for young men and women who are coming behind us, and we have to stand up for them.”