WASHINGTON — The eyes of the country are on a small hearing room on Capitol Hill Thursday, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers, are testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Merriam-Webster shared the top searched words during the hearing, in order of popularity:
Collegial: Marked by power or authority vested equally in each of a number of colleagues
Exculpatory: To clear from alleged fault or guilt
Sequela: An aftereffect of a disease, condition, or injury
Sexual assault: Illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (such as a doctor) in a position of trust or authority
Indelible: That cannot be removed, washed away, or erased
Until July 2018, Ford said, she had never named Kavanaugh as her attacker outside of therapy. She said seeing Kavanaugh’s name on the short list of candidates for a Supreme Court appointment made her feel it was her “civic duty” to share what had happened.
“It was an extremely hard thing to do, but I felt that I couldn’t not do it,” she said.
She told the committee that she is “here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
Kavanaugh will later attempt to convince majority Republicans on the committee to confirm him despite Ford’s allegations — and as other accusations of sexual misconduct emerge from Kavanaugh’s youth.
CNN contributed to this report.