Mr. Chairman, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to set the record straight and clear my name.
Senators, I would begin by categorically stating again that the last-minute, scurrilous, uncorroborated, and bad-faith allegations that have been levied against me are totally and completely false. My record as a judge, as a husband, and as a father speak for themselves, and they speak loudly.
I am innocent of these charges.
It is deeply shameful that our public discourse has been so degraded because of the things that have been bandied about in the press and in the court of public opinion; it is a disgrace that my wife and daughters, and this great country, have had to hear these baseless smears repeated over and over again because, “It’s news.” No. It is poison, and it must end.
Unless and until it does, America and the rule of law will suffer greatly.
This is not about my past. This is about the depths to which some in our country are willing to sink in order to destroy others simply because of a difference of opinion about judicial philosophy—and their inability to effect that opinion through the normal constitutional process.
There is a deep ideological sickness at the heart of some factions in our republic. This charade has nothing at all to do with the content of the salacious gossip swirling around my nomination and everything to do with how certain senators believe I might rule in certain cases. They do not care if they obliterate concepts like “due process” or “the presumption of innocence” if it means they can have my scalp and warn off others who might rule as I would.
But I have been very clear that I will look at both the facts and the law in each and every case that comes before me: without prejudice, without fear, and without favor. I will do that each and every time I don the black robes, just as I have done for the past 12 years on the D.C. Circuit and in over 300 opinions.
I will not withdraw because of a coordinated character assassination campaign.
If this raw political power play succeeds, a horrific precedent will have been established, and a clear message will have been sent: “If you are an honorable and capable man or woman possessed of a sense of duty to serve your country—look elsewhere; there is no place for you. And if you do want to serve, be prepared to traverse Hell.”
That must not be allowed to happen.
I want to be abundantly clear on this last point: Judges cannot be bought or bullied. I will not be bought or bullied.
Nearly 30 years ago, then-Judge Thomas sat where I now sit and excoriated the “circus,” the “national disgrace,” that had enveloped his own confirmation. The Senate saw through the lies and the baseless allegations which were and still are totally out of step with his character, record, and reputation and voted to confirm him to the Supreme Court. That must be our model today.
The last two weeks will go down in infamy as rank political terrorism. Such unfettered vileness has no place in this process. None at all.
I know the American people can see that. I can only hope that the U.S. Senate has the backbone to join them.
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