Women's advocates ask Rubio to vote against Kavanaugh confirmation

Florida's Democratic senator plays to vote against nominee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Women’s advocacy groups were in the state’s Capitol Tuesday morning, asking Sen. Marco Rubio to vote against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The National Organization for Women and the Progressive Council of North Florida delivered a letter to Rubio’s office, urging the senator to consider the findings of a pending FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations facing Kavanaugh.

“We want Sen. Rubio to open his mind ... and to trust women,” NOW's Barbara DeVane said. 

“He [Rubio] says that without any corroborating evidence that it's hard for the Senator to vote against him [Kavanaugh],” said Lance Watson, Rubio’s Capital area regional director.

Rubio’s vote is important because Republicans outnumber Democrats 51 to 49 in the U.S. Senate.

“It's time to put party affiliation aside and stand for the people of this country,” said Dot Inman-Johnson with the Progressive Leadership Council of North Florida.

The groups say Kavanaugh’s demeanor during the Senate hearings make him unfit for the Supreme Court.

“He is not temperamentally qualified,” Johnson said.

Whether the sexual assault claims brought by Kavanaugh’s accusers ultimately stop his confirmation, groups that help victims of sexual assault say the public discussion has given a voice to the voiceless.

Meg Baldwin is the Executive Director of the Refuge House. 

She says the crisis center’s sexual assault hotline has received more calls this September than in previous years, a trend that’s been seen nationally as well.

“Although this can be a very painful moment for survivors, we know too that any time a survivor reaches out for help, that help can really change the course of the next years and decades of her life,” said Baldwin.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he’ll be voting against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

If you are a victim of sexual assault and are seeking help, you can call the Florida Council against Sexual Violence at 850-297-2000 to be connected with your local crisis center.