POLITICS

Rep. Jackie Speier Nominates Christine Blasey Ford For Prestigious Profile In Courage Award

The award, which is usually reserved for public officials and politicians, celebrates "political courage."
Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in September. Rep. Jackie
Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in September. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) tweeted that she is nominating Ford for the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) announced she is nominating Christine Blasey Ford ― the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, for a distinguished honor usually reserved for public officials. 

Speier mentioned Ford’s nomination for the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Twitter on Monday night. The Profile in Courage Award was created in 1989 by Kennedy’s family to honor the late president and “recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage that he admired most,” according to the award website

“Nominating Dr. Christine Blasey Ford ― a true American (s)hero who sacrificed so much to do what was right for our country and for the pursuit of truth of justice ― for this year’s Profiles in Courage Award,” Speier wrote. “She is an inspiration to us all.” 

A staffer for the congresswoman confirmed to HuffPost that Speier did submit a formal nomination for Ford. Past recipients of the Profile in Courage Award include former President Barack Obama, former President Gerald Ford and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.). 

Speier told HuffPost on Wednesday afternoon that she nominated Ford for the prestigious award because she feels there is “no one more deserving of this honor,” adding that Ford is “a hero of the highest caliber.” 

“She is the face of women speaking truth to power in the fight for equality,” Speier said. “She is the face of every sexual assault survivor who has had to defend herself or himself when it is the perpetrator who should be on trial. She spoke for so many who have been robbed of justice.”

“And she did all of this knowing she was guaranteed to suffer ceaseless character assassination attempts, torment and abuse,” the congresswoman added. 

In September, Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the two were in high school. Despite Ford’s emotional testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee ― and an angry denial from Kavanaugh ― the Republican-led committee and the full Senate voted to install the judge on the Supreme Court for life.

The Palo Alto University professor received an onslaught of death threats and harassment for speaking up, and she and her family were forced to relocate for security purposes for months after Kavanaugh was confirmed. 

Despite the turmoil she has faced since coming forward, Ford said in a November statement that she does not regret anything. 

“Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty,” she said. 

“Having done so, I am in awe of the many women and men who have written me to share similar life experiences, and now have bravely shared their experience with friends and family, many for the first time,” she continued. “I send you my heartfelt love and support.”

The 2019 Profile in Courage Award will be presented at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston in May. 

This article has been updated to include Rep. Speier’s comments on her nomination of Christine Blasey Ford. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article indicated that the Profile in Courage Award is given out in Washington, D.C. In fact, the award ceremony takes place annually in Boston. 

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