Brett Kavanaugh Hearing, Mollie Tibbett’s Dad, Meghan McCain: Broadsheet for Sept. 4

September 4, 2018, 11:42 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The women of Wells Fargo have had enough, Meghan McCain proves—yet again—that she is her father’s daughter, and Brett Kavanaugh is getting a special intro at his confirmation hearing today. Have a terrific Tuesday!


 Kavanaugh's 'liberal feminist' crusader. Two months after President Donald Trump tapped Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the nominee is headed before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The stakes of the confirmation hearing are extraordinarily high, as Kavanaugh, a conservative, is up for a lifetime appointment to a bench he's likely to shift to the right. If confirmed, he could serve as the swing vote on a number of hot-button matters, from religious liberty, to executive power, to a woman's right to choose. That latter topic is an especially pressing concern of left-leaning feminists, so it's particularly noteworthy that a woman who self-identifies as such will be one of three people introducing—and, in effect, endorsing—Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill today.

Lisa Blatt clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, currently leads the Supreme Court practice at law firm Arnold & Porter, and has argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court—more than any other woman. She, along with Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Senator Rob Portman (R–Ohio), will speak on Kavanaugh's behalf today, and her comments are likely to reflect the Politico op-ed she wrote in August that urged Democrats to back the nominee:

I do not have a single litmus test for a nominee. My standard is whether the nominee is unquestionably well-qualified, brilliant, has integrity and is within the mainstream of legal thought. Kavanaugh easily meets those criteria. I have no insight into his views on Roe v. Wade—something extremely important to me as a liberal, female Democrat and mother of a teenage girl. But whatever he decides on Roe, I know it will be because he believes the Constitution requires that result.

In voicing her support for Kavanaugh—"the most qualified conservative for the job"—Blatt invokes the confirmation of Ginsburg, who landed on the nation's top court thanks in part to support from 41 Republican senators who "knew she was a solid vote in favor of Roe," Blatt writes, but voted for her "because of her overwhelming qualifications" anyways.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Cali.) is another figure expected to garner the spotlight at this week's hearing. She and Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) are the first black members of the Senate Judiciary Committee this century, and the former prosecutor, long rumored to be a 2020 contender, will likely unleash her trademark rapid-fire style of questioning. Harris, who's called Kavanaugh a "conservative ideologue" rather than an "unbiased jurist," is unlikely to heed Blatt's advice. Fortune


Early exit. USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry is expected to resign today after a nine-month tenure marked by much criticism and little tangible progress in helping the organization come back from the Larry Nassar scandal. Perry's exit was seen as inevitable after U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said on Friday that it was “time to consider making adjustments in the leadership.”  USA Today

The determined dozen. Twelve female executives in Wells Fargo's wealth management unit have had enough of the bank's boys' club culture—all seven senior managing directors overseeing the business's regions are men. So the 12 convened a meeting in Arizona in June to discuss concerns about gender bias, the Wall Street Journal reports—just one sign of lingering discontent among women in the division. The company, meanwhile, says it's “committed to promoting diversity and inclusion." Wall Street Journal

 A father's message. Anti-immigrant sentiment has targeted Iowa's Latino community ever since an undocumented immigrant emerged as the prime suspect in the death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. Tibbetts's father on Saturday issued a forceful statement against the rhetoric. "I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome," Rob Tibbetts wrote in an op-ed. "But do not appropriate Mollie's soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist." Des Moines Register

The McCain mold. Meghan McCain's emotional, pointed eulogy at her father's National Cathedral service on Saturday was even more proof, the New York Times reports, that the one-time blogger and View co-host is "her father’s daughter, a paradoxical Republican figure willing to pay the price of being politically direct."  New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The Institute of Directors, a U.K. business lobby, has named former investment banker Charlotte Valeur as its new chair.


 A step ahead. This year's elections could catapult women into a variety of roles across state governments. Oregon is already at that point, with women serving as governor, attorney general, and in more top state legislative posts than any other state. That means they're a step ahead of many female candidates this year, running for reelection and defending their political records on the campaign trail.  New York Times

The upside. Fortune's McKenna Moore reported in June on a looming national shortage of OB-GYNs. The follow-up: The shortage could spark innovation in digital health for women. A new study found that digital health companies could be encouraged to enter the maternal and child health space. Fortune

Killer instinct. When investigators caught the Golden State Killer in April, it was in large part thanks to Barbara Rae-Venter. An attorney-turned-genetic genealogist, Rae-Venter helped law enforcement connect the dots between DNA evidence and family trees. She opted to stay anonymous at the time of the arrest, but came forward last month. New York Times

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