Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) announced Monday night that she would nominate Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor best known for accusing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault 36 years ago, for the “Profiles in Courage” award.
Speier tweeted that she would nominate Ford for the prestigious award, which has been bestowed upon several former U.S. presidents, for sacrificing “to do what was right for our country”:
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 @JFKLibrary. She is an inspiration to us all.
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) January 29, 2019
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the sponsor of the award, says on its websitethat it bestows the honor on public officials “at the federal, state, or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit of Profiles in Courage.”
The award is based off President John F. Kennedy’s 1957 book of the same name, which featured stories from “eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good,” according to the library’s website.
The library has awarded the prize to 51 people— including former Presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September accusing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault at a party 36 years ago.
The committee decided to conduct an additional FBI investigation limited in scope to look into her claims. The FBI later found the allegations against Kavanaugh to be unsubstantiated.
Even though nobody was able to prove the legitimacy of Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Democrats seized the opportunity to use Ford’s testimony as ammunition against Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Ford herself also gained a lot from testifying. She obtained access to hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple crowdfunding campaigns in her name and received several offers for book deals.
Several Democrat politicians and media outlets also decided to honor Ford after her testimony. Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss, a Democrat, announced in October 2018 that she would honor Ford at a public ceremony before the city council for her courage.
Sports Illustrated also chose Ford to introduce the magazine’s 2018 Inspiration of the Year Award honoring the gymnast who first accused USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar of sexual assault.