Christine Blasey Ford nominated for prestigious Profile In Courage Award

By Sophie Lewis

/ CBS News

California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier is nominating Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — the woman who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a high school sexual assault — for the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The award, which recognizes acts of "politically courageous leadership," is usually reserved for public officials and politicians.

Speier announced her nomination of Ford for the award on Twitter Monday. "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 tweeted. "She is an inspiration to us all."

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 award was created in 1989 by members of the Kennedy family "to honor President John F. Kennedy and to recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage that he admired most." President Barack Obama, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and President George H.W. Bush are among past recipients. Recipients of the award are chosen by a bipartisan committee.

In September, Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University college professor, went public with accusations that Kavanaugh had pinned her down at a party in high school and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. Her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee riveted the nation, as did his forceful denial. Blasey Ford said she was "100 percent" sure that Kavanaugh assaulted her. Kavanaugh said he was "100 percent certain" he did not. In the end, he was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a mostly party-line vote.

Blasey Ford said she received "frightening threats" that forced her to hire security to protect her family. For a time, they were forced from their home, her lawyer said. Despite the threats, she stood her ground.

"Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty," Ford wrote in November. "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. I send you my heartfelt love and support."

The 2019 Profile in Courage Award will be presented in Washington, D.C., in May.

First published on January 30, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Blasey Ford nominated for Profile In Courage Award

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