It is important to note that Ford’s claim is not barred by the statute of limitations. Since Ford alleged that the crime occurred in Montgomery County, Maryland, Maryland law would apply. Maryland does not have a criminal statute of limitations for a felony sexual offense. Consequently, Kavanaugh could be tried.

Having Ford go through the judicial process would certainly take time, and, if the confirmation vote occurs before a case against Kavanaugh were adjudicated, he could have already been appointed to the Supreme Court. If he were found guilty and is sitting on the court when the verdict occurs, the Constitution provides a remedy: impeachment. It is a near certainty that, if Kavanaugh were found guilty of sexual assault, he would be impeached, convicted, and removed from office.

The Senate could certainly delay a vote on Kavanaugh until after the judicial process against him ends. It would, however, set a dangerous precedent of delaying votes every time a criminal allegation occurs. That would make it possible that individuals would make false allegations to derail a candidate or postpone a hearing until after an election and possible change in the composition of the Senate.