Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine interviewed Prof. Chase Raymond about a recent study, published in Language and Communiciation, in which he and colleagues examined the Senate Judiciary Committee's questioning of then-Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. In collaboration with CU-Boulder Linguistics PhD alumnus, Nick Williams, Lisa Mikesell (Rutgers University), and Innhwa Park and Marissa Caldwell (both at West Chester University), the authors argue that the Committee's current system of chairing its hearings systematically provides for, and thereby implicitly legitimizes, the insertion of bias in its proceedings, while nonetheless orienting to an ideology of fairness based on time limits for speaking. Focusing on the linguistic and interactional mechanisms through which chairpersons may use the ‘interstitial spaces’ that emerge within such hearings, the researchers conclude that the structural privileges afforded to partisan chairpersons can compromise the Committee's ability to reach impartial and unbiased conclusions in its investigations, and they offer recommendations with regard to how this might be resolved.
The article in Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine can be found here.
The full paper in Language and Communication can be found here, or by contacting Prof. Raymond directly.