Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were both in their high school years at a social gathering in the early 1980s.
The hearing will be the first time the world sees and hears from Ms Ford beyond the grainy photo that has appeared in the media in the 10 days since she came forward with her claims.
President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have cast Ford's allegation as part of a Democratic smear campaign meant to thwart Kavanaugh's confirmation. Describing the alleged assault, Ford also said she anxious that Kavanaugh might "accidentally" kill her. He and his friend shut her in a room and turned up the music to hide her protests as he assaulted her and covered her mouth to stifle her screams. "Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes". He had a hard time because he was very inebriated and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothing.
She wrote that she was incapacitated, perhaps drugged with Quaaludes, and was "unable to fight off the boys raping me". "To watch someone have to recount something that traumatic, I feel very on edge for her", said Jacobson, 24, of Minneapolis.
Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has since told U.S. media that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college party in the 1980s.
Grassley also equated the pain that Dr. Ford is experiencing with Brett Kavanaugh's. And Democrats tell her, "I can't believe that someone would be OK with a man having allegations of sexual assault sitting on the Supreme Court".
The contrast between Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who is a couple of months older than he is, has been especially sharp.More news: Men: First Official Dark Phoenix Trailer Rises From the Ashes
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The all-male panel of Republicans are expected to defer most of their questions to a female lawyer, Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, an experienced sex crimes prosecutor.
After hearing from leading Republican and Democrat members, Ford made her opening sentence. "And no, I've never done anything like that".
Some on Twitter made fun of the notion that who paid for the polygraph was a big deal, while others said that polygraph testing was not a reliable way of determining the truth. But it's clear already that Republicans are paying a steep price for the starring role being played by committee chairman Chuck Grassley, who is acting as the ideal illustration of GOP Old White Male fecklessness in the presence of an alleged sexual-assault victim.
Kavanaugh said he was not questioning that Ford may have been assaulted "by some person in some place at some time", but said he was "innocent of this charge".
Asked by Hirono if there was any "political motivation" for her to come forward, Ford said "no" there was not.
Kavanaugh came out swinging-or, rather, screaming-and went on to be combative with Democratic senators, refuse to answer certain questions, and give fishy responses to others.
Kavanaugh denies both of those allegations.