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The Case Against Kavanaugh

Updated: Nov 8, 2018

By Clara Page

It is 7:00 on a Monday morning. Around the nation, televisions turn on and radios tune in. In Washington, reporters brace for a historic newsday and inside of the Capitol Building, a woman steadies herself before facing twenty-one of the most powerful men and women in America. What feels like a lifetime later, she enters the Senate Judiciary Committee. All eyes turn to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

That is how testimony begins on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s judgement day, with a woman speaking and the eyes of America watching. This debate ends an arduous week later, when he is confirmed to the Supreme Court (51-49).

How did a routine nomination process become so convoluted that one senator referred to it as “hell”? Well, the difficulties began when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sent a letter to Dianne Feinstein, her senator and a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She alleged that “Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980s.” From there, the situation escalated until three women had publicly accused the judge of sexual assault. An anonymous source alleged that he facilitated gang rapes during his college years.

In the initial aftermath of the letter’s leak, Republican senators relied upon outrage about Ms. Feinstein withholding it from them for approximately two months. There is no denying that this claim has merit, but anyone using it as a justification for confirming Kavanaugh is misguided. He is the one being questioned, not the senator. Dr. Ford’s voice, like the voices of all sexual assault survivors, deserves to be heard regardless of the surrounding circumstances. By minimizing her testimony due to a circumstance beyond her control, senators placed their hands over her mouth as aggressively as Mr. Kavanaugh allegedly did so many years ago.

After experiencing enormous public pressure, the committee caved and invited Dr. Blasey Ford to the Senate. Throughout the experience, her treatment was appalling. Initial plans required her to testify in front of her alleged abuser. Senator Orrin Hatch called her both “attractive” and “pleasing.” Concerningly, the same Republicans who doubted her story used a less egregious accusation to push Al Franken out of the Senate. This is emblematic of a larger pattern of using sexual assault survivors as pawns in politics. Survivors must be listened to by both sides of the aisle at all times, not just when it's politically convenient.

Whether or not you believe Dr. Ford, however, there is no question that Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. Even if he was innocent of every action she accused him of -- which is statistically improbable, given that only 2-10% of sexual assault reports are falsified and he was accused four times -- recently resurfaced information about his high school years and his conduct throughout the investigation should disqualify him. “Renate Alumnius,” reads his yearbook. This is a reference to his aported sexual conquest of a peer named Renate Schroeder. The book also makes multiple references to heavy drinking and untoward activities involving women. Under oath, he stated that “[he] never attended a gathering like the one Dr. Ford describes in her allegation.” Calendars he submitted as evidence prove this false. Kavanagh also lied about the drinking age in Maryland; it was 21 during his high school escapades. Lying this way to Congress is perjury, a felony which carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison.

Overall, perspective is key in this situation. Mr. Kavanagh was not being tried in a criminal court. His current job was not at risk. Rather, he was being considered for a massive, lifetime promotion when it was revealed he possesses a bad temper and that he is willing to commit felonies to protect himself. Add to that the reputable testimony of Dr. Ford and it becomes clear that his confirmation is a stain on American politics that threatens the integrity of the highest court in the nation.


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