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Political Opinion: Kavanaugh

By Morgan Jacobsen

In these past few weeks, the United States has found itself divided over sexual harassment accusations surrounding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Most Americans know some version of the Kavanaugh debacle, either through varying news networks, social media, or word of mouth. This event began with the entrustment of a letter from Dr. Christine Blaise Ford to Senator Dianne Feinstein, accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while in high school, at age 17. In the letter she requested anonymity. (This accusation surfaced after all of the screening and background investigation had been completed on Judge Kavanaugh with no issue.) Despite numerous opportunities to reveal this information to the public, Senator Feinstein waited more than six weeks after she had received the letter. The strategic timing of the reveal further intensified this partisan lens. By Republicans, this was seen as a ploy to delay the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh until after the midterm election when, theoretically, the Democrats could take back control of the Senate and block the nomination. This treatment of the accusation, true or untrue, by Senator Feinstein demonstrates a lack of respect for such a situation and the accuser, for both waiting to bring it to light and possibly exposing her.

Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, be them truthful or a farce, do not provide enough tangible or verified evidence to stand up in a court of law. This establishes tense controversy in the form of a “he-said/she-said” predicament. The issue is that many will not take into account the uncertainty of this instance and the subsequent unfairness of any judgment in either direction. Instead, the public conformed to their partisan assumptions. Republicans maintain that the allegations are fabricated, while Democrats argue that Republicans refuse to listen to women because they are prejudiced against them. I feel that we will look back on this moment in history and feel ashamed that so many simply ignore the founding principles of our country in the handling of these allegations by politicians, members of the media and the general public. One of our founding beliefs is that individuals are entitled to due process under the law, to be seen as innocent until proven guilty. In this case, that did not happen. Half of the country was willing to condemn Judge Kavanaugh as a sexual predator and the other half Dr. Ford as a liar. It is unsettling that in modern America, an individual can be condemned to a ruined career and a guilty verdict due to unproven accusations. The fact that so many Americans embraced this idea of mob justice and disregarded due process is disturbing. I pose this question to you now: How would you feel if you were accused of a crime based upon no verifiable evidence? How would you feel if half of your peers condemned you just because they disagreed with your beliefs? And then this accusation, though unprovable, leaves a horrific and permanent blemish on your reputation, your life, how your family sees you, the list goes on. It does not matter what side you support. You do not know what happened, nor will you probably ever find out. This leaves one question: Who do I believe? This question in itself is dangerous. I am not willing to condemn anyone to a guilty sentence based on unsubstantiated evidence.

Some of those who oppose my beliefs on this subject ask, “What about morality?” I would respond to them, “What is moral about condemning another to punishment for a crime that cannot be proven?” Others note that the way Kavanaugh acted during the hearing, with emotion and an “unfit temperament,” was not fitting of a Supreme Court Justice and that the hearing was a job interview, so he should be disqualified. I disagree. A job interview does not usually involve being accused of sexual assault by another and having to defend your reputation on national television. Additionally, I am happy that Kavanaugh defended himself emotionally for if he did not, I would fear him to be sociopathic. At this point some say they oppose Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court despite these accusations, but that is not what I am defending, nor is it a good reason to justify injustice.


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