LC Discusses the Kavanaugh Nomination

Priya Rajaram '21

Brett Kavanaugh serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and he is known well for being President Trump’s nominee to fill in the vacancy that has opened at the Supreme Court due to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. 

However, ever since being announced as a nominee, sexual assault allegations have risen against Kavanaugh that date back to his highschool years at Georgetown Prep and his college years at Yale University. 

Christine Blasey Ford was the first to accuse Kavanaugh. Two other women after Ford, Julie Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez, have also come forward as well with allegations against Kavanaugh.

All of these allegations negatively affect Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court, which can result in his confirmation being denied. There is also the presence of the #MeToo Movement, and how the conduct of this issue impacts both men and women who have been sexually assaulted before. 

Ford sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, a democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. According to Ford, in the early 1980s she was sexually assaulted by him at a party during their high school years. However, Kavanaugh was not questioned about these allegations in confirmation hearings, despite the allegations being anonymous at first. As a result, questions have been raised on the handling of this issue. 

Lily Potter ‘21 said, “If these senators were truly supporters of the Me Too Movement, they would have asked Kavanaugh in his hearings about the allegations or conducted an investigation in Congress instead of slandering Kavanaugh.”

Mr. LaForest said, “As a history teacher, I have in mind the irony that Judge Brett Kavanaugh stands to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was himself subbed in for a nominee named Judge Douglas Ginsburg, whose nomination was withdrawn just over three decades ago when his youthful marijuana habit was revealed. As a schoolperson, citizen, neighbor, husband, father, etc. I am deeply concerned about the message this process has sent to people of all backgrounds about the seriousness of sexual misconduct and assault.”

Also, it is difficult to confirm who is telling the truth since it is tough to find people who have heard of the incident at the time that it was committed, which makes this issue a highly debatable one. 

Lily Potter ‘21, also said, “Clearly, if Dr. Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh are proven true, the Senate should not confirm his Supreme Court nomination. However, there must be a burden of proof in order to slander and ruin someone’s entire career, rather than the unsubstantiated allegations without corroborative evidence that have been presented. So far, as of September 28, the allegations have consisted of Dr. Ford’s word, with no additional witnesses or evidence, against Kavanaugh’s refutations. The Democratic senators used Dr. Ford’s letter to advance their political agenda to slander the conservative, qualified Judge Kavanaugh.”   

On September 27, both Kavanaugh and Ford were questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee. During this hearing Ford told the committee that she was “100 percent” sure that Kavanaugh assaulted her, and Kavanaugh said in his final testimony that, “I’ve never done this. Never.” 

Kavanaugh maintains the fact that he is innocent, and Ford insists that Kavanaugh is the one who sexually assaulted her. 

Afterwards, the vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court was scheduled for September 28, one day after the hearing, but it has been further delayed after it was agreed that the FBI will conduct a one-week investigation on the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. 

Overall, this issue is clearly not over yet and there is still many unanswered questions; however, new information might be disclosed in the upcoming weeks, including the results of the Senate’s vote.