Brett Kavanaugh’s Admittance Into the Supreme Court

October 12, 2018

The past tumultuous and foreboding weeks have brought forth uncertainty, apprehension, consternation, and disappointment while the United States Supreme Court made their decision to confirm Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday, October 8th 2018.   

The decision resided on the 50-48 senate vote which occurred on October 8th, despite several days of speculation over swing votes Senator Susan Collins of Maine and democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia were pivotal in confirming Kavanaugh. English teacher, Ms. Weber, emphasizes that “the system itself lacks checks and balances, which means that one party can hold sway over another, and potentially make sweeping changes that do not reflect the social, religious, cultural demographics of a country. I am not sure that this is what democracy intends.”

Due to the multiple sexual misconduct allegations which have been thrown at Kavanaugh during the past few weeks, his confirmation resulted in furious backlash from protesters who lobbied Collins, Manchin, and other senators to vote against Kavanagh’s confirmation.

One of Kavanaugh’s victims, Christine Ford, 51, accused Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her at a high school party in the early 1980s.  Sasha Wertime (10) expresses her concern by sharing that “I think Kavanaugh‘s election into the Supreme Court is extremely disappointing and misinformed. Dr. Ford was extremely courageous to come out and openly speak about her abuse, setting a precedent for many victims of sexual assault.” She further added that Kavanaugh’s election highlighted the disregard of the #MeToo movement, and women’s rights which are still prevalent in our society.

Furthermore, Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s, mentioned that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her without her consent at a dorm-room party during his freshman 1983-84 school year. Poon Singhatiraj (12) exclaims that “I believe that his confirmation was way too rushed. Giving only one week for the FBI to finish a sexual assault investigation severely limited the scope of the examinations. Although it is important to keep the notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in mind, Senate Republicans and the White House, in my opinion, rushed the process and has weakened the institution of the Supreme Court by electing a judge accused of sexual assault.”

Kavanaugh continually denied the allegations brought forth by Ford and Ramirez, and an additional FBI background check into the allegations concluded less than a week later with no corroboration for the accounts.

I personally believe that Kavanaugh’s election into the Supreme Court is unfortunate, and has most certainly weakened the foundation of the Supreme Court. The accusations brought forth against Kavanaugh could have been diminished, however the failure of proper investigation with proper parameters further worries me about the future of the United States.

To further elaborate on this topic, here are some of the opinions which fellow students and teachers possess on this issue revolving around Brett Kavanaugh’s admittance into the Supreme Court:

Matthew Helmkamp (10): I think that his process of confirmation was far too arduous and extensive as a result of the sexual assault allegations against him. For example, there have been many investigations into Kavanaugh made by the FBI over many years, and each investigation yielded absolutely no negative results whatsoever. I could go on and on about this, but to me, this is the only confusing part of his confirmation because everyone is aware that Kavanaugh is extremely qualified to be a judge. Thank you.

Mr. Lawrence (Social Studies Teacher): Regardless of what Kavanaugh did or did not do in his past, the politicalization of the nomination process is concerning for the future of the court and the sanctity of our system of checks and balances.  The prevalence of knee-jerk “in-group” and “out-group” biases by Mr. Kavanaugh, the media, and our political parties only served to distort the truth, deepen divisions, and distract all of us from what really matters – mutual respect and the increasingly precarious health of the planet we live on.  

Mr. Hansberry (Social Studies Teacher): “The tension over the Kavanaugh nomination strikes me more as a reflection of already existing troubles than a cause of them.  The world – and the United States especially – is bitterly divided, hyper partisan, struggling deeply to respect women as true equals, and bent on winning at all costs.  I remain thankful that my family and I live in a community more skilled at listening to our better selves, striving to remain inclusive, and honoring the dignity of all people, not just some.”

Ms. Weber (English Teacher) : While I understand that the process of appointment has advantages, it seems vulnerable to partisanship. Worse, with a 49/51 (or close) split, this confirmation hardly represents a “majority”. The system itself lacks checks and balances, which means that one party can hold sway over another, and potentially make sweeping changes that do not reflect the social, religious, cultural demographics of a country. I am not sure that this is what democracy intends.

With a 49/51 (or close) split, this confirmation hardly represents a “majority”. The system itself lacks checks and balances”

— Marypat Weber

Poon Singhatiraj (12): I believe that his confirmation was way too rushed. Giving only one week for the FBI to finish a sexual assault investigation severely limited the scope of the examinations. Although it is important to keep the notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in mind, Senate Republicans and the White House, in my opinion, rushed the process and has weakened the institution of the Supreme Court by electing a judge accused of sexual assault. These accusations could have been diminished if proper investigations with the proper parameters were put in place, but they weren’t.

Senate Republicans and the White House, in my opinion, rushed the process and has weakened the institution of the Supreme Court by electing a judge accused of sexual assault.”

— Poon Singhatiraj (12)

Kate MacArthur (11): Brett Kavanaugh’s aggression and arrogance towards Senator Amy Klobuchar, while he was questioned, speaks volumes on how Brett Kavanaugh is an inappropriate choice for such an influential position. As an American citizen who has been planning on applying to the United States for university, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation makes me increasingly nervous about attending school and living in the United States. With the current pattern of electing self-important and often intolerant people to positions of high authority in the United States, I worry about the protection of my rights, my safety, and how I would be treated if ever put in a similar situation to Dr.Christine Blasey Ford.  

Ms. Shaffer (Science Teacher): I’ve had a difficult time synthesizing my answer because, I want what I have to say have meaning and power. But the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh reminds me that my country does not allow me that meaning or power – and there is nothing scarier than being powerless and nothing more frightening than knowing that those in positions of power (whether romantic, familial, professional or political) are directly benefiting in taking the power away from others. I’m scared of what my nation is becoming – a nation where I don’t feel safe going home during summers; where I would never send my children to public schools; where only cis-white males are entitled to basic human right;, where empathy and love are considered weaknesses and where narcissism and violence are considered strengths.

Sasha Wertime (10): I think Kavanaugh‘s election into the Supreme Court is extremely disappointing and misinformed. Dr. Ford was extremely courageous to come out and openly speak about her abuse, Setting a precedent for many victims of sexual assault. Kavanaugh’s election into the SCOTUS sadly highlights that many people with power still disregard the #MeToo movement, and, even more alarmingly, still disregard women’s rights.

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