*Trigger warning this article discusses a sexual assault survivor*
It has now been more than two months since the process began to confirm President Trump’s pick for the vacant seat of retired justice Anthony Kennedy. Now like all major decisions in government most people were expecting some delay. Our government has come to a point that we are more polarized than ever. Either you are in support of equality for all or you’re part of the alt-right movement. With this mentality, it is no wonder that it has been over two months. However, these two months will probably turn into many more months. Largely what is holding this conformation up is another common thing within our government and society as a whole: sexual assault.
Who Is Brett Kavanaugh?
Before delving into what is happening it is important to get an understanding of who this man is. His name is Brett Kavanaugh. He attended Georgetown-Prep High school in Maryland and continued education on to Yale University in Connecticut. His first major role in government was being part of Kenneth Starr’s investigation team. This team worked to impeach former President Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Eventually, he was nominated by George W. Bush for the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2003. His nomination was not completed until 2006. Kavanaugh blamed Democrats who said that he was too partisan. Since his appointment in 2006, he has released 300 opinions and has now been known for his conservative views.
Why Did President Trump Nominate Kavanaugh?
The simplest answer to this is that retired Justice Kennedy was a swing vote, and Kavanaugh is a guaranteed conservative vote. For instance, his views on abortion, the second amendment and religious freedom are conservative. As much as he is conservative, Kavanaugh has not always come forward with his opinions directly but reveals them with underlying tones.
In 2017, a young girl who entered the U.S. illegally requested to be released from being detained in order to obtain an abortion. Her case traveled through the government. Kavanaugh had attempted to delay the release, but the ruling was overturned. In his dissent against the disappointment of the ruling, he wrote “permissible interest in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.” Here he showed his belief that the government should have control over women’s choices.
Next is his stance of the second amendment. In 2011, Kavanaugh wrote another dissent with a conservative view. The case was District of Columbia v. Heller where it was ruled that the second amendment does protect the people’s right to possesses guns. In his dissent, Kavanaugh said the second amendment does protect the use of firearms such as semi-automatics.
Finally, in 2015 Kavanaugh disagreed with the laws of net neutrality. He does believe that the large cable companies should be able to control the speed of the internet and the population’s access to it. He supported this view by stating the first amendment. He believes that having the access to control your internet use is the companies enacting their first amendment, publishing and showing what they want.
With Kavanaugh’s past and conservative views, it is not surprising that president Trump nominated him since he follows closely with the same political mindset.
The first who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault was a high school classmate. This classmate originally remained anonymous. Eventually, Dr.Christine Blasey Ford had written an allegation letter to Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). In her letter, she came forward and said that Kavanaugh had forced himself on her one night at a party.
The second accuser is Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate at Yale. She reported the incident to the New Yorker. In her accusation, she recalls the assault with “[He] exposed himself…thrust[ed] his penis in [my] face and caused [me] to touch it without consent.”
Both women have faced many hurdles with coming forward with the allegations. Dr. Ford has supplied evidence such as notes from her counseling sessions and friends who have seen her go through the trauma. Her husband was also present during the counseling sessions. However, as much as this is reliable, she has admitted that she forgets some details of the night. Ramirez has also admitted to having some memory issues that night due to drinking.
The confirmation process halted while the accusations were investigated, and Kavanaugh and Ford both testified in front of the Senate. Democrats pushed for a formal FBI investigation, and President Trump has come out and blasted both women claiming that the accusations are false. Kavanaugh has consistently denied the allegations and a new hashtag has come forward as well: #WhyIDidntReportIt. This continues to prove why movements such as #metoo need to exist. Continuously, men in power have taken advantage of women and believe they can get away with it, it is part of all women’s jobs to build each other up and support one another to educate the world and stop this for future generations.
*Update: Kavanaugh has been confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice*