Brett Kava(nah): The Issue with the New US Supreme Court Justice

I suppose it’s not surprising that a man accused of sexual assault, Brett Kavanaugh, would become the Supreme Court Justice of a man similarly accused and known for bragging about his ability to “grab [women] by the pussy” —American president, Donald Trump. 

That doesn’t make it any less of a blow. 

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice on Saturday October 6th amongst large protests outside the building. Kavanaugh has a life appointment, meaning he cannot be impeached. The protesters went, in addition to opposing Kavanaugh’s confimation, to support Christine Ford, the victim of the alleged assault. There were chants such as “Hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go” and “shame, shame, shame” echoing from the public galleries. 

Ford is a symbol for countless other women whose accusations have been denied or ignored. Ford’s accusations go back to when they attended the same high school in Maryland and went to a party. She said that at this party, two boys, including Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, pushed her into a bedroom. With the other friend, Mark Judge, watching, Kavanaugh proceeded to pin her to the bed, grope her and try to take her clothes off. When she tried to scream, Kavanaugh allegedly covered her mouth with his hand. Ford said she only managed to escape when the friend drunkenly jumped on them both. 

What then does this mean for us? for the United States? What does it mean for Trump? For us, it’s a devastating blow for women’s rights and I fear that a lot of progress we have made in recent years will be reversed. Major debates over abortion, LGBTQ rights, the extent of presidential power, and more will be greatly affected by this decision. The election also tells boys that this kind of behaviour is okay (and even if it isn’t, they won’t get into serious trouble for it. I mean, at the very least, they could still become Supreme Court Justice). For Trump, the confirmation is very good news. Though the issue is controversial, Trump could potentially be pardoned for his crimes. He has already pardoned several of his political allies. We don’t know what this man might do if the need arose. So far, Kavanaugh has dodged questions on whether he would support such an action. However, based on what his history with women indicates, I’m not optimistic. 

What can we do about this? If there’s one good thing that has come out of this whole shit show, it’s that a very diverse set of people has been unified in their anger with the system. Sticking together is one of the most important things to do now; whether that means not taking shit from a guy who won’t take no for an answer or not laughing at a sexist joke, anything. I was at work the other day, talking to a customer. She, a woman in her seventies, was trying to convince me that the accusations against Kavanaugh were silly because he was seventeen and drunk and therefore should not be held accountable. I, despite rarely contradicting customers, made sure to tell her that she was wrong. I hope you would too. 

 

Images obtained from:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/kavanaugh-senate-midterms-1.4853275

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/04/brett-kavanaugh-laquan-mcdonald-tria...

Information obtained from:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/06/politics/kavanaugh-protests/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/17/politics/kavanaugh-ford-timeline/index.html

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-kavanaughs-appointment-i...

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/06/politics/kavanaugh-final-confirmation-vot...

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/kavanaugh-trump-exec...