Following a virulent Senate hearing, multiple sexual assault allegations and a week-long FBI investigation, the Supreme Court accepted Judge Brett Kavanaugh as its newest justice.
Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, delivered a powerful address in the hearing to testify Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her when she was 15 and he was 17 at a house party in Maryland with the help of author Mark Judge.
As the nation prepares for another conservative politician in a position of power, we also face the realization that despite these very real and horrific allegations made, Kavanaugh is both getting away with a reported rape and getting his dream job.
Why the hell did the Senate allow this suspicious SOB onto the Supreme Court with all of this controversy surrounding him? Was its goal to categorically crush the souls of the American populace or were its members naive to the fact that going through with this confirmation would destroy the credibility it has with the public?
Kavanaugh’s angry and defensive approach to affirm his “innocence” during his hearing was not indicative of someone who was not guilty, but rather a privileged child lashing out in order to make people believe he did nothing wrong.
The final vote was a close one, with 50 senators voting to swear Kavanaugh in against 48 votes, and the 53-year-old judge was sworn in with a private ceremony promptly afterwards.
A narrow divide on a controversial topic such as this is truly frightening to see, as it highlights the very conservative and old-fashioned mindset of doubting a woman and her allegations, which has long been cited as a factor in why people are often afraid to come forward with sexual allegations.
The close vote might come as a sense of comfort to some, but the truth is that 50 people still chose to elect an alleged rapist onto the Supreme Court, and that’s an issue.
Despite the progress from the #MeToo movement, the fact that an accused rapist managed to get a seat on the Supreme Court after the current president faced the same controversy is a major step backward.
Americans elected a self-admitted female groper to the White House in 2016, which seemingly created an atmosphere more tolerant of these monsters in places of power.
Following the revelations of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K.’s inappropriate behavior in early 2017, the nation was ready to toss out any kind of sexual offender and ensure their lives — or at least their careers — were over.
Women, including Kavanaugh’s own wife, sitting in the rows behind him couldn’t even maintain a face of indifference during the hearing. This should prove that some shadow of a doubt should’ve been given to his defense.
“I had concerns at the very beginning of this process, and I fear it more than ever at the end of the process,” Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, said on the Senate floor. “Any remaining hope that Judge Kavanaugh could be trusted to be an impartial justice or perceived to be an impartial justice was shattered by his opening statement at his last hearing.”
Following the hearings, the FBI began an investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, but just under two weeks after it was opened, the agency announced that no corroboration could be found in Ford’s allegations.
It’s even more discomforting that this isn’t the first time the Senate has turned a blind eye to allegations such as these with a Supreme Court nomination.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall in the Supreme Court, but as the hearings went on, law professor Anita Hill revealed behavioral misconduct while working under him at the U.S. Department of Education.
As with Kavanaugh, a lot of press surrounded the controversy and Hill addressed the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on Thomas’ behavior. History certainly repeated itself because, just like the former hearing, Kavanaugh’s resulted in a victory with less than five votes dividing the decision.
Despite the past and society’s desire to punish those guilty of sexual misconduct, the Senate’s dismissal of history is a step back in the progress we’ve made today and it’s downright disheartening.
Kavanaugh is not the literal last chance to fill the seat vacated by Anthony Kennedy. The national justice system is populated by numerous candidates worthy of the job and without this suspicious behavior in their past.
Rather than taint the image of the justice system even more than it already is, the opportunity was presented to paint a brighter self-portrait by declining Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court position, but the decision that was made became political versus moral.
Just because the majority of the Senate is Republican, it doesn’t mean they should adhere to who the President wants for every job, especially if it’s someone clouded by controversy.
The nation’s survival shouldn’t rely on dedication to a political party or even the president, but rather serving the public in the best morally-conscious way possible.
“The road that led us here has been bitter, angry and partisan — steeped in hypocrisy and hyperbole and resentment and outrage,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor, minutes before the vote, adding, “When the history of the Senate is written, this chapter will be a flashing red warning light of what to avoid.”
We can only hope that Schumer’s words carry over into the next generations of senators and create a better sense of awareness and decision-making in who to swear in to the highest court of our nation.