Three sexual assault allegations, a Supreme Court nominee, a hearing and inevitable confirmation or rejection; these events sound fresh out of a political TV drama, yet they have been the reality of America’s controversial political landscape since Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in July of this year.
The nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for the vacant Supreme Court Justice seat remain pivotal in the midst of the upcoming midterm elections along with the #MeToo movement resurging to the forefront of American society. His nomination demonstrates how divided American society is on partisan issues and at what lengths they go to support their own cause.
Since Kavanaugh’s nomination, the probing into his personal and political life has been rampant. Kavanaugh had proven to be a conservative judge during his time in the Circuit Court of Appeals, sticking to an originalist view with the Constitution. His confirmation would cement the Republican majority in all of the branches of the the federal government, barring a majority switch during the midterm elections for the House of Representatives.
Because of Justice Kennedy’s previous role as the swing voter within the Court, Kavanaugh’s possible confirmation would prove to be devastating for the Democratic party, liberals and any hope of closing the increasing political divide between the two parties. As shown by the last few weeks’ developments concerning the sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh, his possible confirmation would prove to be devastating for the growing movement of women and men speaking up about their experiences and holding their assaulters accountable. The intersection of these issues put America on the precipice of an unpredictable outcome for those that may feel further oppressed by what Kavanaugh’s possible confirmation might mean for them.
Although not unusual for such a critical decision to raise protests among the political parties, the objections against Kavanaugh raise concern over the growing divide between Democrats and Republicans and the civil unrest has been increasing since President Trump’s arrival in office.
Around 70 protestors were arrested on the first day of hearings for Kavanaugh, and the New York Times notes the protests were a “chaotic start to what would ordinarily be a staid…process.” Protests are to be expected from the Democratic Party when hearing from a conservative judge, but unruly and disruptive objections from regular citizens in addition to the Democratic Senators in the room reflect the growing dissatisfaction of a large part of the American people. This small glimpse of the reaction to Kavanaugh foreshadows how his confirmation would not alleviate the uproar, but rather stoke the anger of the liberal citizens in being ignored by an almost wholly conservative government.
The bombshell of sexual assault allegations, initially by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, followed by Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, further present a problem that will divide American society. Dr. Ford presented a calm, collected demeanor when testifying last Thursday, yet with an emotional and raw undertone when discussing the specific details of the night she was allegedly assaulted about 30 years ago.
“I am glad Dr. Ford came forward with these allegations, as the American people deserve to know exactly who they are swearing in for life. She presents as a particularly credible witness, but Mr. Kavanaugh is still innocent until proven guilty,” Danielle Cross, first semester psychology major said about the recent testimonies given by Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. “We simply have to hope the FBI does its due diligence in these investigations so that party in the right prevails.”
Kavanaugh, on the other hand, reacted with uncontrollable anger to vehemently deny the allegations. Female social movements around the country, including at Yale Law school, are mobilizing to protest the confirmation in response to the overall disbelief of Dr. Ford’s accusations. The #MeToo movement is rallying behind Dr. Ford and presents another divide, between her supporters and those that discount her accusation.
As Kavanaugh’s confirmation quickly approaches, one can only hope that the American people still seek to hold their politicians accountable. Just because politics in our country seem like a show does not mean that one should just sit by and watch. The division between parties, as well as between the supporters of survivors of sexual assault and those that do not believe them, cannot continue to grow, lest more unrest continue to sow within our society.
Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.