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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Opinion

Kavanaugh’s confirmation disregards objections by the people


Despite national protests, on Saturday the Senate voted 50 to 48 to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/ user: RandomUserGuy1738

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s enraged partisan fury was on full display in last week’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite a reaction that demonstrated his lacking judicial temperament, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court after one of the slimmest margins in American history.

Kavanaugh was confirmed Saturday to the Supreme Court in a vote of 50-48, ending the acrimonious battle that tackled sexual assault allegations and challenged the #MeToo movement in a nationwide reckoning. 

A majority of Americans disapproved of Kavanaugh’s nomination. The Republican Party’s insistence on forcing him into the Supreme Court, despite multiple accounts of sexual assault, is a display of American politics at its worst.

The Republican Party has made it a goal to fill the courts with its members instead of listening to the voice of the people. From the day of Kavanaugh’s nomination, America has been involved in another toxic, hyper-partisan affair that disregards laws and morality in favor of a political win.

Kavanaugh was always going to be confirmed, whether we liked it or not. His sexual assault allegations were a small flaw that didn’t matter in the big picture of Republican ambitions.

Kavanaugh demonstrated his true self in his testimony: a man who has grown up with privilege, a member of the most elite schools, practically groomed for the Supreme Court. When allegations of sexual assault stood in his way of getting what he wanted, he sneered in contempt at the Committee’s probing questions and seemed desperate to come off as the real victim.

Throughout the hearing, Kavanaugh downplayed his drinking habits during high school and college. But according to former Yale classmates, he has not told the truth. He claimed that the term “Devil’s Triangle” used in his yearbook was a drinking game, when it is better known as slang for a reference to sex between three people.

While this does not prove he committed the acts of which he is accused, this apparent lie hurts his credibility and makes him unsuitable for the Supreme Court. The truth of his statements was questionable, and yet he faced no consequences.

Whatever flaws he exposed, it didn’t matter. He was all but destined to get this Supreme Court seat. Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell made it his purpose to fill this seat before the midterms.

It is likely that Kavanaugh committed perjury, but has been rewarded with a Supreme Court seat.

Some senators in the Committee agreed with his claims of victimhood. Sen. Lindsey Graham defended him, accusing Democrats of attempting to “destroy” Kavanaugh’s life.

But what about the life he destroyed?

Ford put herself in an uncomfortable and embarrassing position in front of the whole nation as she detailed her attack. She assured the Committee she was “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her.

Her worst fears are coming true. She spoke up, but the verdict with the procedural vote is “we believe you, but we don’t care.”

In order to carry out the Republican agenda, the party has minimized and belittled an accomplished woman who has had to carry the trauma and pain of her sexual assault for 36 years.

Launching in a tirade at a Mississippi rally, President Donald Trump mocked Ford’s testimony, calling her evil and emphasizing that “a man’s life is in tatters.”

It’s unfair for Ford to be treated this way, and the speech was disrespectful to all sexual assault survivors. The brutal nomination fight left a huge portion of Americans feeling dispirited, as the protests and the frantic calls to the senators fell on deaf ears.

As a result of the nomination’s escalation into a party issue, Kavanaugh’s confirmation has hurt the reputation of the Supreme Court, which is supposed to be above politics and partisan ideology.

Even so, this was a predictable affair.

Twenty-seven years ago, another woman accused another Supreme Court nominee of inappropriate sexual behavior with the same result. Anita Hill recounted Clarence Thomas’ sexual misconduct toward her in eight uninterrupted hours as she was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee, composed of 14 white men.

The verdict then, according to TIME, was “her word against his.”

Kavanaugh’s confirmation has taught the American people that political ideology, not their desires, is the only thing that matters. There is no going back now.

America’s political system has crossed a line by disregarding the voices of the majority in favor of its own goals and motivations.

This will be a sore point in history that will be either forgotten by historians or revered as a factor that changed America for the better. It’s up to us to decide with our vote in these upcoming midterm elections.

Opinion columnist Janet Miranda is a marketing junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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