No Longer ‘Judge’ Brett Kavanaugh



(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 4, 2018 Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in during his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. US Senate Republicans beat back Democrats' protests on September 18, 2018, and set a September 20 committee vote for Kavanaugh, who could tilt the high court solidly conservative for years to come. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

Peri Fogel '20

After Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retired on July 21, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh, age 53, as a replacement. There was controversy surrounding his nomination after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor, came forward with serious accusations against Kavanaugh. She claimed that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a high-school party in 1982. Kavanaugh vigorously denies the allegations, while Ford says that she believes with certainty that it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her. Kavanaugh, however, said, “Since the moment I first heard this allegation, I have categorically and unequivocally denied it. I remain committed to defending my integrity.” Although he continuously denied the allegations, he never agreed to an F.B.I investigation, something that could greatly assist in finding out the truth of what happened. In my opinion, if he was truly innocent, he would have immediately agreed to the investigation because he would be confident that he had nothing to hide. Because he did not agree, however, he is significantly more suspicious.

There is much to say about the way both Ford and Kavanaugh carried themselves during the testimony. While sharing her perspective of the party, Ford remained calm and collected. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, got defensive and extremely emotional. He cried, yelled, and even accused Democrats of ruining his life. This is not surprising, as he is known to have a history of alcoholism, and was allegedly arrested for a bar fight in 1985.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation was on October 6, shortly following the testimony. The vote was 50-48 in favor of Kavanaugh, one of the slimmest margins in American history. Kavanaugh is officially a Justice on the Supreme Court and will remain there until he retires. This creates a solid conservative majority in the Supreme Court.

The results of the confirmation caused an uproar among supporters of Ford, myself included. I am extremely appalled by how low our standards are for appointing members of the Supreme Court, the highest court in our country. Even an accusation of sexual assault should be enough to remove someone from contending for a position. Putting the allegations aside, the manner in which Kavanaugh conducted himself during the testimony causes me to worry about his ability to be an impartial Justice. He showed that he clearly has a bias against the Democrats because he believes them to be the reason for his having to testify. Although he claimed on October 8th, during his swearing in ceremony, that he would put the situation behind him and take his seat as an impartial Justice, I have a hard time believing that he will be successful.

You may be asking yourself why you, a student at Ma’ayanot, should care. To me the answer is obvious. This man is going to be a Justice on the Supreme Court for the rest of the foreseeable future, making important decisions on hot button issues, such as abortion, LGBT+ rights, and immigration. This is different from a president who lasts a maximum of eight years; this is a position of great power that Kavanaugh will have at his disposable for as long as he desires. Every decision Kavanaugh makes as a member of the Supreme Court will have an impact on America, and we, as part of America’s future, have a responsibility to stay informed and educated about what the future brings.