Opinion: Kavanaugh Confirmation Sparks Outrage — And it Should

Haley Hartner, News Editor

The Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court Justice in one of the closest margins in US history, voting 50 to 48, and leaving the nation almost as socially divided as it was before the Civil War.

The decision sparked outrage across the nation as men and women marched in solidarity with sexual assault survivors everywhere. Protesters gathered outside of the US Senate Building where Kavanaugh was being confirmed and publicly displayed their disapproval over the new Supreme Court Justice. 302 of these protesters, including I Feel Pretty stars Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski, were arrested during the demonstration.

The Senate vote spits right in the face of the #MeToo movement, due to another male accused of mistreating women having been approved to represent the country. With the election of President Donald Trump, who previously bragged about sexually assaulting women during an interview with Billy Bush, the great divide between Republicans and Democrats has grown deeper than ever, and the Kavanaugh confirmation is the salt in the wound. The decision further exposes the corruption of morality within the current GOP.

It shows that women are currently at a point in time where they are forced to publicly recount their traumas for the sake of evoking a sense of morality in those that represent them.
It proves that though women are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to the abuse of power by men, they are listened to the least. The hatred that Kavanaugh’s accusers faced after alleging misconduct is conditioning women to swallow their stories, in order to avoid being blamed for ruining their accuser’s life.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation comes after a federal investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, prompted by a sudden crisis of conscience by Senator Jeff Flake, and the historical testimonies made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. However, the Republicans’ influence in the investigation and their control over its scope leaves the question as to whether the interest of Dr. Ford was actually in mind.

The irony of the Senate Judiciary Hearing lies in the fact that Kavanaugh was being nominated for a nonpartisan position as a Supreme Court Justice; however, his opening statement alone attacked “Democrats,” “the media,” and even “the Clintons” for the introduction of Ford’s allegations. The Republicans’ main fear was that Ford’s testimony would be concise and convincing enough to derail his nomination, however. Kavanaugh’s own performance during his testimony seemed to be just as damaging to his career and reputation.

The investigation itself was unconvincing as well. Though it was expanded from a “limited” scope to a broader one after the GOP received pressure from Democrats, the investigation failed to include Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh themselves, nor did it encompass the full list of allegations made about Kavanaugh’s past. It is hard to view the investigation as anything other than a charade to silence Democrats when only the emotional testimonies previously made by the alleged perpetrator and his victim were used. They were not included in the investigation after the Senate Hearing.

What is most concerning is that some of the judges on the panel that decided the fate of Judge Kavanaugh were also involved in the case of Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas in 1991. Senators Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, and Orrin Hatch all took part in the decision to confirm Thomas, despite Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment. The fact that these Senators had the ability to dismiss two women’s allegations of sexual misconduct at two pivotal points in US history presents an argument for term limits, though this is not stated in the Constitution.

The American people need to be represented by people with fresher outlooks that represent the mindset of society as it evolves.