The past weeks have seen a flurry of hearings, allegations, and heated debates as Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nomination for the US Supreme Court of Justice, was accused by three women of sexual misconduct. The FBI led an investigation into the reported crimes, leading up to a supposedly 46 page-long report that is not accessible to the public eye.
In the aftermath of its release, the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court on the 6th of October, in one of the closest votes in modern supreme court history with a 50-48 divide. The appointment into the Supreme Court of Justice is a lifelong commitment and Kavanaugh’s seat will strengthen the Republican control of the court which has the final say on the United States laws.
Brett Kavanaugh is an American lawyer who was previously appointed as Circuit Judge in the District of Columbia, where he was nominated by previous President George W. Bush, for whom Kavanaugh also worked as an adviser. Following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, Kavanaugh was nominated for the vacant 9th Supreme Court judge position by President Donald Trump. However, closely after word got out about the nomination, Professor Christine Blasey Ford claimed that during a party they attended during High School in 1982, Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
Many criticised Dr Ford because for the timing of her allegations, arguing that if truthful, she would have reported the crime at the time it happened. The critique was met with outrage from the public, and through the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport survivors expressed support for Ford. Also, Ford herself claims that she didn’t report the incident because she wanted to, but that she believes it’s her civic duty to stop him from entering the Supreme Court. In the light of Ford’s claims, two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick have accused the judge of sexual misconduct.
Hundreds of people have protested against Kavanaugh’s nomination outside the White House in Washington D.C., but President Trump asserted that he was ‘100% certain’ Dr Christine Blasey Ford had named the wrong person in her claims. Trump in a video broadcast by CNN asserted that he nominated Kavanaugh ‘because there is nobody with a squeaky clean past, like Brett Kavanaugh.’ However, squeaky clean or not, a survey conducted by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll in order to judge Americans’ view on the nominee, reported that 54% of Republican voters expressed support for Kavanaugh and would continue to do so even if allegations were proven to be true. This is despite more than 2,400 law professors have signed on to a letter saying that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial restraint at a Senate hearing.
The US Senate vote was held on the 6th October 2018, and as the majority voted in favour of the Judge, he narrowly passed examinations and will be appointed the newest member of the US Supreme Court of Justice. Donald Trump commemorated this victory in a tweet congratulating the Senate on their decision.
I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2018
Less excited than Trump, people all across the world have expressed contempt and disappointed at the news, with one of the organisers of the women’s march in Washington D.C., Linda Sarsour, stating that she felt ‘outraged, exhausted and betrayed‘ by the decision. If you wish to read more, The Guardian has compiled a list of responses to the hearing by prominent feminist figures which you may access here. Another option is to also read The Star‘s compilation of Canadian legal experts’ view on Brett Kavanugh’s confirmation as Supreme Court Judge.