Is Brett Kavanaugh fit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice?

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Graphic by Gabriella Kluch

The extremely controversial nomination of Supreme Court candidate Judge Brett Kavanaugh deepens our nation's divide.

Trigger Warning: Mentions of r*pe

One of the biggest news stories in America revolves around the contentious nomination of Supreme Court candidate Judge Brett Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination in July and since then his name has become one that will go down in American history.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with rape allegations against Kavanaugh after his nomination was announced, raising many concerns about the potential Supreme Court justice. According to USA Today, there are two other women (Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick) who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault as well. Ramirez said that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party their freshman year. USA Today reported that “Ramirez told The New Yorker that she hesitated coming forward because she was drunk when the alleged incident took place and ‘her memories contained gaps.'” Swetnick said that she saw Kavanaugh and a fellow classmate attempt to intoxicate girls “so they could then be ‘gang-raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.” Swetnick later said that she herself was one of the victims, but didn’t imply that Kavanaugh was one of her attackers.

In an emotional, hair-raising testimony, Dr. Blasey Ford recalled the event of her assault by Brett Kavanaugh. During her testimony, she remained composed, professional, and scared. Women across the country empathized with her story, as it was all too familiar to many people. According to a transcript of the hearing on the Washington Post, Blasey-Ford said through a quaking voice, “I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from yelling”. The chilling testimony caused Americans to ask themselves the crucial question: Is Brett Kavanaugh fit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice?

My answer is no, he’s not.

According to BBC, rape allegations are rarely false, with only two-ten percent of rape accusations being proven to be false. A report from the US National Institutes of Health said that false rape accusations were “used to cover up other behavior such as adultery or skipping school”, and Dr. Blasey Ford proved herself to be a credible accuser. She has no history of false accusations, no criminal record, and is a mature, educated adult. In her opening statement, she said, “I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school,” according to Bizwomen.

However, even if the allegations are false, we need to pay attention to what was in front of America on every single television, computer, and phone screen. Supreme Court Justices are expected to remain cool-tempered, polite, and exude professionalism. According to the transcript from the testimony on Time, Kavanaugh failed to exhibit such behavior repeatedly through his testimony, once even retorting in response to a question posed by Senator Klobuchar, who questioned, “You’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before or part of what happened?” Kavanaugh said, “If you’re asking about blackout. I don’t know, have you?” As if his sloppy self-control wasn’t apparent enough, he rambled on, continuing to ask her if she had ever gotten blackout-drunk. After finally stating that he didn’t have a drinking problem, they went into a recess.

When he came back, he apologized to the senator, blaming his outburst on the stress of the nomination process.

Is the job of Supreme Justice not stressful? Can this man be trusted to cooperate with his fellow justices and be respectful towards them?

We, as a collective society, should fear men like Brett Kavanaugh. We should fear people who enable men like Brett Kavanaugh. We should fear a system that fails to protect women.

But from that fear, we need to enact change, because Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court and will be for a long time, and we will have to live with the consequences. A man who exhibits such unprofessionalism, and has a multitude of sexual assault allegations against him, should never be trusted with the fate of the U.S. judicial system. He is not fit to serve as a Supreme Justice.

If you can vote in the midterms, vote. If you are scared, channel that fear into a call for action. Choose to cast a vote to protect your basic human rights. The same men and women who voted Kavanaugh onto the highest court of the land used their voice. A fear of change and progressivity got us to where we are now. It’s our turn to use our voices.

Your Turn:  Do you agree that Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court?  Does his past matter?  Did Blasey Ford’s testimony influence your opinion on Kavanaugh’s confirmation?

*The Howler invites your comments and feedback regarding Gabriella Kluch’s op-ed.  Please enjoy this opportunity to share your insight in the comments box below!

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