The Garnet Mine

Sorting Through the Kavanaugh Chaos

Recap of the ongoing issue

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Last Thursday Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to the U.S. senate committee, and their words have made waves throughout the nation. On Thursday afternoon, I got home at three o’clock and began watching the testimonies for the following three or so hours–completely captivated. For those who are unaware of the issue at hand, Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the supreme court this summer and was about to be confirmed by the senate when sexual assault allegations surfaced against him. Dr. Ford, who grew up in the Georgetown with Kavanaugh, sent a letter to Senator Feinstein early after Kavanaugh’s nomination, detailing the alleged assault that took place in the summer of 1982. This information was leaked to the public in mid-September and the need for a testimony became apparent. Public outrage on both sides has been prominent as people debate over the reliability of the allegations. Many Rye high students watched the testimonies live and experienced an emotional response. In the age of “Me Too” these issues are more prevalent and talked about than ever before.

Senior Alex Kirk said, “I felt frustrated that our nation hasn’t learned from identical scenarios in the past (i.e. Anita Hill) and also dismayed that there are not higher standards for a position that is held for life.” Many are disappointed by the eerie repetition of history that is occurring because of how the Kavanaugh hearings mirrors the Clarence Thomas hearings of 1991. Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by former employee, Anita Hill, during his confirmation hearings. Thomas, like Kavanaugh, vehemently denied these accusations saying,  “This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace.”

Almost exactly 27 years later, Brett Kavanaugh uttered similar words, “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace… This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades.”

What does it say about our country that we let history repeat itself?

The testimonies lasted for a total of eight hours, which can all be viewed in the above video, or if you want a more condensed but equally as informative way to understand the testimonies, you can view the SNL parody featuring Matt Damon. Dr. Ford testified first and kept her cool throughout the questioning that required her to relive her worst trauma in front of millions. Kavanaugh displayed an uneasy and temperamental demeanor while being questioned as the next nominee for the Supreme Court. Both Ford and Kavanaugh swore under penalty of perjury that they were telling the truth– but each of their testimonies completely contradicted the other’s. As a viewer it’s important to consider what Dr. Ford is sacrificing in order to testify and come forward with her story. Her privacy and safety have been compromised for the rest of her life now that she is under the scrutiny of the public eye. Her family has received death threats and had to hire full time security.  Why would anyone go through all that if they weren’t aching for the truth to be heard?

When asked her take on the situation, Senior Isla Scott said, “Even if the FBI says the sexual allegations are incorrect, I still do not believe he is a fit candidate for a life-long job as a Supreme Court justice. He has refused to answer questions, such as ones on his views of the LGBTQ+ community, and the FBI case itself. He talks himself out of ever giving an actual answer. He has a bad temperament, and most importantly, he wants to make abortion illegal. I feel like making him a Supreme Court justice would be making the United States become more unsafe for its citizens.” Isla brings up an important point that many Americans are considering. Whether he did is guilty or not, his hot-headed demeanor deems him an unfit candidate for the Supreme Court on its  own. Unfortunately, the possible assault did not necessarily change anyone’s mind about him, but his childish behavior at the Senate hearing taught us a lot about Kavanaugh’s true colors. Throughout the hearing he did not appear calm and levelheaded, as a judge should, but acted like petulant child accused of stealing candy. He also displayed clear political partisanship saying, “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election. Fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons. and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”

Following the testimonies, the Senate was scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Friday, September 28th but before the vote two young women cornered Senator Flake in the elevator. These women were survivors of sexual assault and they pleaded with Senator Flake to not send the message  that assault should go unpunished. Maria Gallagher’s words were chilling and she reminded Senator Flake several times to “Look at me when I’m talking”

Following their bravery, Senator Flake refused to vote until an FBI investigation was conducted. The vote was moved to the following Saturday, October 6th. Once the investigation was completed, only one copy of it was produced and each senate party was only given an hour to review it. This is objectively not enough time to properly view hundreds of pages of evidence.

On Saturday, October 6th, 2018 at 4:03 pm, Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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Sorting Through the Kavanaugh Chaos