The recent nomination and selection of Brett Kavanaugh for the position of Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court has been a controversial subject of discussion among both liberals and conservatives. Two women named Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in late September, leading many people to argue that he is unfit for the highly influential political role. Ford, Kavanaugh’s high school classmate, claimed that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party, and Ramirez, Kavanaugh’s college classmate, claimed that Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dormitory party.
“I strongly disagree with Kavanaugh being elected for the Supreme Court because of the many sexual allegations posed against him,” said Emily Sung (9), MUN delegate. “I personally believe that someone who is accused of such a crime should not have the power over the well-being of all the citizens of the United States. Because he has demonstrated a lack of morality through these accusations, I believe that he should not be considered responsible for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”
The recent MeToo and WhyIDidntReport movements have contributed greatly to raising awareness about sexual assault victims. Many women have shared their personal experiences online, igniting numerous discussions on the importance of fighting sexual assault and assisting victims and survivors. Amid the wave of growing awareness for sexual assault victims, Kavanaugh’s allegations have deemed him disreputable especially among those with liberal views.
“I feel like the controversy and issue caused by Kavanaugh has had a significant impact on feminism culture,” said Michelle Heo (9), MUN club member. “I feel like as more and more related causes are occurring such as instances of rape or sexual assault, people are becoming more sensitive–and in a way–more aware of the seriousness and widespread issue of rape.”
At the hearing, Kavanaugh denied all accusations of sexual assault from Ford. He declared that although it was possible for Ford to have been assaulted by someone at some point, it certainly was not him. Ford’s testimony consisted of her giving details about the night of the party: she claimed that he forced her into a bedroom at a high school party and groped her as well as attempted to undress her. While issue has angered people of both Republican and Democratic party, some believe that this topic has become overly political: people have not been objectively viewing Kavanaugh as a candidate for the Supreme Court, but rather have been judging him with a predisposed political bias.
“As far as Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court, that process has unfortunately become too political and too partisan that the folks who support him–mostly Republican–cannot objectively look at his record, and those who disagree with his selection–primarily Democrats –also cannot objectively look at his record,” said James Tyvand, HS social studies teacher. “I think when the two parties were debating in the media, his qualifications or lack thereof weren’t actually discussed. They weren’t actually talking about what he had accomplished as a judge; instead, they were only talking about all the side issues, regarding whether or not one was for or against him. I don’t think the public ever got a really good view of how effective he was as a judge, which is unfortunate.”
Many people holding conservative views have stated on social media platforms such as Twitter that Kavanaugh should not be blamed for any actions of his that occurred when he was young and ill-advised. Kavanaugh’s supporters claimed that the allegations against him were false and that the accusations were mere attention-seeking deeds with no empirical evidence. On the contrary, supporters of Ford and Ramirez have claimed that there is no reason for them to have lied, considering the significant backlash they knew they would receive afterward. This has been a greatly controversial issue and holds future implications for not only the Supreme Court and political nominations, but also for the future of American women as a whole.