Who is Judge Brett Kavanaugh?

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“A protester against the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minnesota” by Lorie Shaull. Image is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Use of this photo does not indicate photographer endorsement of this article.

EP Presnell

On June 21, 2018, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a letter to President Donald Trump announcing his retirement from his position on the Supreme Court, which was to take effect on July 31, 2018. With the vacant spot, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the new Associate Justice.

“A protester against the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minnesota” by Lorie Shaull. Image is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Use of this photo does not indicate photographer endorsement of this article.

Who is Brett Kavanaugh?

Kavanaugh currently serves as a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was nominated for the position by former President George Bush, who he worked for as White House Staff Secretary from June 2003 until May 2006.

Kavanaugh is a member of the Republican party, with almost all of his votes supporting the conservative side of any given issue. An article by The Washington Post, in which they reviewed Kavanaugh’s votes stated that iIn every policy area, Kavanaugh had the most conservative or second-most conservative voting record on the D.C. Circuit.” Should Kavanaugh be granted the position he is currently nominated for on the Supreme Court, it is likely he will add to the conservative votes during rulings.

Christine Ford and the sexual assault allegations

Christine Blasey Ford is an American psychologist and professor of statistics at Palo Alto University who came out on Sept. 16, 2018, accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she was 15-years-old. Ford explains that he held her down at a party in 1982 when he was 17. He grabbed at her, attempted to remove her clothing and forced her down on the bed with a hand covering her mouth all while Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh, watched. The event traumatized her, as notes from a therapy session in 2012 describe her thoughts and memories from the night.

In addition to Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault, another woman named Deborah Ramirez came forward this past week about an incident during 1983. In an article by the New Yorker her story of sexual misconduct at a party at Yale University, the college Kavanaugh graduated from, is documented.

Despite Kavanaugh denying both accounts of sexual misconduct, these incidents are a prime reason as to why the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh has been postponed and delayed several times.

Reactions

When Ford’s letter came out, it was clear that she had a large group supporting her. With the Time’s Up movement, which started in January of this year, and the recurring theme of sexual assault and misconduct seen throughout the year, Ford and Ramirez weren’t alone in their reports.

On the flip side though, devoted followers of Kavanaugh and the Republican Party remained against them, claiming their stories are fake and hurtful to his reputation. President Trump commented on Ford’s allegation on Sept. 21, five days after Ford came out.

In an article by the Hollywood Reporter, multiple quotes are compiled from actors and actresses who responded to the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport in response to one of President Trump’s tweets claiming that “if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

In addition to President Trump, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been open about his support of Kavanaugh. McConnell and several other Republicans believe the allegations are all a plan by the Democrats to keep Kavanaugh from getting a spot on the Supreme Court.

NARAL, a pro-choice organization declared Sept. 24, 2018 National Walkout Day. They asked people to wear black and post pictures using the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors.

On the same day, Kavanaugh stated in a letter that he would “not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process.”

What the future holds

While we know of upcoming events that will have an impact in this process, it’s unknown how the votes will fall should Kavanaugh make it to that point. On Thursday Sept. 27, Christine Ford “committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” according to an article by The New York Times. Her agreement to testify comes after denying to testify on Sept. 24 and receiving threats against her life.

“Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” says Ford’s attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich.

Kavanaugh will have to face the senators where they will vote for his approval on Sept. 28. The Senate currently has 51 Republican Representatives and 49 Democratic Representatives. While this date is near, Catherine Ford is set to testify on Sept. 27 which has the potential to sway Senate votes.

In addition to Ford’s testimony, another accuser named Julie Swetnick has come forward claiming she has witnessed his sexually aggressive behavior at parties in the past.

With all this information, Kavanaugh’s future is uncertain, but with new information coming to light and the vote just days away, it’s safe to say we’ll have an answer soon enough.

“A protester against the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minnesota” by Lorie Shaull. Image is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Use of this photo does not indicate photographer endorsement of this article.