Sept. 27 marked one year since Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh ended up being confirmed Oct. 6, 2018, despite multiple accusations against him, while Ford received countless death threats and could not even live in her home for a while due to safety concerns. This case shows how our culture deals with accounts of rape and sexual assault, especially when powerful men are involved. Women everywhere who have been sexually abused have been silenced by his appointment.
Recently, the book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh” by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly came out, which detailed the allegations against Kavanaugh. CNN wrote that the main point of the book was about how the FBI did not investigate the allegations to the fullest extent. The book stated that many former classmates of Kavanaugh’s said they tried to contact the FBI about one of the incidents but were ignored or passed around.
The book also details another accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who gave a graphic description of the incident.
“Although [Ramirez] was made available to the Senate Judiciary Committee and then her lawyers ultimately gave the FBI a list of more than two dozen potential witnesses who could add credence to her story, ultimately the Judiciary Committee determined that her allegations were not relevant to the process,” Pogrebin wrote.
The fact that the FBI did not investigate fully shows how easily someone in power, like Kavanaugh, can get away with almost anything. If the FBI thought that Kavanaugh was truly innocent, I feel that they would’ve investigated properly. If more women wanted to come forward, the FBI should’ve granted them the opportunity. Additionally, the FBI was only given one week to investigate, which did not allow much time for them to be thorough.
Now let’s discuss how Kavanaugh stands on certain issues.
First off, Kavanaugh does lean quite conservative, which is probably not a surprise to most. CNN reported that he has refused to say if he would reverse Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that protects a woman’s right to an abortion. If this case is overturned, each state would have to decide on their own abortion laws, which could be a devastating blow to women’s rights.
Additionally, in 2017, Kavanaugh dissented from the decision to allow an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion while in custody. Although he has never outright stated his opinion on abortion, his stance is clear enough.
Even though many other Justices are also not keen on abortion, Kavanaugh’s opinion on this is more relevant because of the controversy surrounding him. Also, considering that he, or any other cisgender man, will never be able to birth a child himself, he shouldn’t be deciding that for women anyways.
Among other important issues, Kavanaugh seems to be a gun-rights supporter as he dissented on a decision to uphold a ban of semi-automatic rifles in D.C. in 2011, citing that semi-automatic rifles are constitutionally protected.
While this stance might seem like a common one during this time of daily mass shootings, NPR depicts a poll from May 2019 that showed that 94 percent of people are in favor of requiring background checks for all gun buyers and 61 percent support stricter gun laws in the U.S. Legislation about upcoming gun laws are sure to reach the Supreme Court in the near future, and Kavanaugh will get his chance to vote on those cases, which could affect the entire country.
Again, he also dissented in a case where a trainer was drowned by a killer whale at SeaWorld, calling work safety regulations paternalistic, according to PBS. As I hope most would agree, this is quite problematic. People want to be safe at work and have safety regulations to keep them from getting hurt.
So what now?
Well, Kavanaugh should either resign or be impeached. He is in a lifelong position, and he should not be deciding cases that could negatively impact workers and women. Past case decisions shed light on his women-controlling and anti-safety ideology, not to mention the accusations from multiple women against him.
Impeachment for justices is similar to impeachment for presidents.
“A majority of the House must approve an indictment to impeach, and a two-thirds supermajority of the US Senate must convict for the judge or justice to lose their office,” according to Vox.
Only one Supreme Court justice has been impeached before, so impeachment is unlikely.
Still, he could always resign. When Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., was accused of sexual misconduct by eight women in 2017, he was asked to resign by many female senators and did so within a month of the first accusation. This was the correct response for him because it was not just one accuser, but multiple. Like Kavanaugh, he obviously had a history of being inappropriate with women and did not need to represent the people of Minnesota or the country.
Kavanaugh should do the same. He does not deserve his position and could do a great deal of damage to people’s rights as a justice.