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Kavanaugh and SCOTUS

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Kavanaugh and SCOTUS

Tyler Kieft, Staff Writer

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After Supreme Court Justice, Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27, 2018, the country has been left in a state of turmoil on the topic of the next Justice to fill his spot and the policies that may come as a result of it.

Kennedy was known for being the swing vote in the Supreme Court for about three decades, in which he would support and embrace both liberal and conservative values. But with his resigning, Donald Trump will appoint a Justice, one who he promised would be completely conservative. It’s very likely that previous policies may be overshadowed or changed with new Supreme Court cases to come, specifically the topic of abortion and Roe v. Wade, topics Republicans have wanted to discuss for some time.

Since then, Trump has made his nomination, bringing about a whole other issue. A few of his options included Judge Hardiman, Judge Thapar, Judge Pryor, and more. He ended up nominating Brett Kavanaugh as the replacement to Kennedy, a Republican Judge that served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

At first this was just seen as a threat to minorities and other discriminated communities, due to Kavanaugh’s great belief in traditional ideals. Kavanaugh disagrees with abortion, affordable health care, environmental protection, and he believes that the president is above the law, all policies and beliefs that are considerably more conservative than Kennedy.

Kavanaugh was then accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor who claimed Brett and a friend of his, Mark Judge, attempted to rape her in their high school years. The accusation was first made as a tip to The Washington Post, but became public in a report from The Intercept and the confirmation of the allegation by Senator Feinstein.

Ford elaborated on the specifics of the incident on September 16, detailing the night of a house gathering in which Brett and Mark shoved her into a bedroom and tried to assault her, which she luckily managed to escape before things could escalate.

In response to the allegation, Kavanaugh issued a statement through the White House, stating “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” Investigations began, in which notes were found, polygraph tests were taken, and eventually a letter was released signed by 65 women who knew Kavanaugh from high school, claiming he was a good man and not one to commit such an act. Since then, two other women have also come out and accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Not long after this, on September 27th, Ford and Kavanaugh both gave testimonies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The testimonies were both seen as emotional and convincing, yet both sides lacked the evidence necessary to dictate which were guilty: the sexual offender or the defamer.

Either way, Kavanaugh’s testimony brought upon much criticism, as “he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land,” according to a signed letter from more than 2,400 professors in law. The letter was to be delivered to the Senate on October 4th, requesting for the Senate to reject Brett’s Supreme Court nomination.

Mary Lynch, an Albany Law professor who signed, said about Kavanaugh, “We were astounded by his lack of self-awareness and understanding of the necessary search for accuracy when a credible allegation is made. Even if you believe as a judge or a lawyer that the person making the allegation is mistaken, you respond to that with reasonable judicious wisdom of understanding that your own feelings are not as important as justice.”

It seemed that attempt at a petition had failed, because on October 6th, the Senate voted 50-48 in favor of sending Kavanaugh off to join the Supreme Court, making Kavanaugh the most recent Supreme Court Justice.

With Kavanaugh now a part of the Supreme Court, much could change in relation to policies and social issues. Since Kavanaugh’s accusations were brought into the public eye, the MeToo movement has been resurging and showing more dominance than ever before, all supporting and siding by Ford’s testimony. Along with that are the changes to policy and law to come, as it seems now more than ever, that the case of abortion may be debated once again by the Supreme Court.

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