President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is currently undergoing Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The three to four day process has been one of the most controversial hearings the nation has seen. Suspicion regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination, drama within the Senate, and recent sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh have people analyzing the possible results of the much anticipated confirmation vote.
Kavanaugh, should he be confirmed, will take former Associate Justice and former swing vote Anthony Kennedy’s position and shift the Supreme Court to the right making the majority conservative. Kavanaugh clerked for former Justice Kennedy prior to working as White House Staff Secretary under President George W. Bush. Kavanaugh has faced confirmation hearings once before following his nomination by President Bush for the Court of Appeals where Kavanaugh has served since 2006.
On whether or not the political party influence would greatly impact the future of the Supreme Court, Junior Mckenzie Leininger said, “I think it would be better to have a more balanced Supreme Court, however I’m not sure it’s as big of a deal as people think it is. You would hope the Justices would vote for what they thought was right, rather than what their party thought was right.”
Suspicion regarding Kavanaugh’s placement on only one of Trump’s three lists of potential nominees has sparked the interest of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and citizens across the country. Trump released two lists of potential nominees in May and September of 2016. The Mueller Investigation took place in May of 2017, following which Trump released a third list of potential nominees including Kavanaugh in November of 2017.
Social Studies teacher Shawn Fessler believes President Trump nominated Kavanaugh because he is such a conservative thinker and, should President Trump be impeached, “He [Trump] would still be able to say, “At least I left my mark on the Supreme Court.’ ”
Similarly, Senior Tate Carter said, “What I could assume was he [Trump] saw that these previous nominees may have had ‘fishy stuff’ going on and decided Kavanaugh had the biggest chance of being seen as qualified even under investigation.”
Carter also commented on the drama taking place within the hearings and said, “It’s common. These situations happen all of the time, it’s expected when a big position such as a judge is involved.” Throughout the confirmation hearings, dramatics have seemed to take over. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has contributed to this drama when he chose to release confidential information regarding Kavanaugh, putting him at risk for expulsion should the chairman decide it was against Senate rules.
Regarding the Booker matter, teacher Brent Strate said, “If everything he’s doing was based upon what’s right and true and not just political posturing, then I believe he’s doing a courageous thing.” Strate continue to say, “I believe he [Booker] is doing this to play it. He’s trying to make a big deal of something that may not be that big of a deal.”
Whether or not Booker was courageous or simply violated Senate rules is to be decided. However, what can be said about Booker and the drama regarding the hearings is that it has reached an extreme, and may even be clouding the public’s view of not only the hearings, but government officials themselves.
Earlier this year, Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a Democratic lawmaker stating that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both high school students. Since the knowledge of the assault was released, both Kavanaugh and Ford have agreed to testify about the incident. For more information on the Ford allegation read this Washington Post article. The hearing will take place on Monday the 24th postponing Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote. There have been many opinions regarding Ford and her decision to come forward in the midst of Kavanaugh’s hearings.
Strate said, “I would hate to judge someone at the age of 53 for something that may or may not have happened when he was in high school.” Strate questions whether or not the allegation should directly correlate with the confirmation hearings. Strate also said, “I don’t know anything without a shadow of a doubt.” How much should something of this magnitude influence Kavanaugh’s hearings?
Current Events teacher Kyle Bullinger said, “I think it’s an unfortunate circumstance. . . Oftentimes you see a peculiar parallel between when these allegations come out and when the individual is within the public eye.” After reviewing the Washington Post article, Bullinger said that if Ford’s accusations are true it is, “a got-to-go situation regarding Kavanaugh.”
When it comes to Kavanaugh, whether you love him, hate him, or are uncertain, this situation is sure to be riveting as it unfolds.