Kavanaugh: The Aftermath of the Confirmation: What’s Right

When Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court last June, many expected a political battle to ensue. The replacement of whom many considered to be the Court’s swing vote with a judge selected by President Trump meant that the court could shift to a majority of justices with a more originalist interpretation of the Constitution. Knowing this was at stake, many anticipated that Democrats would do virtually anything to prevent Trump’s nominee from taking Kennedy’s place. However, few could predict that they would turn the confirmation process into a new low for American politics.

With Republicans already holding a majority in the Senate, Democrats knew their only hope for stopping the confirmation was to delay the vote past the November midterms; Democrats demonstrated early in the nomination process their willingness to accomplish this goal.

Within minutes of Brett Kavanaugh being announced by President Trump as his nominee, Democrats began vowing to do everything possible to stop his confirmation. Left-leaning protesters and organizations, such as Women’s March, created advertisements saying “Stop ____” in reference to Trump’s nominee, demonstrating that it did not matter who the nominee was, just that they were stopped. With the level of desperation to stop Kavanaugh being well demonstrated, it came with little surprise that Democrats would use Christine Blasey Ford in an attempt to accomplish their goal.

From the moment Ford came to Senator Dianne Feinstein with her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, Democrats began using her. Rather than presenting Ford’s allegation as soon as she received it, Feinstein withheld it for weeks until Kavanaugh was nearly through the Senate Judiciary Committee. During that same time, Ford’s name and allegation letter were mysteriously leaked to the media. In an interview with ABC News, Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, appeared to blame Democrats for the leak, stating, “[Ford] made the decision not to go public, and those who were not satisfied with that decision essentially created pressure for her to come forward by alerting members of the media and others.” Republicans offered a private hearing so that Ford could be spared the media attention, but Ford was never made aware of this. Instead, she was placed in the spotlight of the media to tell her difficult testimony. Finally, Ford’s allegation was used as a call to action to raise money for the Democratic Party, with Ford’s attorneys pulling out of a Democratic fundraiser after many began questioning their priorities.

After further hearings and investigation with no corroborative evidence to back Ford’s 36-year-old allegation, as none of Ford’s named witnesses could verify her account, the Judiciary Committee moved the Kavanaugh vote to the Senate floor. It was then that the political left began their final attempt at stopping Kavanaugh, launching an assault against the character of anyone who still supported him. Through protesters, the media and prominent democrats, the completely false and intentionally divisive idea spread that if you did not believe that Kavanaugh was guilty or disqualified based on Ford’s testimony, then you do not support Ford nor any other survivor of sexual assault.

While this disgusting attempt to reframe a political disagreement as a battle between those who support survivors and those who do not did succeed at emboldening the self-righteousness of anti-Kavanaugh protesters, the effort backfired almost completely. The end result of this ugly, last-ditch effort to stop Kavanaugh was, ironically, a more motivated Republican base and a 50-48 Senate vote that confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. From Kennedy’s retirement to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the Democratic Party’s one goal in the nomination process was to stop Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Their desperation to achieve this and willingness to dispense with fundamental legal principles when it suited their needs raise significant concerns as we approach November midterms.

If we hope to lessen the political divide that has followed the confirmation, we must recognize the importance of due process and the presumption of innocence, reaffirm that any sexual assault allegation should be heard and taken seriously and acknowledge that, from the beginning, the Kavanaugh confirmation was a political battle, with the Democrats’ goal being to stop Trump’s nominee at any cost.

Contact Connor Madalo at [email protected].