Mere weeks before Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, a new piece of contention emerged from the shadows: an allegation of sexual assault. Now, two more have followed.
Following the height of the #MeToo movement, Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, was the first to step forward with claims that Kavanaugh attempted to force his advances upon her at a high school party when the two were teenagers.
Amid a Democratic uproar of calls to delay the hearing, the Senate seems determined to proceed. In refusing to set back the date, Republicans who want Kavanaugh on the court can all but guarantee its realization. Currently, Democrats simply lack the numbers to turn the tide.
Both sides have been criticized: the left for attempting to delay the confirmation long enough so that Democrats might retake Congress by the time it votes, and the right for forging forward without taking the allegation into regard.
Many questions have bubbled up in the days since Ford’s accusation, but one remains at the forefront: why now?
The incident occurred over 30 years ago. President Donald Trump tweeted Friday:
“I have no doubt 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.”
Arguments for and against the veracity of the incident have inundated news outlets and social media, but contributing to the pool of speculation won’t add much to the conversation of what’s to come next.
The question we should begin to ruminate on is whether a man’s juvenile actions should determine his future success. Let’s hypothesize that the allegations are true:
It’s reasonable to believe that people can grow. Whether they can change inherently may be more questionable, but everybody evolves—especially after their high school and college years.
The extent to which a teenage action reflects the character of the same individual at 53 does not lie in the number of years between now and then, but in the level of contrast between the stages of life being considered. It’s perfectly possible that a grown man—having accumulated decades of post-schooling insights and experiences—does not possess the same morals as he did at age 18.
But mere assumptions from either perspective are not enough to form credible judgments. To determine if Kavanaugh is fit to sit in the highest court of the land now, we must look at how he presents himself today. How has he responded to the charges?
With continuous denials.
He has “never done anything like what the accuser describes.” No acceptance of responsibility. No apology. No remorse. He acted with pure self-interest driven by fear.
And that does not exhibit the mentality of a man who has matured.
The most disappointing revelation to come out of this, however, is the blatant prioritization of party politics over the scrutinization of a man set to be appointed to the highest court in the land.
Every major decision to affect Americans for the next three decades will lie partly in the hands of whoever we appoint this year. The integrity of this individual and his or her ability to uphold the principles of our Constitution should trump all.
Instead, the debate has revolved around points of partisan bickering. The Supreme Court is not a petty playground for politics. Regardless of whether we want a conservative-leaning judge in that vacant seat, the confirmation process must remain objective.
And objectivity is exactly what the U.S. seems to have blotted out from its dictionary.
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