Brett Kavanaugh was voted into the Supreme Court October 8th with the closest vote for a Supreme Court Nominee since 1881 with a vote of 50-48. A large number of the ‘for’ votes were cast by republicans, and likewise, many ‘against’ were democrat. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted present (essentially a neutral vote) and Steve Daines (R-MT) was absent for his daughter’s wedding. Joe Manchin III (D-WV) voted for Kavanaugh. All other senators voted with their respective party.
Kavanaugh made headlines in the weeks prior his confirmation after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault and attempted rape at a party during a summer in the 80s. She said that he and a friend had lead her into a room while drunk and that Kavanaugh proceeded to grope her breasts and attempt to take off her clothes and bathing suit while his friend watched. When she tried to call out for help, she stated that he covered her mouth with her hand. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said in a statement on her experience, “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.” Democrats rallied behind Ford’s testimony, calling for an FBI investigation into the allegations.
Kavanaugh denied the accusation and republicans stood firm in their nomination, trying to pass the nominee as quickly as possible. Republicans attempted to prevent the investigation, but settled with democrats for one, which lasted only a week. The investigation itself drew controversy, both due to its short length and the fact that the FBI could not interview Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh during their investigation due to lack of White House approval.
According to a NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, support for Dr. Ford came from 45% of those polled and support for Kavanaugh came from 33%, along with 22% undecided. Dr. Ford was accused of only coming forward against Judge Kavanaugh due to political motivations, and that she was being told what to do by democrats. Dr. Ford was accused by President Donald Trump of only acting as a, “revenge on the behalf of the Clintons,” and that, “this whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.” Dr Ford also received death threats from numerous sources.
Kavanaugh was similarly decried by many women’s rights organizations, with many protesting outside the Supreme Court with signs saying, “Kava-nah.” Lilly Ledbetter, an advocate for equal pay for women, said that a vote for Kavanaugh was, “a vote against equal pay,” in an interview with US News. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stated that “We need our senators to stand up and vote ‘no’ against this judge, ’cause he is going to harm this country and he is going to harm women,” after calling on supporters of Dr. Ford to demand their senators vote “No” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Others feared Kavanaugh would help to overturn Roe v. Wade, a historic Supreme Court case that legalized abortion throughout the United States. In an older time, abortions took place in motels with men who can only claim they are doctors.
Regardless, Kavanaugh has been successfully nominated to the Supreme Court, so we can only wait and see what stances he will take in his upcoming cases. Despite people’s political beliefs, whether or not someone believes Kavanaugh or Ford, be sure to register to vote and participate as often as possible.