Brett Kavanaugh 101

Brett Kavanaugh 101

On February 2nd, 1965,  Brett Kavanaugh was born in Maryland to a couple of lawyers. He spent an idyllic childhood thriving at Georgetown Preparatory and basking in an only child’s characstic glow, the embodiment of a “golden boy.”  His teens were spent demonstrating a high -achieving ethos, captaining the basketball team, working as a journalist for his Catholic all-boys school, and playing varsity football. This illustrious high school carer did not, as common, peak and taper out after five year whirlwind, but instead segwayed into a law degree at Yale University.  Kavanaugh continued to scale this mountain, seemingly free of sudden dips or detours, and became Justice Anthony Kennedy’s law clerk in 1993 before later investigating Bill Clinton’s alleged extramarital affairs. His credentials prompted President George W. Bush to nominate him into the DC Circuit Court, a recommendation approved by senators in 2008. As a White House counsel, and later staff secretary, he was at the nub of multiple key moments in America’s history, such as the 9/11 attacks, being deemed, as consequence, “the Forest Gump of Republican politics” by senator Dick Durbin. His career, contrary to what may be expected, did not impede family life; Kavanaugh married Ashley Estes and now raises two daughters, aged ten and twelve. His days are split among teaching at unviviteries, tutoring children, and volunteering for the Catholic Charity.

At age 53, the natural next step in this eminent career signaled the Supreme Court, a stride made feasible with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 31st, 2018. His ensuing nomination appealed to the Republican party as a whole, and was fiercely advocated by Trump, who affirmed “There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving.” Kavanaugh's controversy would shift the court rightwards with opinions summed up by CNN politics as entailing “more restrictions on abortion rights…. fewer university options for affirmative action; greater scrutiny for environmental regulations; and a tougher stance on criminal defendants.”  This Republican contentor was opposed by those, namely democrats, with different values, as well as people like  Dick Durbin who felt Kavanaugh had too firmly asserted his political opinions. He argued the “Supremacy” of the court was bedrocked on impartiality, and the requirement to withhold personal beliefs, revealed in profusion by Kavanaugh during his stint investigating presidents. The Republicans, although a minority, still held 51 seats on the Senate, and success nevertheless was likely.  


On September 14th, 2018, over two months since his nomination, the New Yorker released a anonymous allegation that bored a hole through Kavanaghs history– examined in six background checks already– revealing a darker timeline running parallel to his triumphant teen years . Two days later, Christine Blasey Ford came forwards stating that at fifteen, she had been restrained and groped by a stumbling drunk, seventeen-year-old Brett and another “jock” during an informal gathering. This blow to Kavanaugh's record sparked many more cracks and  crumbled in one month under rapid-fire allegations.. Julie Swetnick, a high school peer, voiced she had witnessed him demonstrating “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls” in a string of ‘80s parties. Deborah Ramirez testified that Brett had exposed himself during their Yale years. A university friend rooted these accusations, declaring “On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption... When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive.”  Kavanaugh denied each charge in succession, suggesting this vile caricature of his younger self to be from the “twilight zone,”  although consented to a investigation ordered by Senator Jeff Flake. The ensuing inquiry was delineated, however, as feeble and more akin to a background check then definite proof against or for,  the allegations. In fairness, there would inevitably be a struggle to conduct a thorough examination of an event occurring over thirty years ago, which lacked physical evidence, was propped up by interviews,  and had a rather flimsy framework. Though it didn’t help that the investigation was undertaken by Trump Administration in a short span of time, with results reviewed by senators six days after the hearing. Truth, thus, remained indeterminate; Ford’s pain described as “real and searing” and her credibility uncompromised by the  prosecutors questions, despite not coming forward earlier. The accused relayed his part with equal passion, denying each allegation with explosive outrage. Regardless if Kavanaugh was a perverse teen, or made amendments later in life, or if this personal reform truly exonerated him from his crimes, he, on September 27th, condemned himself to another federal offense. Witnessed by some twenty million who tuned in to watch the  trial, Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath, claiming he was not, and never was, an alcoholic. Many viewers promptly picked up their phones to discredit this, but found the FBI mailbox on Kavanaugh full. Articles later corroborated their skepticism, “Current Events” describing him as “evasive, irrational, and inconsistent,” as while as pointing out both his and Trump’s unprofessional declaration that the Democrats were “persecutors.”  

Additionally, parallels were drawn between a  case occurring in 1981, when the now Honorable Clarence Thomson was accused of sexual misconduct by Anita Hill. Both investigations implicated conservative nominees, took place in mere days, and both conclusions were reached not by FBI agents, but within the recesses of the White House. America’s public, judging from pollstor results,  crossed their figures hoping the result– Thompson’s election– would, with the influence of modern causes like Me Too, not align. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer agreed and announced “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less." Yet, on October 5th, 2018, Kavanagh was elected 48 to 50 to a position that lasts a lifetime.

The backlash of this verdict was momentous. Articles sprung up on every news hub like some form of infectious disease, debates exchanged with high frequency, and impeachment - although occurring only once in 1805- discussed. Supreme court judges play a huge role in determining America’s colour, ruling on issues like gerrymandering, voter ID laws, union dues, campaign finances,  and Obamacare. As result, Kavanagh’s presence cannot be ignored. An essential question remains to underline each debate and tinge every remark; how much does past character and actions– no matter how wicked or how saintly– weigh in on ones current situation?


By: Clara Chalmers

First Female Physics Nobel Prize Winner in 55 years

First Female Physics Nobel Prize Winner in 55 years

Who You Gonna Call?

Who You Gonna Call?