Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Appointment Through the Eyes of a Republican


Original Photo by People Magazine

Laura Peterson, Contributing Writer

By now, everyone knows what they think are the facts of this case. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford told us all on Sept. 24 that she was sexually assaulted by Judge Brett Kavanaugh 36 years ago when the two were in high school. Dr. Ford gave a passionate, powerful, and compelling testimony, but so did Judge Kavanaugh. Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh’s names were permanently tarnished by the circus of an investigation that took place. Senators went on tangents, often shouting, arguing, and interrupting both each other and those testifying. These actions took place on both sides of the isle, and no party is innocent. Susan Collins, a Senator from Maine said it best: “It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them. In our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as Americans.”  

I want to start off by saying that I do not take sexual assault allegations lightly. It’s an evil, terrible crime that must be punished. We as a society need to work to stop this disgusting criminal behavior. This must be done to protect ourselves and future generations. As I watched Dr. Ford’s testimony, my heart ached for her because you could see the pain in her eyes and voice. Anyone watching, or listening, could tell that she had endured a painful event; that much was clear. 

By no means am I saying that Dr. Ford was not sexually assaulted. I want to say it louder for the people in the back: I am not saying that Dr. Ford was not sexually assaulted. I believe she was attacked, and there is sufficient evidence to prove that she believes she was assaulted based on her many therapy sessions and discussion of the event with her husband. But no one can corroborate who did the assaulting. That’s the problem. No one is saying she was not assaulted, and we all wish she was not. However, not a single person she named as a possible witness says they remember the gathering even happening, and all those people gave statements under penalty of felony, meaning that false statements could result in fines and imprisonment for up to five years. Her life-long friend and someone who was supposedly at the event, Leland Kaiser, indicated that not only did she not recall a night or gathering like the one described, but also that she does not know Brett Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford adamantly testified that she does not remember where the house was or how she got home that night, but that she assumes someone drove her. It’s difficult to understand why no one has come forward saying that he or she is the one who drove Dr. Ford home that evening. Facts like these make her claim more and more difficult to believe.  

It’s important to remember that in this country, we require adequate evidence to prove any and all crimes. I’m sorry to say that Dr. Ford does not have adequate evidence to prove that Brett Kavanaugh was the man who attacked her. I keep hearing people say that the burden of proof falls on Judge Kavanaugh’s lap. It doesn’t. The burden of proof falls on the person who makes the allegation. In this country we do not require the accusations to be disproved by the accused no matter the crime. We require the accuser to present sufficient evidence to prove guilt. Or as Senator Susan Collins noted, “In evaluating any given claim of misconduct we will be ill served in the long republic if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be.” 

Additionally, the timing of these accusations undermines their credibility. It is shameful that Senator Feinstein held onto Dr. Ford’s allegations for 45 days before reporting them to the investigative committee. That’s a month and a half that the committee could have been investigating these allegations in an attempt to find answers. My question is: why? Why were those allegations not reported immediately? There were ways to keep Dr. Ford’s name under wraps; there were ways to respect her privacy and Judge Kavanaugh’s privacy as well. But those avenues were not taken. Instead, the media smeared both their names across the internet, spreading lies and hate on both sides. I cannot help but feel that some people who just did not want a conservative justice on the Supreme Court cared very little, if at all, for Dr. Ford’s feelings and well-being. 

I have been told that I must, “believe her.” Well… I can’t, and I don’t based on the evidence I have. I simply cannot and will not base my opinion on this matter solely on the fact that both Dr. Ford and I are women as I interpret the, “believe her” movement to suggest I should. My sex does not define who I vote for or who I believe. I cannot give credit to her claims when they go uncorroborated. Yes, her testimony was powerful and passionate, and I believe the trauma she endured has impacted her life. Yes, it gives me goosebumps to think that a single incident like that became life-altering. But since when have our country’s leaders based important decisions on goosebumps alone? The answer: never. We cannot make decisions like this one based on allegations that go uncorroborated. By doing so, we put our justice system and all it represents in danger. 

Many are also suggesting that because Judge Kavanaugh did not call for an FBI investigation that he is guilty. However, it’s unfair to think that someone, regardless of the situation, would call for an investigation into themselves. This is especially true given that Kavanaugh had already undergone an FBI investigation once when nominated, in addition to the six previous FBI investigations conducted which came as a result of holding such a high-ranking position. All of the investigations related to Judge Kavanaugh have found not a single scrap of evidence suggesting this sickening type of behavior. I did not care for his rhetoric or reaction during the hearing, but I also understand that if you are accused of a heinous act that you did not commit, you might react with anger and frustration, especially when your family and friends have been dragged through the mud.  

Another puzzling aspect of the investigation was how Democratic Senators continually said that the hearing was a job interview, not a trial in court. However, they did not act like it was a job interview. The hearing was a very public, disgraceful, and terrifying display of politics gone wrong. When was the last time you had a job interview in which your employer automatically assumed the worst possible qualities in you?  In fact, before Judge Kavanaugh’s name was even released as the President’s nominee back in July, one news source opposed, “Trumps nomination of XX”. They didn’t even know the name of the nominee, but they reported an opposition anyway. That’s a problem. Furthermore, I recently saw a Tweet from Ariel Dumas, a writer for the Late-Night Show with Stephen Colbert. She had the audacity to say, “Whatever happened, I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life.” I don’t care who you are or what you believe, being genuinely happy that you and others you support ruined a person’s life is never okay, especially when you do not have enough evidence to prove him guilty. 

When you actually look at Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and experience (as one would in a job interview) as well as previous cases he’s heard, you’ll very clearly see that he is an extremely qualified, thoughtful, and fair judge. The American Bar Association conducted an incredible assessment citing more than 500 people and colleagues, including women. This investigation found him to be a competent and professional man who deserves respect for his accomplishments. Kavanaugh served on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for 12 years and gave over 300 opinions and law-related speeches and articles. Judge Kavanaugh has also opposed challenging the Affordable Care Act and wants to continue coverage for people with preexisting conditions. When addressing the issue of protecting his political party in his judgeship, Kavanaugh said, “we don’t make decisions based on who people are or their policy preferences or the moment. We base decisions on the law.”  

Additionally, many people have expressed concerns over Kavanaugh’s opinions of homosexual rights and contraceptive options. In response to those concerns, I’ll tell you to examine the Obergefell decision which legalized same-sex marriages. To that decision Judge Kavanaugh commented that it was an important land mark decision that will set precedent for future cases. He also commented on the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the outcome of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which he stated, “The days of treating gay and lesbian Americans, or gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens who are inferior in dignity and worth are over in the Supreme Court.” For those concerned with contraceptive options and abortion, Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly said that precedent (the rulings of previous judges, like in Roe v. Wade) is not only a rule judicially, but a constitutional issue that is meant only to be broken under extreme circumstances. It appears to me that Mr. Kavanaugh has led a career of judicial fairness and the utmost independence.  

I’d like to conclude by again quoting Senator Susan Collins, who rightfully said, “We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.”  

Judge Kavanaugh, you’re hired. 

 *Read the opposing viewpoint here