BY AZARIA HOWELL
Please note: this article deals with sensitive topics.
The United States Senate has voted in favour of confirming controversial judge Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court.
Winning the seat 50 votes in favour to 48 against, Kavanaugh will likely stay on the supreme court for life, as there are no current term limits for the role. He will be one of the nine people sitting on the supreme court, where crucial laws are changed. Supreme court justices have the power to interpret laws and presidential actions based on the constitution, as well as having the final say on proposed United States laws.
The judge was supported and nominated by current US president Donald Trump, who claimed Kavanaugh was “a great nominee” on social media. Trump also applauded people who showed their support for Brett Kavanaugh, saying that it was “beautiful to see” on his heavily scrutinised Twitter account.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation did not come easy, with many political analysts over in the states thinking that the day would not come and the nominee would be voted down due to there being allegations of sexual assault against him. Allegations have been made by three different women, with one of them, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testifying against Kavanaugh in a senate hearing. During the hearing Dr. Ford bravely described how Kavanaugh took advantage of her at a high school party in the 1980s, when she was 15 years old. Dr. Ford explained that Kavanaugh’s actions had a drastic impact on her life in her testimony, and said that she felt she needed to speak up.
The allegations sparked an FBI investigation into the claims, with the details not being released to the public. Senators were allowed to view the report for only one hour, and excluding the FBI, no one else has seen what it contains.
During the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh provided evidence which was heavily scrutinised, including a calendar and a yearbook from the same year the alleged assault happened. Many believe that Kavanaugh was lying when explaining the red-flags which appeared from the evidence. After asked in the hearing, he claimed that being an ‘alumnius’ of a former classmate (something which was written in his yearbook) meant that he was her good friend. Other parts of the yearbook and calendar raised concern, including being asked by his high school friend in his yearbook if he had ‘boofed,’ which Kavanaugh dismissed and told the Senate it was an inside joke about flatulence.
When asked at the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh denied his involvement with heavy drinking in his high school and college years. This was something his former classmates would deny when they told the media that Kavanaugh used to drink to excess in his youth, and often attended parties.
For the days leading up to the controversial vote, thousands of people protested outside the capitol with strong views opposing Kavanaugh. Protesters around the nation occupied the offices of some senators who were ‘on the fence’ on whether or not to support the nominee.
Protesters and members of the Women’s March organisation have promised further action against Kavanaugh, with protests likely to go ahead in spite of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. After the confirmation of the judge, the official Women’s March Twitter account said “We took the Capitol. We sat the streets outside SCOTUS. We disrupted the Senate proceedings. We want to be able to tell the next generation we did everything we could.”
Midterm elections will be held in the United States next month for public service roles in the United States, including the Senate. During a rally, the co-chair of the Women’s March said it would be “career suicide” if a senator supported Kavanaugh, and promised that they would be voted out after November, due to the mass outrage this process has caused.
“They thought they could ignore our voices. Let’s show them how wrong they are.”
AZARIA HOWELL is a huge politics nerd living in Christchurch. Expect lots of new political articles on Tearaway from her! She also loves snowboarding, Beagles, and wearing clunky boots. @makeazariagreatagain
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