Highlights of the Kavanaugh Trial and Moving Forward

Eva Vitanovec, Current Events Editor

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The swearing in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday (and again on Monday by President Trump) concludes the historic hearing that both shifted alliances and polarized many all across the country.

At the center of the entire process were the allegations posed by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were seventeen. Highlights from the eight-hour testimony included Ford being 100% certain that it was Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her that night, and that the laughter of the two boys in the room (the other being Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh and author of Wasted) were ingrained into her memory. Ford stated that she came forward because she felt it was her civic duty to make the public aware of past behavior by a potential Supreme Court judge, not because of any party bribery, or that she was simply a pawn being played by the Democrats, as the Republicans insisted.

Kavanaugh, during his testimony that was after Ford’s, denied all accusations, citing his Ivy League education and positive statements from his peers as evidence to corroborate his upstanding character, and using calendars from 1985 to prove he was not at the party described by Ford. At times, his temperament was tested, as observed when his answer to Sen. Klobuchar’s question, “Have you ever drank so much that you could not remember the night before” was not up to par. Kavanagh responded with, “Have you?” and then, “I’m curious if you have.” Kavanagh later apologized, however, for his behavior because this hearing was “a very tough process.”

Kavanaugh was not the only one whose feathers were rustled by the hearing, evident by the majority of Republican senators not yielding their time to the special prosecutor Rachel Mitchell and instead addressing Kavanaugh (and in many cases the Democrats) themselves. Senator Lindsey Graham’s outburst was by far the most memorable, saying, “This is not a job interview, this is hell.”

The most notable result of the hearing was the call for an FBI investigation by Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who was cornered by sexual assault survivors in an elevator after a hearing. When questioned about an investigation during the hearing, Kavanaugh never said that he was outright opposed to an investigation, and that he would do whatever the committee deemed necessary. The FBI investigated Deborah Ramirez, a second accuser of Kavanaugh, four of Kavanaugh’s high school classmates, including Mark Judge, a high school friend of Ford, and four other unknown witnesses. When the investigation was completed, the Democrats protested and said that it was incomplete because many possible people who could speak to Kavanaugh’s character were not interviewed, even though they contacted the FBI.

The confirmation vote was 50-48, in favor of Kavanaugh, with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski opposing Kavanaugh, and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin voting in favor. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, two of the three Republicans votes that were up in the air during the hearing, ended up also voting in favor.

President Trump also made headlines when he was accused of mocking Dr. Ford in a Mississippi rally, questioning how “credible” he believed her testimony was, as he stated earlier. When asked about his comments, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that the President was simply stating the facts of the case and pointing out discrepancies in her testimony.

The Supreme Court resumed hearing cases on Tuesday, October 9, with the opportunity for Kavanaugh to sit on the bench and hear cases related to gun laws. With the confirmation officially over, Democrats are now looking to the November midterms election as a way to regain seats in Congress. The widespread belief is that the Republican Party has alienated women across the country, and with Kavanaugh’s trial so fresh in their memory, they are more likely than ever to vote Democratic next month. The Republicans may have won the battle, but the outcome of the war may lean favorably to the left.