By Jessica Lipman
Brett Kavanaugh, an American lawyer and judge, was nominated by President Donald Trump to the Supreme Court on July 2018. Shortly after his nomination, Kavanaugh received backlash and sexual assault allegations by Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who went to high school
with Kavanaugh thirty years ago. After Ford’s allegations made nationwide news, more women began to come forward with their personal experiences of Kavanaugh sexually assaulting them.
The hearings of Kavanaugh were broadcasted for the country to see as the Supreme Court was split: some justices supported Kavanaugh and believed these allegations were false, while others accused Kavanaugh. In the end, the allegations were not able to be proven true, since an investigation did not take place and the alleged assaults happened decades ago. The nomination process for Kavanaugh’s position in the Supreme Court began and Kavanaugh barely made it into the Court with a vote of 50-48. On October 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court.
Although many conservatives are satisfied with the outcome of Kavanaugh’s nomination, liberals are very concerned with how Ford and other women’s voices are not being heard. Glenelg Senior Sam Cho stated her concern about the situation by stating, “It is unfair in my opinion that everyone is now disregarding what he possibly could have done and an investigation is not being held.” Even though the outcome may seem unbeneficial towards women, Kavanaugh’s allegations could bring more women and men to speak forward about their stories, help other sexual assault victims, and bring more awareness to this issue.
After Ford went public with her allegations against Kavanaugh, two more women came forward with experiences they had with him in college and in the workplace. Although these allegations could not be proven true, there was a pattern seen. Ford’s story gave other women the courage to state to the country what had possibly happened to them. Although these women did not receive justice for their allegations, the awareness they brought to the issue could give more women the confidence and ability to come forward with their assaults they underwent.
The celebrity-fueled #MeToo movement has been very popular in the past year. Many women have come forward with their experiences with fellow celebrities and men they have worked with. Because of this hashtag, thousands of women and men brought awareness to sexual assault and harassment in the workplace environment. The movement was even brought in front of Congress in 2017. Jackie Speier, a Democratic politician, proposed the Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Congress Act. The purpose of this bill was for the legislative branch and the federal government to change how members of legislation treat sexual assault and harassment complaints. Glenelg Senior Amelia Brinkley thinks this bill is important since “Sexual assault, even harassment is a serious issue that I feel as if not that many people talk about with people our age. It needs to be payed attention to more, especially when we start having jobs and continue with our lives.” In November of 2017, the bill was passed by the House of Representatives and has over 100 co-sponsors. With women having a more powerful voice than ever in our country, the nation is finally understanding how serious of an issue assault is and how it should not be ignored.
Even though Kavanaugh still made it through his nomination process and is now serving in the Supreme Court today, it is also important for the nation to focus on sexual assault and harassment. Sexual assault has been brought into the public eye for years now and it is still not being taken as seriously. Since more attention has been brought towards this issue, hopefully more victims will be able to speak out and bring awareness to this serious issue which is still thriving within our country.