BY Erica Condon
On July 9, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the role of Supreme Court Justice. However, on the morning of Sept. 28, the vote was delayed due to an investigation regarding sexual assault allegations surrounding Kavanaugh.
Dr. Christine Ford, a Stamford University Professor psychology, publically testified to congress. Ford said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980’s.
After much debate, on Oct. 6, Kavanaugh was confirmed and elected as the ninth U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
This addition to the Supreme Court leaves many students with strong feelings.
Senior Mackenna Lamphere believes that this nomination should have been delayed even further in order to make the best decision for the government and society.
“I think the Senate should have delayed the nomination, I think people on all sides should have dug into more things before they went into the prosecution,” said Lamphere. “However, I am on Ford’s side. It doesn’t matter whether it happened thirty something years ago or it happened yesterday, it takes a lot to face your accuser and say what happened to you and I think we need to respect that of someone.”
The accusations of sexual assault that Ford had presented against Kavanaugh required further FBI investigation because there was not enough evidence to decide based on the accusations alone.
“The worst thing that could happen with a cause like this is someone losing their credibility due to the backing of false claims,” said junior Gavin Thurlow. “Dr. Ford’s claims had some substantiation, however allegations from other people did not and were refuted quickly. However, people were eager to jump to support those claims without any evidence whatsoever.”
Junior Stavros Xanthacos said that this case was not handled in the best manner and that it is important that both sides are investigated toughly.
“The senate judiciary committee was asking FBI officials to investigate a case almost 35 years old, and even Dr. Ford herself couldn’t remember key details that played an important factor in the case,” said Xanthacos. “Sexual harassment is a serious allegation and should not be taken lightly. Both sides should be heard, and a thorough investigation should take place.”
A case this controversial was alarming to some students.
“The case was definitely shocking. It shaped America’s view point on the raw truth for a short while,” said junior Kay Kanakry. “Almost everywhere one looked, media was influenced by the case, even SNL got laughs out of it. It is utterly humiliating a case such as this is just going to be considered the norm in American society.”
The recent case and allegations of Kavanaugh have even left an impact on students like junior Sabrina Fusco, who don’t normally pay attention to politics.
“I personally don’t follow politics but the stigma of protecting men against false accusations is what I saw come out of this trial. However, I don’t believe the idea of false accusations should totally disregard women when there are millions of cases of sexual assault and abuse,” said Fusco.
Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh go beyond just politics, they take part in the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement is a nationwide effort to stand up against sexual harassment and assault.
Furthermore, Fusco also believes that many people try to avoid the sensitive topic of sexual assault but the #MeToo movement is helping to raise awareness.
“I’m totally with the #MeToo movement, unfortunately sexual assault is so normalized and a lot of people don’t want to talk about it or help the cause,” said Fusco.
Graduate student Greg Taylor is also a supporter of the #MeToo movement. “I think it’s great that people are spreading awareness about sexual assault and that more people feel comfortable speaking about it. If someone speaking out about their experience or even hearing others simply say they believe them gives someone the courage to come forward then, we’re making progressive strides,” said Taylor.
The sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh followed by his joining the Supreme Court have left an impact on not only the government but also on college students.
“In general, I think Kavanaugh’s public image has been tarnished for life and his actions and words following this case are now defining him,” said Kanakry.