Judge Kavanaugh’s Hearing and Confirmation: The Details

Julia Virnelli, Staff Writer

After the public hearing, the fate of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is still uncertain. The confirmation vote has been delayed a week, as the F.B.I investigates the sexual assault accusations made against him primarily by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

President Trump ordered the investigation after Senator Jeff Flake demanded a closer look into the claims made by Dr. Ford before the vote. The senator has a key Republican swing vote, which makes his decisions very impactful.

After Flake released a statement saying he would vote yes to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice, he was met by two women in the elevator, both of whom were victims of sexual assault. One woman said, “You’re telling all women that they don’t matter. That they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you’re going to ignore them. That’s what you’re telling all women in America. That they don’t matter.”

Many Republicans, such as Thom Tillis of North Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas, tried to convince Flake that the investigation was just a delaying tactic made by the Democrats and would ultimately lead to more false allegations. The Democrats, on the other hand, tried to persuade Flake to go through with the investigation, including Flake’s lifelong friend, Senator Chris Coons from Delaware.

As a result of this debate, Coons and Flake ended up having an impromptu meeting in a telephone booth so they could call the F.B.I Director about initiating an investigation. When he ended up being unavailable, they called the Deputy Attorney General instead. He told them that the investigation would be completed in about a week, but unlikely to uncover any new information not already known.

Five minutes after this call took place, Flake confirmed that he would request an investigation. Some people the F.B.I chose to talk with were Deborah Ramirez, who also made sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh; Mark Judge, a possible witness; P.J Smyth, supposedly present at the party; and Leland Keyser, another person suspected to be at the party where Ford said she was attacked. Many people have said they would like to speak to the F.B.I, but despite attempts to contact them, they have not been spoken to or reached out to.

One very prominent issue during the case was Kavanaugh’s truthfulness under oath. In 2015, Kavanaugh made a speech, in which he said senators must be able to “keep their emotions in check”.  Senators, such as Lisa Murkowski and Jeff Flake, have questioned their standpoint in the case because of what they have seen in the courtroom, specifically with the behavior of Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court and sworn in as of Saturday, October 6th. The vote was very close, at 50-48. Key votes in favor of Kavanaugh came from Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, Susan Collins from Maine, and Joe Manchin from West Virginia. When President Donald Trump found out about Kavanaugh’s success, he praised him for being “able to withstand this horrible, horrible attack by the Democrats”. Later, he also announced that there would be a formal swearing-in ceremony for Kavanaugh on Monday night.

When the news of Kavanagh’s confirmation became public, protesters began to walk up the steps and pound on the doors of the U.S Supreme Court. The vote itself was periodically interrupted by the chants of protestors from outside. People across the Capital were chanting and holding signs scolding Kavanaugh. “November is coming”, chanted hundreds of protesters who crossed police lines to sit on the steps of the Senate.

With elections coming up, it will be interesting to see how people decide to vote, and if their vote on Kavanaugh will affect their overall following.