Allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh cause controversy

By Anna Synakh || Copy Editor


Photo courtesy of Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

Sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh first arose when he was nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States. These claims, put forward by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, were followed with a rather brief FBI investigation of Ford’s statements, and a highly sensationalized television hearing led by the Senate.  

Ford stated that the incident took place when both her and Kavanaugh were attending high school. She recalled being at a party that Kavanaugh also attended. She remembered being held down on the bed and groped by Kavanaugh, who forced her mouth shut to prevent Ford from screaming. Despite these allegations, no conclusive determination could be made about what happened that night decades ago. Ultimately the Senate voted 50-48, the smallest Senate vote margin in 140 years, for the confirmation of Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court.

On September 14, 2019, nearly a year after the confirmation, a new wave of allegations   Kavanaugh hit the news. The New York Times released an essay adaptation of the soon-to-be-published book regarding the Kavanaugh confirmation process. The essay revealed that one of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates, Max Stier, witnessed Kavanaugh exposing himself to a female student at a party and pushing his genitals onto her hand. At this time Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale. The incident apparently was reported to the FBI around the time Blasey Ford came forward with her story, yet no investigation was held. 

The essay mentions another Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez, who recalled a similar incident during their time at the university in New Haven. This claim was briefly discussed during the hearing but largely dismissed. The New York Times has since stated that they found seven other witnesses to this incident.

The new findings have created a wave of discontent among the Democratic party. Five of the Democratic presidential candidates have called for the impeachment of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The five are Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren. Julian Castro and Cory Booker. “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him,” Warren tweeted. “Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.” The other candidates have made similar calls over the few days following the essay release.

On September 16, New York Times released an edit of their essay, which stated that some details had been left out of the article. This correction stated that the female who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh at Yale refused to participate in an interview with the Times, and did not recall such an incident taking place.

Since then, the New York Times has been getting plenty of backlash for not revealing this information right away, as the accusations lost their validity in the eyes of many readers following these revelations. The newspaper opened a thread for questions regarding the article in order to clear the air, and restated that the claims provided by Max Stiers and Deborah Ramirez were indeed found to be credible by government officials, and therefore were worth exposing.

The confirmation process of September 2018 created a short time frame for the FBI to track every claim and statement that was provided, therefore many questions remain unanswered. Though little to no clarity exists on whether or not Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh has ever committed sexual assault, many feel that these claims still have to be investigated further in much more detail. Only time will tell where this investigation goes.

Sophomore Anna Synakh is a copy editor. Her email is asynakh@fandm.edu.

print

Leave a Reply