By: Rahem Hamid (Correspondent)
News updates regarding Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh change almost by the hour.
On Thursday, September 13, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) revealed she had passed on a confidential letter about Kavanaugh to the FBI. The New Yorker reported the next day that the letter was an accusation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh when he was a high schooler. The person, who the Post revealed is Professor Christine Ford of California, told CNN that she “felt that her life was inadvertently in danger” Kavanaugh denies the allegations. Over the weekend, she says she is willing to testify, but only if specific conditions are met. Yet on the 23 of September, Kavanaugh was once again accused of assault by Yale college mate Deborah Ramirez. Ramirez’s allegations have been published in the New Yorker by legendary #MeToo reporter Ronan Farrow.
These latest updates in the Kavanaugh hearings remind us of Anita Hill, who is also like Ms. Ford, a professor now. Hill accused then-nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual assault, but Thomas was still confirmed (he denied the allegations). Hill received horrible treatment by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was mercilessly attacked on a number of levels. Then-Chairman Joe Biden has since said she deserves an apology. Hill wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times saying, “There is no way to redo 1991, but there are ways to do it better.” Hill also has stressed that they “not rush these hearings.”
Regarding the allegations, Sophomore Treasurer Samid Khandaker says he’s interested in the facts. “If it did happen,” he says, “he should be tossed off immediately.” “I’d rather have it take a while than him actually getting in…and then have the validity of the Supreme Court undermined because there is a sex offender on there.” Khandaker also believes that nothing disqualifies Kavanaugh from being on the Court in terms of his legal background. However, he notes that it’s not right for related documents to be restricted. Due process must take course, Khandaker says.
Kavanaugh has been appointed to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy was known to be a maverick of sorts, showing a bipartisanship in the Court. Sophomore Vice President Steven Liao believes that he has not shown the bipartisanship Kennedy showed. “However I don’t believe he is too conservative to be a justice.” Liao also says that Kavanaugh is extremely qualified to be on the court. “I think he’s more than qualified and is by far the most qualified conservative candidate,” he said.
Social studies coordinator Mr. Fazzio says that the Democrats are annoyed because of the treatment of Merrick Garland [Obama’s nominee], and now they are resorting to the same tactics that the Republicans used two years ago.
“These politicians are not acting as statesmen,” said Fazzio. “A statesman is concerned about the country and the direction of the country, [and] a politician is concerned with the next election.” The result is a system and environment which is far more political than it should be, he added.
Another key issue of the hearings is the fact that the Republicans withheld 100,000 documents relating to Justice Kavanaugh. When asked about this, Mr. Fazzio said that this is “the garbage…on the Republican side-why wouldn’t you release everything- release it all and let the candidate defend his position.”
But he returned to the same note that people in Congress on both sides of the aisle are not doing their job. “This is why the Republicans are really a disgrace because instead of calling out some of their people or instead of calling their president out, they rally behind him because this president has mobilized the base which helps them get elected,” he says. “You’re not doing what’s good for the country, you’re doing what’s good for you.”