Last week in Washington, D.C., Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on trial as the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Kavanaugh is a Republican favorite and was selected for the nomination by President Donald Trump. Kavanaugh served as a former White House Staff Secretary under the Bush administration. With the former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stepping down, the judiciary branch lost its swing vote.
The Committee met at the Capitol and interviewed Kavanaugh over the course of three days about his stance on past decisions.
The atmosphere at the trial soon became increasingly tense between Kavanaugh and senators.
The night before the trial began, 40,000 documents were released to the Senate Judiciary Committee involving Kavanaugh, his policies and deals and decisions he has made in the past. Some of the emails were from him, and some were CC’d to Kavanaugh. As the trial opened, several senators made motions to adjourn and postpone the meeting until they had time to read and analyze all emails. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and several other Democratic senators raised questions about why these documents were concealed until the last minute, and several documents contained questionable opinions about racial profiling, abortion and other hot topics. Democrats pushed, hoping to use the documents to prove Kavanaugh is not as open-minded as he says. However, not all of the documents presented were deemed incriminating.
However, some of Kavanaugh’s policies were concerning to many. He believes that the executive branch is the most powerful and refused to take a stance on whether or not a sitting president should be required to submit to a subpoena. Currently, President Donald Trump is under investigation. To Democrats, it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that President Trump hand picked a Justice that would give him more power. The Supreme Court acts as a check and balance to the other branches of our government.
Another concerning opinion for Democrats is Kavanaugh’s stance on the famous 1973 case Roe v. Wade, where the Supreme Court set the precedent for the legal right to have an abortion. Although Kavanaugh was never clear with his stance, President Trump promised to nominate a pro-life justice. Although Roe v. Wade is considered “settled law” which has been reaffirmed several times, the Supreme Court has the power to overturn their previous ruling with any new case.
Kavanaugh is not very popular amongst female pro-choice advocates. Several female rights activists were escorted out of the room for disruptive commentary during Kavanaugh’s hearing. The trial lasted for several days before its conclusion. However, with 51 Republican senators and an appointed Republican nominee, the numbers suggest Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
Maureen Farley is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in theatre and journalism. MF845745@wcupa.edu.