This July, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, the former Bush-appointed Court of Appeals judge, to the Supreme Court — a perfect choice for his administration.
I say that because every Trump appointment or nominee throughout his current term as president has had a combination of three specific characteristics. I like to call these three qualities the ‘Trump Trifecta,’ which consists of ignorance, dishonesty and a history of abuse, particularly against women. Kavanaugh epitomizes each attribute of the trifecta.
It is surprising to some that while one of Kavanaugh’s main issues is abortion, he seems to have very little knowledge of the difference between abortion and birth control. In discussing whether or not employers should be mandated to cover birth control in their insurance plans, Kavanaugh quoted a Catholic nonprofit group when referring to birth control pills as “abortion-inducing drugs.”
Technically, Kavanaugh was quoting the group’s words, but he was using their choice of phrasing to argue against required birth control coverage on the basis that this type of contraceptive induces abortions, which violates “religious freedoms.” To be clear, birth control is very different from abortion. The latter terminates fertilized eggs, while former prevents fertilization from happening at all.
During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, the Supreme Court nominee announced that he viewed the ruling of Roe v. Wade as “important precedent.” Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court case that ruled it unconstitutional to criminalize or restrict access to abortions. While this seems like good news for pro-choice Americans, Kavanaugh’s earlier statements on the permanence of this ruling say otherwise.
In a 2003 memo, made public the day after this particular hearing, Kavanaugh wrote that the Supreme Court “can always overrule” Roe v. Wade, as reported by CNN. Why would Kavanaugh very clearly contradict his opinion on the jurisdiction of the court not so long after he formed it? The answer is simple. Just like the man who nominated him, Kavanaugh says what he thinks people want to hear, not actually what he believes.
Kavanaugh isn’t lying because he can, nor is he ignorant from lack of education. He is doing anything and everything to justify the government’s control of women and their bodies.
Kavanaugh seems like a good guy though, right? He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would want to oppress women, right?
Well, in sharp contrast to the good-boy persona he puts on in front of the public, Kavanaugh’s alleged history of violence against women is part of his past that is quickly being unraveled in front of the world.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, reluctantly spoke to The Washington Post recently about a party she attended in high school.
At this party, she alleges Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while one of his friends watched. There are therapy notes dating back to 2012 where Blasey Ford spoke of this alleged event during two separate appointments, one with her husband and one alone. Her husband even recalls Blasey Ford mentioning Kavanaugh by name.
These allegations could, and should, disqualify Kavanaugh from a position in our country’s highest court. Yet, there are still many people, including our president, who would rather ignore the potential validity of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations. President Trump stated that Kavanaugh “is not a man who deserves this” — as if this was a falsely created story with the sole purpose of discrediting his nominee.
To those who agree with Trump, I must ask: what does Blasey Ford have to gain by making up these allegations? Since speaking openly with The Washington Post, after much reluctance, Blasey Ford has dealt with death threats and smear campaigns and was even forced to relocate her family into hiding.
This is a woman who suppressed awful trauma, until finally speaking about it in confidence decades later. Now, she is being pushed to speak about it with all of America’s eyes watching. Christine Blasey Ford has gained nothing from coming forward with these allegations. Rather, she is publicly fighting her demons — doing anything to prevent her abuser’s appointment to a high-ranking, high-profile position. It is clear that she is not doing this for herself, but for all of the victims who cannot.
This isn’t a criminal trial, it’s a job interview. Kavanaugh shouldn’t get the privilege of presumed innocence, but rather, he should go above and beyond to prove to our elected officials that he is fit to serve our country.
The problem with our president and the pervasive rape culture in our society is the blatant refusal to admit the possibility of a woman telling the truth. We stretch ourselves thin to find reasons why Kavanaugh would not have done something like this, rather than investigate the reasons why he might have committed the crime.
To the Senate Judiciary Committee, and anyone keeping up with these hearings, it is time to change the way we examine sexual assault. Step one, believe the woman. Step two, investigate the reasons why the accused did what he did, not why he couldn’t.
Claudia Hanover, ’21, is a columnist for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]