The process of confirming a US Supreme Court Judge is a long one, yet when this is combined with sexual assault claims, as is the case with Brett Kavanaugh, it is drawn into a, rightly so, longer more political case. Yet what has struck me as this process has gone on over the last few weeks is how the claims against Brett Kavanaugh have highlighted how entrenched party politics is within US institutions.
It is important to understand why this nomination was rushed through. One of the biggest events in US Politics is the midterm congressional elections that are about to happen in America. Any change in the party representation in November, particularly if the Democrats gain overall power, would have affected whether Trump’s nomination for Supreme Court Judge succeeded, as the Democrats would have automatically rejected the nomination when it is voted on in the Senate. Therefore, the Republicans ensured that they got the nomination through quickly so that they have the overall majority, in terms of political ideology, in the Supreme Court. Of course, party politics comes into play within any Supreme Court Nomination, yet it was heightened due to the looming election.
The whole process of Kavanaugh’s nomination has was heightened by the sexual allegations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a high school friend. Whilst these claims are yet to be verified, the sheer questioning of both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh, and the differences in their treatment demonstrates how party politics, and the determination of US Republicans to get their chosen judge has created a failed institution.
The Supreme Court was intended by the Constitution writers to be neutral, to be the deciding factor, to be above politics and to act as a check and balance. Yet this has not happened, instead what has occurred over time is a desperate plea by the government to get their desired judge into the courts so that their political side will be favoured during cases. This is heightened by the current scenario. The Republicans examined Blasey Ford through a public prosecutor, but allowed themselves ask the questions of Kavanaugh. As such, Congress did not hear the entire story from Kavanaugh’s side. This demonstrates bias, and a sheer disregard for the law in favour for political success. It highlights that for them the institution is better than justice, whatever that may look like.
On Friday 28th September, the Republicans in the Senate committee voted with the party line – this encompasses how party politics has become more important than creating a fair institution, which does not stand for any type of crime. Of course, we are yet to establish fully whether Kavanaugh did assault Blaisey Ford, yet there was no truthful effort to stop the process until this is fully established.
Instead the Republicans are so determined to ensure their success in the Supreme Court, and go against public opinion, that they forced the vote through. The Constitution has failed with regards to protecting the neutrality of the Supreme Court in its role as a check and balance, and it is particularly clear within this case. Whilst certain Senators need to be praised for their efforts to allow for justice, they only pushed for a week long delay, which is not long enough to see the truth come fully out, and also asked for an FBI Investigation, which will also take longer than a week. It was still rushed through, due to threat of the Democrats winning a majority in November’s elections.
As such, it is no wonder that women do not come forward with events that have happened to them, when politicians in the public eye appear to disregard accusations because party politics, and manipulating the make-up of institutions, is more important. It is a shame that party politics has come to this, and all I can hope is that whatever the truth about Kavanaugh is, is that it comes out regardless of party politics delaying this.
Photo: AP Photo.