Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Saturday into the Supreme Court by an extremely narrow vote of 50-48 by the Senate. But his acceptance into the highest court in the land did not soothe the nationwide controversy, but instead triggered even more opposition and polarization.
Kavanaugh, who is only 53, is serving a lifetime position as a justice and secured a conservative majority in the Supreme Court for years to come.
On Saturday, over 150 people were arrested outside of Capitol Hill in D.C. for protesting Kavanaugh’s confirmation, according to U.S. Capitol Police.
Here at Salisbury University, protests were expressed through the chalking of the academic building TETC with pro-women messages such as “Thank you Dr. Ford” and “Girl Power is Real.” It is still uncertain who is responsible for these chalkings.
Sophie Clendenin, senior at SU, was unsettled when hearing about Kavanaugh’s confirmation. She is a Montgomery County native and attended Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, only 10 minutes away from Georgetown Prep, where Kavanaugh attended high school.
“It was pretty upsetting,” Clendenin said. “There’s a man who is confirmed into the Supreme Court who has become the face of how men can do whatever they want and there’s no repercussions for it.”
Although Clendenin believes that this event has helped sexual assault survivors gain the confidence to share their experiences with their family, friends and the public.
“In a lot of ways, it can encourage people to come out and tell their stories,” Clendenin said. “But I also think it’s just another example of how cases like this aren’t taken seriously.”
But not everyone shares her opinion on the Kavanaugh confirmation.
Joe Kane, senior at SU, is a close family friend of Kavanaugh and believed in his innocence from the beginning.
“It was a good reaction [to his confirmation] just because I’ve grown up around the man and I know how genuine of a person he is,” Kane said. “Even with the allegations against him, I know that he will be able to do a good job.”
Kane does not think Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was lying, but that “She might’ve remembered it wrong.”
Kane’s opinion closely echoes Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine, who believed Ford’s testimony about being sexually assaulted, but was not sure Kavanaugh was at fault.
“She [Ford] was clearly terrified, traumatized and I believed her that a sexual assault had happened to her,” Collins said. “What I think she is mistaken about is who the perpetrator was. I do not believe her assailant was Brett Kavanaugh.”
Collins was one of the determining votes on Saturday and voted to confirm Kavanaugh, jeopardizing her own career.
William Cramer, also a senior at SU, believes that Kavanaugh was appointed solely because of his political affiliation and not because a majority of the Senate believed he was innocent.
“It seemed that the majority of the population had a predisposition on their opinion based on their political affiliation, rather than the facts,” Cramer said. “I don’t think that being conservative should make you think he’s innocent or being democratic/liberal should make you think he’s guilty.”
When it comes to sexual assault survivors, Cramer believes that this might deter them from speaking out.
“More often than not, someone who comes forth is at the very least victimized, if not attacked for something that happened a long time ago,” Cramer said. “For whatever reason, it’s okay to prosecute murder years later, but not sexual assault.”
Although the fight against Kavanaugh’s confirmation is now over, it has created an even more divided and partisan government.
Kavanaugh was sworn in privately later that Saturday with his wife and two children by his side. He will begin his career as the 114th Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday.
By SOFIA CARRASCO Editorial editor
Featured photo: National Review image.