Robinson: Kavanaugh confirmation process sets damning partisan precedent


Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court if the FBI’s condensed investigation uncovers no new, significant evidence this week that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women.

Over the last three months, Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has sent Washington D.C. into a whirlwind. The confirmation of Kavanaugh would tip the power of the highest court in the land to a 5-4 vote count in favor of conservative judges over liberal judges.

Within thirty minutes of the announcement of Kavanaugh’s nomination in early July, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged that he would “oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have.” Many Democratic senators followed Schumer’s lead and immediately announced their opposition to the nomination. The same night that Kavanaugh was nominated to the court, Sen. Bernie Sanders held an anti-Kavanaugh rally at the steps of the Supreme Court, with members of the crowd holding “Stop Kavanaugh” signs.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings over the last two weeks, Kavanaugh was questioned thoroughly by both Republican and Democratic senators about legal issues and policies. At the very start of the Kavanaugh hearing, Democratic senators demanded that the committee suspend to review and receive more documents on Kavanaugh.

Finally, the long days of the Kavanaugh hearings were over, and the senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee were ready to vote the nomination into the full Senate floor for a vote.

The week that the vote was suppose to take place, Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by Stanford University professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Immediately, Kavanaugh denied any sexual misconduct.

It has been revealed now that Sen. Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, had knowledge of the Ford accusation in the form of a letter her staff received in late August — 20 days before the allegation was leaked.

Ford stated in the letter that she wanted to remain anonymous in her accusation. Feinstein’s office is accused of leaking the accusation.

Even before the accusation was leaked, Feinstein’s office recommended lawyers for Dr. Ford.

Right before Ford and Kavanaugh publicy testified before the Senate, more sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh surfaced from two other women.

Kavanaugh has denied all allegations.

Right now, we are at a he said, she said position after Kavanaugh and Ford’s testimonies. There was little to no chance that their public testimonies on Thursday would produce new information. The president has called a condensed FBI investigation into Kavanaugh before a final Senate floor vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Sexual assault is never OK.

Due to the discrepancies in Dr. Ford’s story — no time, no place, no explanation of how she left the party, and people who were claimed to be there denying that it happened — there is no significant evidence to back up the allegation. There has not been significant evidence provided to support the other sexual misconduct claims either.

In allegations as serious as sexual misconduct, it is important that Kavanaugh be treated as innocent until proven guilty. It’s too early to pass judgment on the nominee.

Last week was not a great week to be an American. If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, there will undoubtedly be significant consequences for the courts in the future. Whether he is confirmed or denied, the process Kavanaugh has gone through —coupled with the nomination process of Merrick Garland in 2016 — has set a damning partisan precedent for future nominees to the court.

Barring new evidence, Kavanaugh should be confirmed.