Before an anonymous commentator decides to accused me of being a liberal or a Republican In Name Only (“RINO”), I want to say unequivocally that I have been a conservative my entire life, I voted for Trump, and I am committed to the principles of small government, lower taxes, and a strong national defense. Okay, now that we have the conservative contest out of the way, let’s have an honest and responsible conversation about the allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Why does it matter? The character of someone being nominated to the nation’s highest court, the United States Supreme Court is of utmost importance. Justices on the Supreme Court have the awesome responsibility of interpreting our laws and most importantly making sure the federal and state governments do not pass laws that violate the principles of the United States Constitution. The education, career trajectory, and character of these men and women matter. Keep in mind with the publication of one Supreme Court opinion, the Court has the power to change the course of American jurisprudence.
Even liberals recognize that that Judge Kavanaugh is well-qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.
Let’s look at the facts. Kavanaugh is a Yale Law School graduate, assisted Kenneth Starr’s investigation of former President Clinton’s professional and personal dealings, worked as White House Counsel during the George W. Bush administration, and has served as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During the Senate confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh has demonstrated that he has the intellect and backbone expected of a prospective Supreme Court Justice even when Senate Democrats resorted to drama and political posturing in an attempt to delay his confirmation. Suffice to say that Kavanaugh is qualified for seat on the nation’s highest court.
Now let’s address the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. In The Washington Post, Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor, came forward and accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly pinning her down and sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27. Now, Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale classmate, has come forward to The New Yorker and accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her in the Yale dorm rooms. Ramirez is calling for an FBI investigation.
Kavanaugh has refuted these claims, saying in a recent Fox News interview, “the truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise. I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but I what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
We need to commiserate with both parties in this situation. Dr. Ford has to relive this traumatic event in her life on the national stage. At the same time, if wrongfully accused, Judge Kavanaugh has to watch his impeccable reputation being dragged through mud. It's a lose-lose for everyone involved.
Understanding the complexity of the situation, conservatives cannot afford to be tone deaf. There is a moral and political price to pay for perceived callousness against Judge Kavanaugh’s female accusers. The last thing we, the Republican Party, need before going into the midterm election is a sequel of the Anita Hill v. Clarence Thomas controversy.
Times have changed and the Me Too movement has changed the national conversation about sexual assault. The key for Republican Senators is to be respectful of the victims and hear their story. With that said, Republican Senators must ask Dr. Ford fair questions during the hearing to get to the truth of the matter because the stakes could not be higher. A man’s reputation and the future of the Supreme Court hang in the balance.
Republicans should stay clear of trivializing sexual assault or making dangerous generalizations about teenage behavior. The now infamous CNN panel featuring five Republican women from Florida illustrates the dangers of these generalizations. Full disclosure: I was formerly the Director of Communications for Gina Sosa’s 2018 primary campaign for Florida Congressional District 27. Yes, the Gina Sosa on the CNN panel that has been vilified for her comment about teenage boys. Gina is a good-natured person and an LGBT advocate, but her poor choice of words illustrates the reality that if Republicans, especially Republican women, don’t choose their words carefully we will alienate large chunks of the electorate.
Republicans should continue to support our nominee to the Supreme Court, but let’s not compromise basic principles of decency and respect in the process. We owe it to the victims of sexual assault and the country.
When she is not writing political speeches and articles, Arianna is finishing her third year of law school focusing on criminal litigation and constitutional law. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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