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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Kavanaugh should not be confirmed

<rt by saying: I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I’ll just leave it at that. Last week, under oath at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh erratically and sanctimoniously delivered a forty-five minute opening statement, in which he declared: “There is a bright line between drinking beer, which I gladly do, and which I fully embrace, and sexually assaulting someone, which is a violent crime. If every American who drinks beer or every American who drank beer in high school is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, [it] will be an ugly, new place in this country. I never committed sexual assault.”

But this statement is unwarranted and baseless. The senators at the hearing did not state or even remotely imply that someone—anyone—who drinks beer is or should be automatically considered a sexual predator. I have to believe that a man as intelligent and accomplished as Judge Kavanaugh (did you know he went to Yale?) is well aware that there will never be a day when every American who drinks beer is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault. The judge is thoughtful; he is meticulous, and he is deliberate. He knows exactly what he is doing when he makes this kind of statement. He is using a fallacious slippery slope argument in which he implies that should he be held accountable for what he was accused of, every beer-drinking American would suddenly share a risk of the same fate.

This politicized fear-mongering is problematic when used by President Trump in his assertions that immigration brings rapists and criminals, or by Republican officials who claim that common-sense gun control policies will lead to the confiscation of all guns. These types of arguments are often severely exaggerated, if not outright unfounded. They are put to use by politicians to manipulate the masses, to gain the public support needed for the implementation of all sorts of policies.

But this type of fear-mongering is even more problematic when used by someone like Judge Kavanaugh, whose supposed independence is a key, if not the key, part of his potential future job description. Insisting that Dr. Ford’s allegations, and Democratic senators’ responses to them, are some coordinated sham motivated by a desire to gain revenge on behalf of the Clintons is not only ludicrous, it is also disqualifying. Yes, this entire process was politicized from the beginning, but we live in a world in which anything and everything can be (and is) politicized. A Supreme Court Justice’s job is to insulate themselves from that politicization, to remain steadily independent. How can we expect Judge Kavanaugh to remain independent on the bench if he can’t even remain independent in his job interview?

There are a host of reasons why the Senate should not confirm President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This is just one of them. But all other reasons aside, this should be enough. We are allowed to have high standards here. We are allowed to say no to someone who blatantly buys into the politicization of this process. In fact, we should. We are talking about a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Let’s be picky.

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