Illustration by Melissa Nie
The Third Way: On Kavanaugh
October 3, 2018
What a 2 weeks it’s been. As a student journalist, I can’t even begin to break down the events of this week, let alone who’s in the right or wrong in these Kavanaugh hearings. We should believe survivors, but for some people, possible assault is not disqualifying for a supreme court nominee. I don’t know how to fix that. What I can do is try to list all of the other reasons that Kavanaugh is completely unfit for a supreme court seat.
First, Kavanaugh almost certainly committed felony perjury before the Senate. In testimony, Kavanaugh stated, unequivocally, that he had heard about the allegations from Debbie Ramirez from the New Yorker article on the 23rd, and not from previous knowledge. It was revealed on NBC news on Oct 1 that there were text messages between two former friends of Kavanaugh before the allegations were published, saying that Kavanaugh wanted them refuted. Mind you, this was before the date of publication of the New Yorker article, meaning Kavanaugh certainly had knowledge of Rameriez’s claims before September 23rd. His willingness to lie under oath didn’t stop there: Kavanaugh claimed under oath that he never received documents that were written by Democratic staffers. It was later revealed that Kavanaugh possessed 8 pages of stolen documents written by Democratic staffers. They were clearly labeled “not for distribution,” and were not written by Republicans, so Kavanaugh knew he was in possession of stolen documents and lied to the Senate about it. Perjury might not seem like a serious offense, but since testimony is evidence, perjury is tantamount to falsifying it. That crime might not warrant jail time, but it certainly warrants disqualification from the highest court in the land.
Second, if he’s willing to commit felony perjury to change small stuff, what is he willing to do to hide the ‘big stuff’?
Third, Kavanaugh will be first in a series of justices that radically increase presidential power. The most controversial thing about Kavanaugh’s appointment before the allegations came out was his view on the power of the President and the irrelevance of anyone else in the executive branch. He thinks that the President cannot be subject to indictment or a criminal subpoena. He reasons that because everyone in the executive branch, prosecutors included, is an “employee” of the president, they can’t prosecute or force him to testify. If Kavanaugh rules on this perspective of presidential power, it would effectively make any president, Trump included, above the law.
I don’t know how to convince reactionaries that assault matters and is disqualifying, so I hope people understand that there are other reasons Kavanaugh can’t be on the Supreme Court. He committed several crimes over the course of these hearings and has revealed views detrimental to our democracy. The outcome of the midterms probably won’t affect the Senate vote. The only way to prevent Kavanaugh from getting confirmed is putting constant pressure on moderate Republican and Democrats. Even then, it’s pretty likely that Kavanaugh gets confirmed. In that case, we need to make it known to the Senate that it’s unacceptable that they have confirmed him. Part of that includes re-electing those who stood against Kavanaugh, like Amy Klobuchar If you are convinced, through my argumentation or through common sense, and are 18, please vote.