Clean up the Supreme Court
The Lumberjack editorial board recognizes this situation can be difficult and would like to remind readers that the North Coast Rape Crisis team has a 24-hour hotline and is willing to listen at any time, no matter how long ago an incident happened. You can reach the NCRC hotline at 707-445-2881.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 based on Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh from their high school days. Blasey Ford is one of three women who have come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh.
The details of the accusations and hearing possess eerie parallels to the 1991 hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his vetting process.
Even though Thomas made it through in spite of sexual harassment allegations against him, the Senate should not allow Kavanaugh to join him on the Supreme Court of the United States. In fact, while we are on the subject, it’s time the Senate cleans up the SCOTUS and get rid of Thomas as well.
Twenty-seven years ago, Law professor Anita Hill came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Thomas while they worked at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas was Hill’s supervisor and Hill ended up working under him for quite some time in spite of his behavior.
Some differences between the incidents include age differences at the time of each incident respectively and the type of harassment differs between physical, verbal and repetitive.
Both men served as judges on the U.S. appeals courts in Washington and were surrounded by beginning whispers of sexual harassment against them when they were nominated, unknown to the public at first.
Both women were hesitant to come forward publicly and took time to do so and by another eerie coincidence are professors.
The loudest similarity between the two and probably any sexual harassment allegation is this idea that a woman has come forward with the intent to smear or ruin the life of the person they are accusing.
There is no better time than when a predator is about to step into a position of power to address their nature and history of harassment. There is also never a bad time, nor is it ever too late, to call them out for being predators and to serve justice where it’s deserved.
The #MeToo movement has begun to dismantle and expose predators in prominent positions and change the conversation and narrative surrounding sexual misconduct.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a republican senator representing North Carolina has not only released statements in support of Kavanaugh but has made it aggressively clear that some of the narrative surrounding sexual misconduct has a ways to go.
“What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020,” Graham said in response to questioning of Kavanaugh from Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. He has also insisted President Donald Trump renominate Kavanaugh if the vote fails.
Per article three section one of the constitution, Supreme Court justices and judges and lower courts “shall hold their offices during good behaviour.”
This vague and open ended statement leads to the terms of the Supreme and lower court justices and judges serving for life. Instead of interpreting this section to mean during moral or ethical behavior, it has instead dictated a timeline.
If Kavanaugh is in fact chosen to fill the SCOTUS seat available by the Senate, our last hope will be for that same Senate to impeach him. The only instance in which a SCOTUS justice can be removed against his or her will.
Even so, the impeachment of a SCOTUS justice happened over party bias and the last time it happened was in 1804. Justice Samuel Chase was acquitted by the Senate even still and continued as a justice until his death anyway.
Realistically, Republicans hold the majority vote in the Senate and have probably already made up their mind. It will not be surprising if Kavanaugh is still accepted as the next SCOTUS justice, especially when the man who nominated him has his fair share sexual harassment allegations stacked against him and sits in the oval office.
Democrats have demanded the vote be delayed until the FBI can investigate and Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell has stated that the voting will happen this week as planned.
This is our plea to the Senate to surprise us. To hear the voices of these survivors and strongly consider the character of the man they are about to vote into a position of power. It is never too late to decide history should not repeat itself.