By: Matthew Melchor
In June of 2018, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump stating that he would be retiring effective July 31, 2018. This opened up another seat on the Supreme Court, allowing President Trump to appoint a second judge to the nation’s highest court in his first term.
On July 9, District of Columbia Circuit of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh stood alongside his family in the East Room of the White House as Trump announced his nomination to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court. The next day, Kavanaugh began to meet with Vice President Mike Pence and other senators to determine if they indeed agreed with his policies and him with theirs. On September 4, Kavanaugh returned to Capitol Hill to begin his confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he gave his opening remarks.
Just 12 days after the hearing began, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in high school. Ford stated that Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, trapped her in a room and began to assault her, covering her mouth when she tried to scream. She continued that she did eventually get away from the two and the event caused her to suffer from anxiety for years. Kavanaugh quickly denied any incident happening “back in high school or at any time.” 6 days later on September 18, Dr. Ford’s lawyers wrote a letter to the FBI calling for an investigation into the matter.
Over the next week and a half, two more women came forward. One woman claimed that he also exposed himself at a party while studying at Yale. On September 27, both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh testifed before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee hired a sex-crimes prosecutor to pose questions to both. Dr. Ford states that she was “100%” certain Kavanaugh was the man that sexually assaulted her. Much of the information Dr. Ford brought forward was damaging to Kavanaugh’s character than it was to the naysayers would do not believe her. She was not able to give a means of how she got to the party, how she got home, the location of the party, or when the party was going on. Kavanaugh responded later that day giving an emotional testimony and denying any act of sexual assault. The next day, the Senate Judiciary Committee called for an FBI investigation into the accusations. On October 1, Mark Judge’s lawyers released a statement saying that he had been interviewed by the FBI, the next day stating that the interview was over. Later that night, President Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s testimony while at a campaign rally in Mississippi saying, “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know.”
Finally, on October 4, The FBI delivered its findings to the committee, allowing senators to review the information before voting on the confirmation the next day. The next day, the Senate voted 51-49 in favor of advancing the nomination process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 2 days later, Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate 50-48, one of the closest confirmations in the nation’s history. Later that day, Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy.