The United States government is in a constant frenzy of resignations, scandals, protesting, and outrageous Tweets. The words ‘chaos’ and ‘conflict’ have become synonymous with the Trump Government. This week has been no exception. Confirmation trials have begun to allow Judge Brett Kavanaugh a seat in the Supreme Court of the United States as an Associate Justice.
Who is Brett Kavanaugh?
Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by Trump in July this year, but has earned himself an extensive resume. The Judge currently serves in the Court of Appeals, but has previously worked some historic cases. Kavanaugh worked for Kenneth Starr, who fought during the Lewinsky-Clinton case in the late 90’s. He worked for George W Bush in his time as President, and worked as a clerk for Anthony Kennedy, Kavanaugh’s would-be predecessor if he attains a position in the Supreme Court.
But we can assume that if President Trump nominated him, there must be something wrong.
Before being accepted as a judge in the Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were stalled for three years because of claims of partisanship – an undesirable trait for a judge. He has ruled in favour of the restriction of abortion measures on more than one occasion. And he has made it clear that he opposed affirmative action as a policy.
His Stance on Critical Issues
Concerns have been raised about moves to improve the most dire situations the US currently faces: abortion and gun violence. Kavanaugh takes a conservative view on these issues, and fears are rising that the problems surrounding the issues will not be solved. Trump made it clear in his election campaign that he does not support abortion, and has already attempted to make moves to abolish it, as well as Planned Parenthood. Concerns are increasing that with Kavanaugh and Trump both in positions to overturn abortion regulations, organisations like Planned Parenthood could soon be discontinued.
Allegations that the fundamental case ‘Roe vs Wade (1978)’ could be overturned have been sparked. The case was opened when Norma McCorvey was unable to have an abortion in her home state of Texas, and couldn’t afford to travel to another state that allowed abortions. The case signified the nationwide legalisation of abortion in the United States. Trump has maintained since his election campaign that he wishes to appoint judges who will specifically overturn Roe vs Wade, and allow individual states the right to decide whether abortion is permitted.
Kavanaugh has admitted that Roe vs Wade is an “important precedent” – but his stance on abortion suggests that we could see the case overturned, and laws regarding abortion changed within the coming months.
Kavanaugh’s stance on gun violence is not one that sparks a lot of hope either. Claiming to have grown up in a city “plagued by gun violence”, Kavanaugh is yet to propose how he wants to eradicate the problem. As the courtroom broke for lunch, the father of a victim of the Parkland High School shooting approached Kavanaugh and attempted to have a conversation with him. Kavanaugh can be seen turning around and ignoring Fred Guttenberg as security attempted to intervene.
The court is in its 4th day of hearings to confirm or deny Kavanaugh a place in the Supreme Court. After three days of intense grilling, it can be said that the Democrats are not showing Kavanaugh any mercy. The hearings have been plagued by protestors from every side of the courtroom, trying to expose the judge and his views on topical issues. The senators at the front of the questioning are not being lenient. Senator Kamala Harris posed questions to Kavanaugh in an attempt gauge his view of nationwide abortion laws.
“Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?” Kamala asked.
Mr Kavanaugh’s answer spoke volumes.
“I’m not… I’m not thinking of any right now, Senator,” Kavanaugh replied.
Videos of the exchange, among other pivotal moments in the hearings, have gone viral on social media. An array of opinions and concerns are being expressed online, with people either backing or opposing the actions of the Democrats during the questioning process. But this is not stopping the politicians in their attempts to deter the Judiciary Committee from selecting Kavanaugh.
Post – Trial
Despite strong attempts to impede Kavanaugh’s journey to the Supreme Court, it is fair to assume that he will attain a spot in the court. It is up to the Judiciary Committee to decide Kavanaugh’s fate, before his application is submitted to the Senate. A total of 51 votes is needed to affirm the position of Associate Justice. The majority of the Senate in the US is comprised of Republicans (Trump’s party) so responsibility lies with the Democrats to block Kavanaugh from such an influential position in the Supreme Court. With stakes higher than ever, a country already in tenuous hands can do nothing but wait for the outcomes of these trials, and hope that things don’t get much worse than they already are.