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It is too late for Kavanaugh

By Hannah McLeod • Guest Columnist

The vote to approve Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed until the Senate judiciary Committee can hear testimony by Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault.

This is important. It does not matter, and should not matter, that the alleged assault occurred when Kavanaugh was in high school. At no age is it acceptable to restrain someone, cover their mouth to keep them from screaming out while trying to remove their clothes. That is serious sexual assault.

However, people do make mistakes in youth — even in life — that I do not believe should define us long term. People can change, people can learn, people can grow. It is not necessarily the act of sexual assault by a drunk teenage boy many years ago that makes Brett Kavanaugh unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. It is the way he has handled the accusation now, as a grown man who has a family, young daughters, and is a nominee to serve on the highest court in this country. 

What if he admitted to an egregious act, showed remorse, asked for forgiveness? These are sentiments all people could identify with: recognizing mistakes we have made, demonstrating understanding of wrongdoings, and acknowledging the growth and change that comes from that process.

People keep asking if Blasey’s account is credible. Deniers should also turn this question on its head and ask if Kavanaugh’s denial is credible. Blasey’s account has some backing, owing to the notes from her therapist in 2012, reports that she had already told her husband the man’s name, and the letter she wrote to Diane Feinstein before Kavanaugh even made the short list of Supreme Court nominees. She had originally wished to remain anonymous, as many women who have been assaulted do, because of the public pushback and harassment that was sure to come.

Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has lied or backtracked on his words multiple times already during the nomination hearings. In just his opening statements he said that Donald Trump had spent more time than any other president vetting Supreme Court nominees. There is no way to substantiate this statement and, when considering Trump’s general lack of interest in bureaucratic matters he cannot tweet or make brash generalizations about, this seems highly unlikely. 

Additionally, there is Mark Judge and his book about being drunk and blacked out for large portions of his youth, with supporting character Brett Kavanaugh. Blasey has identified Judge as the other person in the room that night, egging Kavanaugh on.

This controversy is sure to put the #MeToo movement to the test. Will this hearing with Blasey and Kavanaugh go better that that of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas? I hope that Blasey is treated with more respect, that she is taken more seriously than Hill was in 1991. 

If you believe Blasey, as I do, then Kavanaugh has already demeaned himself too much to be placed on the Supreme Court. Lies and denial in the place of acceptance and growth.

(Hannah McLeod is a recent graduate of Appalachian State. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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