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Kavanaugh Nomination Reveals Deep Partisan Divide

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The American government has experienced a whirlwind of action in the past few months with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was appointed by President Donald Trump to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy after the announcement of his retirement. The nomination immediately sparked controversy amongst the general and political community, who expressed concern about the consequences of Kavanaugh’s possible confirmation. If Kavanaugh is approved by the Senate, it will tilt the balance of the Supreme Court to the right for decades to come. Justices, who serve a life tenure, have the final say on the constitutionality of all laws passed by the government, yielding them enormous influence on the shape of public policy.

With the country already divided on the future of the Supreme Court, the situation intensified when a woman named Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward and accused Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her years ago when the pair were in high school. Shortly after, Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, reported to the New Yorker that Kavanaugh inappropriately exposed himself to her at a party. The allegations continue with a third woman named Julie Swetnick, who claims Kavanaugh attended a party in which she was a victim of gang rape in 1982. Kavanaugh repeatedly denies all allegations, accusing Democrats of tarnishing his reputation and familial relationships. Despite these accusations, President Trump still backs Kavanaugh as his nominee.

Thursday morning, Dr. Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She emotionally recalled the night Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her, urging her assertion that Kavanaugh was the
man who violated her. In response, Kavanaugh rejected her claims, ominously warning the Democrats that “what goes around comes around.”

The hearing took place alongside protest that swept across the nation, segregating Americans into groups based on whose testimony they found most convincing.

Friday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance his nomination along partisan lines, resulting in Kavanaugh’s advancement to the Senate floor for a final action. Jeff Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona who has criticized the Trump administration, was the swing vote for the nomination. Flake, although expressing uncertainty about the vote, ultimately acted in line with his party, propelling Kavanaugh to the next step. Afterwards, in what would become a viral video, Flake was confronted by two emotional women in an elevator who were sexual assault victims themselves. The women saw Flake’s decision as him empowering a sexual predator.

Flake then proceeded to have a low-profile meeting with some Democratic colleagues, which prompted a striking decision. He requested a week-long FBI investigation into the allegations brought up against Kavanaugh in order to make a fairer judgement on the nominee’s political future. He contributed to what can be seen as a Democratic victory, as Democratic senators have been demanding an FBI probe all along. President Trump, although still defending Kavanaugh, has officially ordered the FBI investigation. Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, but with these recent revelations, it is unclear whether they will be able to muster the required fifty votes
needed to confirm Kavanaugh.

CORRECTION: In the last edition of the Dolphin, an article misnamed Kavanaugh’s initial accuser as Christina Foley. The correct name is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We at the Dolphin apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

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Kavanaugh Nomination Reveals Deep Partisan Divide