Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination-The Impact on the American Midterm Elections

  12-Oct-2018 12:02:53

brett kavanaugh supreme court usa mid term elections republicans democrats Donald Trump trump


The US government has found itself in another controversy, after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on July 9, 2018, to succeed Anthony Kennedy after his retirement. When nominated, Kavanaugh was a sitting judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

During the confirmation process by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh was accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford thirty-six years prior, while they were both in high school in 1982. While this process, two other women (Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick) alleged separate instances of sexual assault against him. Kavanaugh denied these allegations made by Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick. Both Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford were questioned by members of the Judiciary Committee and Arizona-based sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell on September 27. The following day, the Judiciary Committee voted 11–10 to send the nomination to the floor. The full Senate Judiciary Committee requested a week-long FBI supplemental background investigation into the sexual assault allegations. On October 6, the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. A bitterly divided Senate of the United States cleared the way for Brett Kavanaugh to become the next Supreme Court justice as President Donald Trump's nominee secured the support of a handful of wavering senators in a confused confirmation fight. Two Republicans - Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona - and one Democrat - Joe Manchin III of West Virginia - said they would vote for Kavanaugh, whose confirmation seemed in peril three weeks ago over allegations of sexual misconduct. Another lawmaker, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, broke with her party, saying Kavanaugh was a good man but

"Not the right man for the court at this time."

In a key procedural vote earlier Friday, Flake, Collins and Manchin joined with nearly all Republicans on a 51-to-49 vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination. After the vote, Flake said he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh on Saturday "unless something big changes," which he said he did not expect. Collins delivered a forceful, point-by-point defence of Kavanaugh, his judicial record and his personal character in a 44-minute speech that was applauded by nearly two dozen of her GOP colleagues.

A number of progressive groups have joined together to launch a campaign known as #WhipTheVote to rally opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination, aimed particularly among moderate and conservative Democrats.

"Democratic senators should be united in opposition to Kavanaugh, instead of letting Republican senators ram through the confirmation of a nominee who was selected to protect the president from prosecution,”

Reads a statement from the effort's website. An open letter from native Americans called upon Senators to closely examine Kavanaugh's record regarding Native peoples, and they felt that he had failed to acknowledge the sovereignty, natural resources, and history and heritage of native people.

Protesters opposed to Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the US Supreme Court swarmed over Washington on Saturday massing at the Capitol, disrupting the confirmation vote in the Senate and banging on the Supreme Court building doors when Kavanaugh arrived to be sworn in. Police forcibly removed the protesters, with one person dragged out by their arms and legs. They kept screaming as they were pulled into the hallway. All the protesters taken into custody on Saturday were charged with a violation of the Washington code against crowding, obstructing or incommoding. They were processed off-site. More than 300 have been arrested in anti-Kavanaugh protests in Washington.

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th Supreme Court justice just hours after the Senate voted to approve President Trump's nominee to the nation's highest court after a rancorous confirmation battle. Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony, accompanied by his wife and children.

So what does this mean for the American Midterm elections?

The battle is certain to influence next month's midterm elections, pitting energized female voters angered by the treatment of Kavanaugh's accusers against conservatives who see him as a man wrongly accused. Democrats hold an eight-point lead over Republicans across the United States according to a new American Barometer survey conducted by Hill.TV and HarrisX polling company. The poll may reflect the frustration of the voters over Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault scandal. These polls are not fool-proof methods to determine voter attitudes, but certain analysts believe that the Democratic Party has maintained a significant advantage in the election that is just two months away. Meanwhile, President Trump is aggressively campaigning for the Republicans cross the United States with his “America First” agenda.

WRITTEN BY:

NAISARGI KOTHARI