-by Colton Powell, senior finance major from Nashville, Tenn.
Last week’s edition of The Optimist included an opinion piece arguing against the confirmation of then Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Since, as I’m sure you are aware, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the US Senate by a narrow margin of 50-48. Given the magnitude and complexity of the situation, I believed it necessary to respond in order to give fair representation to both sides.
Aspects of last week’s opinion piece I vehemently disagree with include arguments concerning Justice Kavanaugh’s:
- Truthfulness under oath
- “Issues” with alcohol
- Partisan nature
In my full response, which you can read here, I thoroughly refute each of these points and explain why I believe The Optimist is completely unwarranted in their analysis. Setting those discrepancies aside, however, here is why the Senate did, indeed, confirm Brett Kavanaugh and why I back that decision to do so.
Brett Kavanaugh has an exceptional record of public service including twelve years on the nation’s second highest court. This lifetime résumé, which is the reason Kavanaugh was nominated in the first place, is completely ignored by last week’s article. Instead, the article draws conclusions based off a Senate hearing in which Kavanaugh was asked to respond to internationally publicized accusations of serial gang rape, sexual assault, and rampant alcoholism. You cannot create a better scenario to catch someone outside of their normal character. Regardless, Kavanaugh’s temperament throughout the hearing was perfectly acceptable and expected. Assuming his innocence, which we have no evidence telling us to assume otherwise, he should have been upset. That is no valid justification for opposing his confirmation. Kavanaugh’s temperament in any rational situation is perfectly displayed in his outstanding performance as a federal judge.
Any actual apprehensions to the Kavanaugh’s confirmation unrelated to his professional record should regard the sexual assault allegations. Everything else is diversion tactics. Conveniently, this is the topic least evaluated by The Optimist. The FBI investigation found nothing. Since confirmation, Dr. Ford has announced she will not be pursuing her allegations at the federal court level, even though the statute of limitations in Maryland is such that Kavanaugh could still be convicted of sexual assault committed in 1982. Even if we do not go with “guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” the evidence does not even meet “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning “more likely than not.” It is nonsensical to suggest destroying the career of an individual and altering the totality of our judicial system at the highest level without the presence of evidence. Proclaiming one’s guilt without proof is not “rule of law,” it’s the absence of it. Given this, along with his flawlessly qualifying record previously mentioned, the Senate was absolutely justified in confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.