As we all know by now, the United States Supreme Court swore in Brett Kavanaugh as its newest member to replace retired justice Anthony Kennedy. A former White House Staff Secretary under George W. Bush and judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for 12 years, Kavanaugh's political career has been lengthy. However, he has also met his fair share of controversy throughout his career, including recent sexual assault allegations. There have been varying reactions to Kavanaugh's induction to the Supreme Court, but there are significant things to be gathered from it, including what his new status means for Americans and the United States.
Before his induction to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh was known as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals. He made his stance on several political topics visible, including abortion, environmental regulation, certain Constitutional Amendments, and national security, among others. The Washington Post found that Kavanaugh possessed the most or second-most conservative voting record on the court during his tenure.
Kavanaugh's prominence was greatly enhanced when U.S. President Donald Trump publicly nominated him for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court after former justice Kennedy announced his retirement. Kavanaugh was immediately met with negative reception by the public, having Gallup Inc.'s highest opposition since Robert Bork in 1987 at 42%.
After discovering that Kavanaugh was a nominee for the Supreme Court, Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford notified her native congresswoman Anna Eshoo that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. Ford confided that the incident occurred at a house party and that she feared for her life. This was followed by another allegation from an anonymous woman, who stated Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school as well.
Because of these allegations, Kavanaugh received opposition from the public. However, a poll by YouGov/The Economist revealed that 55% of Republicans supported his nomination even if the sexual assault allegations raised against him were true. 13% of Democrats announced the same, comprising 28% of the sample size.
On October 5, the Senate voted 51-49 to bring Kavanaugh to a final floor vote the next day. On October 6, Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court after a Senate confirmation of 50-48.
Here are three important takeaways:
1. A candidate can achieve a high position of power even if serious allegations have been raised against them.
This can be said for any political candidate, but it certainly shone through here.
2. Congress is deeply divided.
This is true of the United States and its citizens, and it is a direct result of politicians of opposing parties not being able to agree on certain matters. This division could remain for a long time, regardless of nominees.
3. Every vote counts.
There was only a two-vote difference between the final two decisions, and if this does not stress to Americans the importance of voting, it is difficult to imagine what will.