BY SABINA IDRIZ
“Can you think of any laws that give the government power to make decisions about the male body?”
“I’m not aware … I’m not thinking of any right now, senator.”
So went the exchange between Senator Kamala Harris and soon to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, at his confirmation hearing. This line of questioning came about after Harris asked him questions about Roe v. Wade, a landmark case. Many are predicting Kavanaugh will be the final voice needed for the Supreme Court to overturn it.
The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh were held on Sept. 4-7. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump to take over for Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired after 30 years of working for the court. Although Kennedy was a Republican, he steadfastly declined to overturn Roe v. Wade. With Kavanaugh, all bets are off. He declined to say whether he believed Roe was correctly decided, simply stating it is “precedent.” In a 2003 memo, he also wrote, “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent.”
The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman’s right to privacy extends to her decision to have an abortion. As a woman, the possibility of Roe being overturned scares me, and as a human it makes me livid. The overturning of Roe v. Wade is also not in America’s best interest. A survey by Axios found that 71 percent of Americans are against overturning it.
The issue of Kavanaugh’s nomination is not just troubling to me. Another survey showed 48 percent of Americans are against Kavanaugh’s nomination, and by the second day of the confirmation hearings, at least 146 arrests were made by the U.S. Capitol Police. Protests were held both inside and outside of the court. Citizens hoping for a change carried signs reading things like, ‘Kava-Nope’ and ‘Protect Roe,’ and those inside the court chanted and interrupted the senators repeatedly.
I also find it troubling that the Trump administration has been able to block over 100,000 documents of Kavanaugh’s records during the Bush administration from being released using presidential privilege. Many are demanding for their release, and I agree with them. Those meant to rule on his nomination should have access to this information to help them decide if he is fit to make important decisions regarding the laws of our country. The night before the first day of the hearing, 42,000 documents were released without warning, drawing complaints from many senators who said there was no way they could read the documents in time.
Recently, an anonymous sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh was reported to the FBI. An individual who went to high school with him described being assaulted at an event 30 years ago. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, and even if more were to come out, I am not convinced it would change the course of things. Our current President has faced numerous sexual assault allegations, and he is one of the most powerful men in the country.
Soon, Kavanaugh will be confirmed in by the Senate. It’s almost inevitable at this point. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to make a vote on the 20th and if they vote in favor of Kavanaugh’s appointing as Justice, the vote will go on to the entire Senate.
It remains to be seen how Kavanaugh’s near certain position as Justice will affect our laws and country, but every decision that is made has its consequences. The butterfly effect posits that a butterfly, with a single beat of its wings, creates ripples that lead to bigger effects. Even the smallest of actions can have large consequences, and I can only hope the best for the Supreme Court and America.