What Message Is The Kavanaugh Nomination Fight Sending Young People?

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Things aren’t looking so good for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh, who was selected by President Donald Trump to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, has now been accused of sexual assault by two different women and is scheduled to testify in front of an open hearing on Thursday.

Earlier this summer, a confidential letter describing sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh was sent to a top Democratic Senator. Then on September 16th, Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh, publicly spoke out about the experience to the Washington Post. Ford claims both she and Kavanaugh were in high school at the time of the assault. As the Post article describes, “Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes”.

A second accusation came out this past weekend, September 23, through The New Yorker. The alleged victim, Deborah Ramirez, says she was assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh during his freshman year at Yale. As the New Yorker reported on September 23rd, “[S]he remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”

These accusations will officially be addressed when both Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford (the first accuser) will testify in front of an open hearing this Thursday. In the meantime, Kavanaugh has denied all claims and President Trump has supported his nominee saying “In my opinion, it’s totally political.”. 

While the White House is still supporting the nominee, many young people are not. Protests and walkouts, driven by students, have been seen in multiple schools and campuses across the country. Yale even cancelled classes because so many students were protesting. Along with several demonstrations, many young people took to social media to voice their opinions.

To many, the nomination of a man accused of sexual assault by multiple women sends a loud message to young people, especially young women.

Brett Kavanaugh was in his teens at the time of the alleged assaults, and some of the messaging by his political allies suggests that sexual misconduct and sexual harassment are no big deal. Now that these sexual assault allegations have surfaced, it is up to the Senate to decide whether Kavanaugh will still be appointed to the Supreme Court. If he becomes a Supreme Court Justice, despite these accusations, what signal would that send to school-aged victims sexual assault?

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