Brett Kavanugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court over the weekend was met with loud opposition from many, especially those who support the #MeToo movement; because it showed that their painful stories were still not believed and appeared to have no relevant impact where it needed to.
Kavanaugh who in his hearing claimed he was the victim of character assassination amidst very strong, sexual assault allegations from Dr Christine Blasey Ford was confirmed in a narrow 50-48 vote, that saw him promptly sworn in at a private ceremony, by Chief Justice John Roberts and the man he will replace, retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, thereby cementing his lifetime appointment as a Supreme Judge in the United States.
As the senators voted on the confirmation of what has to be President Trump’s most controversial nominee, protesters in the gallery shouted ‘Shame!’ and when he arrived at the Supreme Court in Washington to be sworn in as an associate judge, he was met by hundreds of protesters demonstrating on the steps of the building.
Many of those protesters who waved such signs proclaiming ‘Women must be heard’ , ‘Believe Survivors’ and the most telling, ‘A woman brought you into this world and women will vote you out’, were arrested, and lead down the court steps with their hands in plastic cuffs behind their back.
Many took to their social media to express their disappointment, lively distrust and the questioning of the legitimacy of their legal system, with Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“The anger is real,” Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned on ABC’s “This Week.”
This bitter political fight became the cultural litmus test for the year-old #MeToo Movement, which inspired women to speak out about their painful incidents of sexual harassment and abuse, as it collided with the ‘patriarchy of a political establishment dominated by ageing white men’ and received a serious blow.
Prior to his confirmation on Friday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a Democrat who along with her peers staged a last stand against confirming Kavanaugh, warned against what the backlash of such an appointment would mean for the country’s ethics.
“Today, in just a few hours, the United States Senate is going to turn its back on righteousness,” she said. “It’s going to turn its back on fairness and reason. And make no mistake, it is going to turn its back on women.”
With Kavanaugh becoming the 114th Supreme Court Justice, those following the #MeToo movement have set their sights on the November midterms, an outlet, that Winnie Wong, a senior adviser to the Women’s March, explained will allow women to voice their frustrations and be a ‘powerful political force’ for change.
She explained that the people she’s protesting with are ‘fired up’ and ‘enraged’ and said that they were only just getting started in their movement.
Barbara Smith, a psychotherapist who works with traumatized children, is also looking towards the midterms saying, “It’s important to vote to make our voices heard loud and clear”.
The 67 year old from Virginia noted her work and career was centered on helping people and families to find middle ground, however this situation had the feeling of domestic abuse. “Someone abuses their power and then they say: ‘Why can’t we all get along? Why are you so angry about this?’ It’s an issue of power. If we try to lower the partisanship while this group of people has all this power, they are going to continue to abuse it.” She said.
The midterm is indeed an outlet for many to show that this kind of behavior where they are made to feel shut out is unacceptable and cannot continue.