Kavanaugh’s Confirmation: What It Means For Us


Meghan Geraghty

You’re probably aware Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court Oct. 6 despite allegations of sexual assault, which sparked a heated Senate trial before the Senate Judiciary Committee, an FBI investigation, and a historically close confirmation vote.

But you may not be aware of the many flaws in the hearing: the sloppiness of the confirmation and investigative processes, the temperament of Kavanaugh himself, and the implications this kind of a confirmation has for the future of American policies.

With regards to the FBI Investigation that took place, “investigation” seems to be a bit of an overstatement. While President Donald Trump authorized an FBI investigation regarding Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct, there was a catch: the investigation had to be completed in one week.

Also, the investigation was not a criminal investigation at all, but a limited supplementary addition to background checks already completed by the bureau with an incredibly limited witness list and parameters to work within.

While the goal of the investigation was to look for the witnesses who had firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct, of the mere nine witnesses interviewed, only one of Kavanaugh’s accusers was interviewed and the FBI’s inquiry could not include questions about Kavanaugh’s drinking habits or whether or not he was misleading in his Senate.

In addition to the FBI’s limited investigation, the way in which the Senate itself handled the confirmation processes was incredibly rushed and sloppy.

Much of the reasoning behind the rushed FBI inquiry and confirmation of Kavanaugh was to stick a new Justice on the bench who would guaranteed conservative rulings for years to come.

Unfortunately, none of us as high schoolers have much of a say in the proceedings of Supreme Court nominations. Because of this, it’s easy to ask “Why should we care?”

But the fact is, this confirmation has a bigger impact on us than many of us realize.

Justices of the Supreme Court, as many know, serve for life; and though it is technically possible to be impeached from the Supreme Court, it’s practically unheard of.

This means that Kavanaugh will serve on the nation’s highest court for the next three or four decades and will be essentially untouchable.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s bench used to be split evenly among Democrats and Republicans, with former Justice Anthony Kennedy standing in the middle and often the deciding vote on cases, making him one of the most powerful people in the nation. But with Kavanaugh’s confirmation that balance has shifted, creating a clear conservative majority on the bench, which will create a clear shift in the way rulings play out.

As high schoolers, the cases that are brought before the Supreme Court are things we should be paying attention to. These rulings are what set the precedent not only for the constitutionality of our laws, but what is valued as right and wrong in our nation.

While our voices went unheard during his confirmation, our generation is the future of this country, and we need to realize our own importance and the power of our influence in the decisions made in Washington.

However, the only way we can make sure our voices are heard and our values are being taken into account within the government, regardless of political party, is if we are actively paying attention to what’s going on in America, the world, and, if you are eligible, to go out and vote!

While this year might not be a presidential election year, Midterm Election day is Nov. 6. Midterms will decide on 35 of the 100 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are being contested. This election is key in deciding majorities within both the Senate and the House, and thus what kinds of laws are being passed in our country.

The country may be divided on Kavanaugh, but we should take this controversy as a wake up call for us to start taking our role in governmental proceedings as teens seriously and a chance to start looking at the world outside of Lake Forest with our eyes wide open.