“gray pillars” by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

This is not the story I want to tell.

Adam Greenwald
Oct 6, 2018 · 4 min read

On the weekend of the official nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land, this news rocks me to my core.

I have so many unanswered questions.

When will it be “alright” for women to come forward with their stories of sexual assault without pause? How much trauma, personal strength, courage, and bravery will it take?

In 2018, what will it take to make a woman’s sexual assault allegation justifiable and credible?

I am outraged that Kavanaugh has achieved his end goal: to join alongside his conservative Supreme Court colleagues in helping to sway the political landscape towards the extreme right. He has become the vote that matters most — in decisions to reverse old laws and helping to create new ones that will carry clout into our democracy.

Our citizenry is in trouble. Kavanaugh has the golden opportunity to impact our country in ways that could impede any progress our country has made on facilitating a more diverse population where independent, impartial ways of thinking should take place freely and openly. And barriers like these could last for decades — if not generations.

The appointment of Kavanaugh was handed to him amidst numerous allegations of sexual assault, perjury implications and with little to no scrutiny of his personal and professional background.

I once remembered a time where Supreme Court nominees were elevated because of their respected careers — supported by a credible record where sound judgment, temperament, and integrity were appropriately applied.

But no more — and that fact alone — is disturbing.

Here are more questions:

Why, in 2018, do we elevate judges, specifically someone with a reputation like Brett Kavanaugh, to guaranteed lifetime jobs? Why do 9 justices deserve lifetime appointments, in general?

Moreover, what makes 9 justices so qualified to sit on the SCOTUS when contrasted to thousands of district court judges that are so equally (or even more) qualified?

Reporting is clear that Brett Kavanaugh is an “originalist” — defined as someone who interprets the Constitution according to the public understanding of the document at the time of its ratification. How is that not in and of itself a reason to sound the alarm? Doesn’t context matter?

It is the year 2018 and the Constitution was ratified in 1787. Yes, it serves as the fundamental framework for our country’s system of government — but was Brett Kavanaugh in the room with our forefathers when they were drafting it?

Why is it reasonable to think society has remained more or less the same as it was during the 18th century? Why do originalists want to be associated with a document that was written when slavery was legal and widely supported? Did the forefathers have the “foresight” that our country would eventually legalize gay marriage? Or abortion?

Why do our politicians (mostly conservative) seem to prefer “originalist” Supreme Court nominees? How are they so confident that justices will do what they say and say what they will do when appointed? At confirmation hearings, each judge proclaims that they will interpret the Constitution as they sit fit when presented with a court case. How is Congress so confident that this is how they will actually behave once they are sworn in?

More food for thought:

The Constitution was written by very, very flawed white men with power. Now that, for one thing, has clearly stayed consistent over the centuries. And with the Kavanaugh confirmation — it has only cleared the way for more white old men to become more empowering, more controlling, and more embraced by their peers and constituents.

Is there hope (and room) for the upcoming generation to put an end to this? Will they be successful in flipping the current culture of Washington full of fixed mindsets to a culture full of leaders that are forward thinking — more aligned with growth, change and the rapidly expanding influence of technology?

I wonder how things would have played out if Senator Grassley, or our Republican leaders, or even Kavanaugh himself had been victims of sexual assault — causing them to live their lives with trepidation, fear, and extreme trauma.

I am scared when I think about the future that my daughter and children like her all over this country will inherit. From my perspective, I did not sign up for leaving her a world that will be worse than when she first entered it. And for that, I will always be sorry.

I want this last statement in my personal record book: History will prove that the Kavanaugh confirmation to be one of the biggest mistakes our country has made in the 21st century. Shame on all men who portray themselves as wrongly accused victims when they are rightly accused. Shame on them and shame on Brett Kavanaugh.

Adam’s thoughts

The occasional musing by Adam Greenwald.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store