Jesuit Magazine: After Kavanaugh’s Hearing, We Take Back Our Endorsement September 27, 2018

Jesuit Magazine: After Kavanaugh’s Hearing, We Take Back Our Endorsement

During Brett Kavanaugh‘s opening statement yesterday, he made repeated references to his religious upbringing. Twice, he made a specific reference to his “all-boys Catholic Jesuit” school.

But after hearing the statements from both Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, editors at America, a magazine for Jesuits, who previously endorsed Kavanaugh solely on the fact that he was a conservative who would overturn abortion rights, now say they’re rescinding their support.

If Senate Republicans proceed with his nomination, they will be prioritizing policy aims over a woman’s report of an assault. Were he to be confirmed without this allegation being firmly disproved, it would hang over his future decisions on the Supreme Court for decades and further divide the country. Even if one thinks that Dr. Blasey’s allegations are not credible, demonstrating them not to be would require further investigations and testimony. This would including calling additional witnesses and assessing further allegations against Judge Kavanaugh from other women, to which Republicans on the committee have been unwilling to commit and which would be divisive in any case.

We continue to support the nomination of judges according to such principles — but Judge Kavanaugh is not the only such nominee available. For the good of the country and the future credibility of the Supreme Court in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson.

It’s a powerful statement even though Kavanaugh’s contextualist approach to the Constitution was never a good reason to support him anyway. America says the nation is “finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously,” but the overarching point is that we’re finally listening to women and taking their claims more seriously than in the past. But that same logic ought to extend to their desire to control what happens with their own bodies.

You can’t support Kavanaugh for his willingness to let states have the power to ban abortion while refusing to endorse him because it would suggest we don’t give a damn about women. Those are two sides of the same coin. It’s disingenuous.

Strangely enough, the anti-endorsement doesn’t mention Kavanaugh’s anger, disrespect toward senators, unwillingness to submit to a thorough FBI investigation, obsession with beer, or repeated lies in other situations.

There are lots of reasons to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. Yesterday’s hearing only provided additional ones.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

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