Brett Kavanaugh hearings draw uneasy reactions throughout U.S.: RWU students react

Courtesy Joe Ravi

Kaylee Pugliese | News Editor

In July, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court bench, meaning his seat needed to be filled. President Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Republican Senator Brett Kavanaugh for the seat on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Over the last week, the day-long hearings from Kavanaugh took place so state senators could ask Kavanaugh concerning questions.

The American people are stirring with controversial opinions on Kavanaugh taking a set on the bench. Justice Kennedy, though a Republican, was often the swing vote of many Supreme Court cases such as Roe v. Wade, or abortion rights, and same sex marriage, something Kavanaugh would not comment on during his hearings.

Kavanaugh has been especially vocal about his beliefs against women’s reproductive rights, and citizens across the country have protested Kavanaugh for this reason. On the first day of his hearing, a group of women were lined up dressed in “Handmaid’s Tale” attire in protest of Kavanaugh’s stance on reproductive rights. Throughout the hearings, citizens were escorted out of the court room for protesting during the hearing. Similarly, some women from the Women’s March and Center for Popular Democracy Action walked up to the hearing room and stood in a funeral procession in all black and black veils wearing t-shirts with messages such as, “I am part of the thousands working in the revolution.”  

Kavanaugh referred to contraceptives as “abortion-inducing drugs,” which caused a stir among the public. He was responding to a question regarding a religious organization that acted against a regulation under the Affordable Care Act that required many employers to provide free insurance for contraception to women.

Not long into the hearings, a series of emails and documents once labeled as “committee confidential” from Kavanaugh were leaked to the public, raising the question if he knew about the theft of Democratic computer files. In these emails included text from Kavanaugh regarding his doubts if the case involving a constitutional right to an abortion was “settled law,” meaning it could still be up for debate.

Another aspect of the hearings included California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris asking Kavanaugh if he spoke with anyone regarding Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Trump’s personal attorney law firm. Kavanaugh would not answer the question, making citizens wonder what Harris knows.

These are only a few aspects of what was covered during the Kavanaugh hearings, though all of the elements have the potential to significantly impact the United States.

Students react: 


Thomas Wallace, Class of 2021

“In my personal opinion, I think Kavanaugh is not going to bring anything positive to the court. With him being appointed, it runs the risk of so many important decisions being overturned, such as Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges, and countless gun cases, leading us even further into partisanship. Although he surely has the qualifications, his outdated agenda that he claims to be able to ignore and only abiding by the constitution will likely dominate his decisions.”


Gina Terrasi, Class of 2019

“Abortion is touchy subject for me because it’s just hard. I love kids but you should have a choice, too. We live in a free country.”


Alec Gesualdi, Class of 2020

“[He] should not be elected to the Supreme Court. He has perjured himself multiple times in the hearings and the GOP has been trying to rush his appointment before the Midterm elections while they still hold majority in the house. Aside from Kavanaugh’s obvious shortcomings in being an honorable judge, the only reason he is being pushed through so quickly is because the Republican party wouldn’t be able to select a new candidate and push them through in time before the elections happen, and they fear a huge shift in the House and Senate because of the distrust of their party throughout the nation.”


Alissa Assad, class of 2019

It scares me to think someone who is okay with racial profiling could become the next Supreme Court justice. I think he will fit in with the majority of the appointed justices; white, catholic/christian and this does nothing for our country in terms of diversity and representing diversity as well. The fact that these demographics could represent us and make decisions with their own agendas in mind is so scary. Although he has voiced an understanding of the fight for racial equality being a long and ongoing challenge I am not convinced that his intentions are all good as he often times he avoids hot topic issues that need to be addressed.

Ryan Celli, class of 2019

Don’t know much about him to be honest. I know he worked for Bush a while ago, but he seems like a very well-spoken man. I don’t agree with most of what he says. I guess we will have to see if he is good or bad for the country.