By Cliff Fernandes
By the time Brett Kavanaugh became U.S. Supreme Court Justice on Oct. 6, protesters across the nation had already fought an impassioned battle against his nomination.
In front of the Senate buildings on Capitol Hill, more than 300 demonstrators were arrested on Oct. 4.
On the same day, their emotions were echoed by students at City College. Carrying posters that displayed the faces of Drs. Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford, around a dozen City College students rallied outside the Rosenberg Library with a bullhorn.
They chanted, “We believe Anita Hill! We believe Blasey Ford!”
Hosted by the Northern Cali
fornia chapter of the International Socialist Organization, the speak-out, small as it was, gathered students from various Ocean Campus resource centers to speak their minds.
“We shouldn’t have someone who is in the highest court be interpreting the laws when he is being accused,” City College student Adriana Castillo said. “That clearly shows, whether he is innocent or not, bad character.”
On Sept. 27, Ford delivered a four-hour testimony to the Senate alleging that Kavanaugh, in his drunkenness at a high school gathering, had pinned her to a bed, tried to strip her of her clothes and used his hand to suppress her screams. Kavanaugh, in his own heated testimony, denied her allegations.
“Christine Ford was the more credible witness. Kavanagh was petulant and inconsistent and angry and Christine Ford seemed more reliable and dignified,” said David Moulton, a member of the International Socialist Organisation.
But her testimony has faced mockery across the nation, sending a loud and clear message that victims of sexual assault are still not being taken seriously — including President Donald Trump, who mimicked Ford at an Oct. 3 Mississippi rally: “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How did you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know.”
After Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, Ford’s lawyers told CNN she had no further plans to pursue her allegations against Kavanaugh.
“It is very disturbing for survivors of sexual assault to feel like their stories and their experiences don’t matter,” former City College trauma prevention and recovery class instructor Janey Skinner said.
Kavanaugh’s character was questioned again by Democratic senators who showed concern about his drinking habits, referred to in the memoir “Wasted: Tales of a GenX drunk.” Its conservative author Mark Judge narrated a conversation that refers to a person called Bart O’Kavanaugh, said to have puked in someone’s car after a party.
“When someone is drinking and there were negative consequences, and they continue to drink regardless of the negative consequences, from my expertise, these problems don’t go away. It continues on in your life,” said Eric Lewis, a licensed substance abuse counselor in City College’s drug and alcohol studies program.
Republican senators defended Kavanaugh, stating that the apparent drinking behaviour had happened decades ago and insisting that he was as prestigious a judge as they come.
“From my expertise, these problems don’t go away. They continue on in your life. You don’t just automatically stop drinking to excess,” Lewis said.As part of his nomination, Kavanaugh underwent his sixth full-field FBI background investigation dating back 25 years.
The reports did not reveal any accounts of sexual misconduct.