The trouble with Kavanaugh



Opinion columnist Caleb Stekl discusses why he believes the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh is harmful to women, the working class and healthcare.

CALEB STEKL, Opinion Columnist

Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted, if not raped, multiple women. These charges alone were immediately disqualifying. But one important question has not been asked either by members of Congress or those in the media. What if his past was impeccable?

This question needs to be asked for two reasons. First, judges appointed to the Supreme Court serve life terms. There is no popular vote on either the appointment process or in choosing the pool of candidates. There is also no feasible recall function to remove judges. Secondly, often the decisions Supreme Court justices make affect the entire nation. They are lawmakers and are no less politicians than are sitting Senators.

In light of this, let’s examine Brett Kavanaugh’s voting record.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Kavanaugh would be only the second most conservative member ever to be appointed. The most conservative justice? The currently serving Clarence Thomas who has his own history of sexual assault and rape allegations. Kavanaugh has voted against mandating insurance providers cover the cost of birth control, in favor of allowing employers to deny workers the right to picket, and in favor of allowing the Federal Communications Commission to further privatize the internet, according to

With or without sexually assaulting multiple women, Brett Kavanaugh is going to be a disaster for women, the working class, and healthcare. It is clear conservative men and women alike blatantly do not care about sexual assault — Donald Trump had much more concrete evidence of his disgusting past and he was elected President of the United States.

This begs the question, should we really place our futures into the hands of nine unelected, unremovable judges whose decisions are binding over the entire country? 

In light of election season, the predictable answer to this would be that we need to vote! But as Karl Marx once said, ‘history repeats itself, first as farce, then as tragedy.’

One need only peer back in time to 2009 when Barack Obama and the Democrats had total control of the House, Senate, and the White House. For three years, from 2009 till 2011, we had ‘Progressives’ in control of the government. In that time, Obama put two judges on the Court. We did our job and voted.

But where are we now? We have first row tickets to our own destruction. Obamacare is rapidly being destroyed. Roe v. Wade will likely be repealed in the near future. Had Obama and the Democrats done their job, they could have passed single payer health care, with a universal right to abortion, they could have packed the court, democratic norms be damned. They had their chance and they failed.

Voting isn’t the answer. The Democrats have not and will not save us. They even refuse to punish those Democrats who voted in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Brett Kavanaugh is not the problem, liberal-electoral democracy is. In the future, even if we don’t get an outright rapist in Kavanaugh, we will simply get another conservative swaddled in sheep’s clothing.