By Turner Smith
Despite recent sexual assault allegations, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 Friday to recommend Brett Kavanaugh for Senate approval as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
But, more important than the actual voting outcome, the Kavanaugh hearing illustrated the complete and overwhelming indifference of both Democrats and Republicans in the pursuit of truth and justice in the face of substantial partisan interests.
Approximately two months before Kavanaugh’s public hearing before the committee, California Senator Dianne Feinstein received news of sexual assault allegations being levied by Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh. Feinstein then proceeded to do little to follow proper protocol.
Instead of notifying Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of the allegations so confidential investigations could take place, Feinstein put Ford in contact with attorneys and waited. The issue never surfaced in Kavanaugh’s private hearings with the committee and allegations were leaked 10 days prior.
The course of events directed by Feinstein running up to the leak made one thing exceptionally clear: this hearing would not be about justice for Ford. What followed was a shameful objectification of Ford as nothing more than a means to a political end.
By scorning protocol, which could have spared Ford and her family substantial exploitation by the media, Feinstein allowed the news to break in an exceptionally public fashion to maximize Democratic potential to block Kavanaugh’s appointment. Rather than pursue justice for Ford, Democrats under Feinstein’s leadership perpetuated the cycle of female objectification for the interests of those in power.
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans failed to pursue truth and justice for Ford, instead, they prioritized their partisan interests. Republicans capitalized upon the manner in which Feinstein handled the sensitive information and used those facts to push a narrative which says, because Feinstein placed partisan interests above justice, Ford’s story must likewise be nothing more than a Democratic ploy.
Republicans actively worked against any efforts to further pursue truth in the matter at hand, scoffing at the idea of an FBI probe, which even President Trump would recognize as necessary the very next day. Instead of demanding Feinstein’s mistakes be reconciled by a full-scale FBI probe into the matter, potentially shedding new light on disputed facts, they effectively declared even the risk of losing their nominee proved more significant than the value of any justice for Ford.
By the end of the hearing, it became abundantly clear that though the matter at hand appeared to be about a woman’s right to justice, it actually constituted nothing more than a clever guise, once again illustrating the establishment’s tendency to objectify women as means to an end.
Ford has been put in this position, and anyone interested in the advancement of women’s rights should rally around her, but it should not quell their anger at every member of the Judiciary Committee, especially Feinstein, for furthering the narrative of female objectification.
Every individual passionate about the advancement of a woman’s right to empowerment, safety and peace should feel nothing short of rage at the way a legitimate issue was hijacked to become a farcical exercise and textbook example of those in power preying on minority individuals to advance their own purposes.
Ford will get no justice. We will get no truth.