COLTON SCRUDDER FOR THE HOYA In a 50-48 vote Saturday, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, prompting protest from the Georgetown community.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by a 50-48 vote on Saturday.

Kavanaugh was sworn in Monday at the White House after a contentious confirmation process. Kavanaugh fills former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the court, following Kennedy’s June 27 retirement announcement.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation passed the Senate by the closest margin of approval since the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas, according to Politico. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) was the only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) (COL ’80) abstained and voted present and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) was not present and did not vote, according to The New York Times.

Christine Blasey Ford, who was acquainted with Kavanaugh in high school, accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a high school party 36 years ago. The Senate delayed its vote to confirm Kavanaugh to hear testimony from both Kavanaugh and Ford, and to allow for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the allegations.

The FBI did not find evidence supporting Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh. It did not interview Ford or Kavanaugh and the White House security office coordinated with the FBI for the investigation, according to The Washington Post.

Law students and faculty throughout the country joined the effort to protest Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Almost 1,000 female law faculty signed a letter opposing the confirmation of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, according to The Hill.

Georgetown students attended protests at the Supreme Court to show support for Ford and express disapproval toward Kavanaugh. During the week, students drew chalk messages in Red Square expressing support for survivors of sexual assault, especially those on Georgetown’s campus.

The Kavanaugh hearings and confirmation reflect how the protection of survivors’ and women’s rights is still a problem in the United States, according to Georgetown University College Democrats Chair Maria Cornell (SFS ’20).

“She had all these things going for her to make her story more believed [sic] by Republicans, the media, the general American public, but yet that didn’t happen,” Cornell said in an interview with The Hoya.“I feel like that shows how far we still have to go as a country.”

Despite the turmoil surrounding his nomination, Kavanaugh should decide cases based on a fair interpretation of the Constitution rather than politically motivated agendas, Georgetown University College Republicans President Jake Lyons (COL ’20) said.

“My hopes are that Justice Kavanaugh will carry on the tradition of the Supreme Court being a place of nonpartisan and fair rulings based upon their interpretation of our Constitution — separate from the politicized agendas of the executive and legislative branches — and it is my expectation that he will do so,” Lyons wrote in an email to The Hoya.

The Senate Judiciary Committee mismanaged the hearings, according to Lyons.

“I believe that the process was a train wreck – the committee hearings were handled poorly by all sides involved,” Lyons wrote. “And it was exacerbated to the point of watching hearings looked more like a reality drama show than anything else. It was unbecoming to the institution of the Senate, with again, Republicans and Democrats alike to blame.”

Cornell was also dissatisfied with the way the hearing was handled, and said Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee used a female prosecutor to protect their public image.

“I think the decision of Republicans to bring in a woman to question Dr. Ford because they didn’t want to do that, because the optics of that are awful, I think that’s just absolutely cowardly, and I think shows that they kind of know that they were in the wrong in terms of where they stood on her allegations and just believing her generally,” Cornell said.

Georgetown Sexual Assault Peer Educators said Kavanaugh’s confirmation negatively affected many survivors of sexual assault on campus and throughout the country.

“The nomination and confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States has deeply impacted many members of our community, as well as countless others across the country,” Georgetown Sexual Assault Peer Educators said in a statement. “As always, we encourage anyone who has been impacted by interpersonal violence to take advantage of resources available at Georgetown.”

Those who feel deeply affected by the Kavanaugh’s confirmation should take time to reflect and find an outlet for their frustration, Cornell said.

“I would just encourage anyone who feels upset by this to find productive ways to channel their anger, whether that’s productive through like self-care, whether that’s political mobilization, whatever they need to do to take care of themselves,” Cornell said.

Resources: On-campus resources include Health Education Services (202-687-8949) and Counseling and Psychiatric Services (202-687-7080); additional off-campus resources include the D.C. Rape Crisis Center (202-333-7273) and the D.C. Forensic Nurse Examiner Washington Hospital Center (844-443-5732). If you or anyone you know would like to receive a sexual assault forensic examination or other medical care — including emergency contraception — call the Network for Victim Recovery of D.C. at 202-742-1727. Emergency contraception is available at the CVS located at 1403 Wisconsin Ave NW.  To report sexual misconduct, you can contact Georgetown’s interim Title IX coordinator at 202-687-9183 or file an online report here.

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