[10/2/18] – Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation

On July 9th, 2018 President Trump introduced Brett Kavanaugh as a replacement for the retiring Justice Kennedy. In the months to follow, several women, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, stepped forward accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. These accusations culminated with Dr. Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to share their stories. Dr. Ford calmly recounted her recollection of events. Mr. Kavanaugh ardently defended himself and demonstrated a temperament some deem unfit for a lifetime appointment as Justice on the Supreme Court. Ultimately, on October 6th, 2018, after protests and contentious political commentary, Mr. Kavanaugh was confirmed as replacing Justice Kennedy.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. In addition to the resources provided below, the deck contains discussion questions, an in-class activity, an online activity, and assessment questions. 

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for the Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation

Learning Objective 1: Be able to identify how aspects of misogyny and patriarchy contributed to much of the controversy surrounding the nomination and subsequent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.

Learning Objective 2: Understand the importance of gender in contributing to outcomes related to the defense of Mr. Kavanaugh, discrediting of Dr. Ford, and why victims of sexual assault largely remain silent and never pursue prosecution.

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Additional Resources

Yamily Habib, “It is increasingly difficult to overlook Trump’s misogyny” (AL DÍA News Media, text/video)

Emily Witt, “The boys club that protects Brett Kavanaugh” (The New Yorker, text) 

“Senate committee to vote Friday on Kavanaugh after turbulent hearing – as it happened” (The Guardian, text/video)

Tal Axelrod, “GOP Woman on Kavanaugh allegations: ‘What boy hasn’t done this in high school?'” (The Hill, text/video)

Joe Pinsker, “What Teens Think of the Kavanaugh Accusations” (The Atlantic, text)

Nsikan Akpan, “In Kavanaugh debate, ‘boys will be boys’ is an unscientific excuse for assault” (PBS, text)

Andrew Van Dam, “Less than 1% of rapes lead to felony convictions. At least 89% of victims face emotional and physical consequences.” (The Washington Post, text)

Pavithra Mohan, “This is why 1,600 men signed a full page NYT ad in support of Christine Blasey Ford” (Fast Company, text)

Nina Totenberg, “Kavanaugh Allegations Recall 1991’s Supreme Court Scandal, With Key Differences” (NPR, audio/text)

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