Why Kavanaugh’s Eligibility for the Supreme Court isn’t Dependent on His Guilt or Innocence

Whether or not I believe Kavanaugh is guilty is irrelevant to the question of whether or not he should be a Supreme Court Justice.

The past few weeks have blown up with the controversies on both ends of the political spectrum, and Democrats and Republicans alike are accusing the other side of increasingly more wild conspiracies. To examine whether or not Kavanaugh is qualified to be on the Supreme Court, however, I believe that we have to step outside all of that.

We should first determine a minimum standard a Justice of the United States Supreme Court should meet. A place on the Supreme Court is a lifetime position, and anyone in that position will be reviewing and crafting laws by which the whole country must abide for several years. As such, any person to be appointed to that position should be highly qualified, , honorable without a doubt, clear-minded and just, and able to make objective judgments regardless of the situation.

There is no question that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is highly qualified. He is a graduate of Yale Law School who clerked under former Justice Anthony Kennedy, and has served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for several years.

It is when examining the other qualities, however, that the credibility of Kavanaugh becomes more muddied.

A Justice should be honorable without a doubt. There are a wide variety of opinions on the question of Kavanaugh’s guilt, but the fact that remains undeniable is that the doubt exists that he may have been guilty. That doubt is exacerbated by the credibility of Dr. Ford’s testimony, the corroboration of her story by two other accusations, and the increasing validity of all claims with the emergence of several witnesses. Yes, many can argue that the chance still remains that Kavanaugh was innocent. Yet, the fact that an equal (and most likely greater) chance exists that he was guilty should be enough for the American public to be doubtful of his honorability and credibility to decide the course of United States law.  

Furthermore, a Justice should always be clear-minded and just. That necessitates a certain ability to remain calm in the face of pressure, and always view every situation with an objective point of view. However, Judge Kavanaugh’s temperament and ability to remain calm under pressure was severely tested on the day of Dr. Ford’s hearing. His emotional troubles were perhaps understandable, but his impulsive outbursts, unstable storytelling, and angry testimonies are still concerning in regards to his ability to withstand the worst forms of pressure. Perhaps his behavior would be normal and excusable for any normal man – but why isn’t our lifetime nominee for the highest judicial position in the land being subjected to a higher standard than merely that of a “normal man?” Kavanaugh’s unstable temperament severely implicates his ability to serve objectively and justly on the Supreme Court because it shows that he is subject to the sway of his emotional biases.

The implications of the accusations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh are deeply troubling and instigate deep discussions about the silencing of women in the United States and the cultivation of a “boys will be boys” culture that abdicates men of the responsibility of being, well responsible. But those discussions, while important, are irrelevant for the determination of Kavanaugh’s fitness to be on the Supreme Court, because when examining his suitability for the post, we should be considering his integrity, temperament, and adherence to the law. And any doubts about his character, no matter how uncertain, should be enough to disqualify him from a lifetime nomination to the highest court in the land.