Let’s Talk About Brett Kavanaugh

Uneasy about discussing the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh—and its related issues like judicial temperament, sexual assault, Roe v. Wade, privilege—with your students? Here are some resources to start the conversation.
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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018, in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The next Supreme Court appointment hangs in the balance as an FBI investigation and deliberations surrounding sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh continue to unfold.  

While some doubt the validity of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations and push for Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment, others assert that Kavanaugh’s alleged predatory actions, dishonesty, and inflammatory comportment make him unfit to serve on the highest court.

Our newest “Let’s Talk About” collection addresses the Brett Kavanaugh controversy and focuses on what his potential appointment means to the Supreme Court—and the American people. This topic encourages students to think critically about sexual assault and accountability (even their own) and reflect on what kind of leader should hold one of the most prestigious and influential positions in the country.

 

How to Use This Collection

Suggested below are steps to a thoughtful and meaningful discussion with your students about school shootings. Choose what is appropriate for your class.

1. Students complete a pre-survey  (optional).

2. Choose at least one YES! article and one outside article for a robust compare and contrast.

3. Use the discussion questions—or craft your own—to gauge your students’ understanding and opinions.

4. Students complete a post-survey  (optional).

 

Reading Materials

 

YES! Articles

 

 

Does #MeToo Have the Power to Take Down a Supreme Court Nominee?

Men, We Can Do Better

Why the Founding Fathers Gave Too Much Power to the Supreme Court

  

 

Outside Resources

 

 

Brett Kavanaugh and the Sexist Double Standard of Being Held Accountable For Your Actions

An Unjudicious Man, Unfit for the Supreme Court

Don’t Let #MeToo Turn into #MeCarthyism

 

Discussion Questions

1. Describe what you believe are the essential characteristics of a Supreme Court justice. Do you think Judge Kavanaugh is the best choice for this appointment?

2. Some people feel that Judge Kavanaugh should not be held responsible for something he may have done as a teenager. Thirty-six years from now, should you be accountable for any transgressions you commit today? Is everyone—regardless of gender, race, and socio-economic class— held to the same level of accountability for their actions? Who tends to get a free pass or more lenient judgment?

3. Some people criticize Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for waiting so long to make her allegations against Judge Kavanaugh public. What do you think about Dr. Ford’s decision to speak up about her experience of sexual assault thirty years later —is it ever too late to speak up? How did Dr. Ford’s testimony affect sexual assault survivors?

 

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