Students protest Kavanaugh following multiple claims of sexual assault

Protesters say nominee is unsuitable for Supreme Court, needs reevaluation



WSU Planned Parenthood Generation Action members hold up signs in protest of Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation Wednesday on Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall.

JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

Several students and student-led organizations held a protest outside of Todd Hall on Wednesday over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge, to the Supreme Court. Also present was a group of individuals who were counter-protesting.

The protest against the nomination was organized by members from Generation Action, the American Civil Liberties Union and Young Democrats. Provided at the protest were sheets of paper, stickers, buttons and information pamphlets.

“Students have autonomy,” said Sydney Pederson, WSU senior and a key coordinator of the protest. “This is a calm protest.”

Protesters voiced concern over three different allegations of sexual assault leveled at Kavanaugh.

“I do not believe someone who has multiple sexual assault allegations should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice,” senior Jenifer Brewer said.

The protesters encouraged students to write to state legislature concerning not only the judicial appointment hearing, but any political issue students are concerned about. Pederson advocated for the right of protests, specifically those of students.

“Students can write to their representatives about whatever they’re passionate about,” Pederson said. “All letters will be mailed off today by volunteers.”

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing took place on Sept. 5 and was voted into continuation. Amidst the confirmation process, several sexual assault allegations were made against him. On Sept. 27, Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, testified at a congressional hearing. The hearing resulted in the FBI reopening and expanding its investigation into Kavanaugh.

“We are not okay with someone accused of sexual assault on multiple accounts being nominated to the Supreme Court,” Pederson said.

Many students expressed their concerns not only with the allegations made, but with the policies Kavanaugh may or may not choose to uphold, Pederson said. This includes Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, where abortion was ruled to be a matter of privacy.

Others present on campus were vocally supportive of Kavanaugh and with the continuation of his nomination.

“Kavanaugh did nothing wrong,” said James Allsup, WSU alumnus and far-right political commentator. “I don’t think he sexually assaulted anybody. I think this is a spurious, fake allegation being used … by the Democrats [and] by the Judiciary Committee to try to destroy an innocent man. It’s a partisan witch hunt to try to destroy him.”

Allsup is no stranger to protests and rallies, as evidenced by his attendance at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. Allsup said he views Kavanaugh as relatable.

“He likes beer,” Allsup said. “I like beer.”

Some students preferred to take a slightly less political stance on the issue. Some made statements focused on the allegations against, and the qualifications of, Kavanaugh.

“The allegations are credible and need to be investigated,” ACLU President Rachel Oliver said. “This should be a nonpartisan issue.”

The ACLU is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending civil rights and civil liberties, Oliver said. Coming out in opposition to a judicial nominee is not within the norm of the organization, but members felt the need to make their own statement.

“We will continue to stand up for what we believe in,” Oliver said. “We won’t be discouraged. It’s not just about this one person, it’s about an entire issue.”