Poll: Kavanaugh Confirmation Opposed by 7 in 10 Burroughs Students


Gabe Fleisher, Editor-in-Chief

Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court was recently approved by the Senate in October after a contentious process that included multiple allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the nominee.

A recent poll of more than 150 John Burroughs students found that 72% opposed Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, which was approved by the Senate in October after a contentious process that included multiple allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the nominee. 25% of students surveyed said that they supported his confirmation, while the remainder said they did not know enough information to respond. All survey responses were anonymous to protect students’ abilities to voice their opinions.

Many students attributed their opposition to Kavanaugh to the sexual assault allegations against him. Just before his confirmation, Dr. Christine Ford accused the nominee of attempting to rape her when they were both high school students; other accusations later emerged involving his interactions with women during his time at Georgetown Preparatory School and Yale University. “I don’t believe that someone who committed sexual assault against someone no matter how long ago should become a Supreme Court justice,” one student said. “That’s just not morally right.”

“Being accused of sexual assault is very serious,” said another respondent. “If there was even any trace of evidence he did such crimes, such a person is not deserving of such a high role in government. There is no reassurance for sure we are safe if there are such dangerous people in high roles of government.”

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations against him in a highly-watched Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, but other students said that it was his behavior at the hearing that turned them against him. “His testimony revealed that he was very partisan,” one said. Another said that Kavanaugh “came off as rude” during the hearings, and one compared his performance to a “temper tantrum.”

“He’s probably a sex offender,” one student said, “and even if he isn’t, his temperament isn’t fit for a Justice.”

However, other JBS students defended Kavanaugh in their responses. “I believe he is a man of upstanding character,” a Kavanaugh backer said. “I especially support his respect for the Constitution and basic human rights.” Another student pointed to “his substantially honorable record as a judge”; another supporter said, “he is a phenomenal person.” It wasn’t just Republicans who supported his nomination. One self-identified Democratic student said they didn’t believe Dr. Ford offered enough evidence to support her claim, and that Kavanaugh was “the most moderate Republican possible that Trump could have chosen,” saying that he would “bring an important middle ground to the Supreme Court.”

The student body was more split when asked if they believe the allegations leveled against him: 55% said yes, while 22% said no, and 23% said they didn’t know enough. “I believe women,” one student said, a sentiment that many echoed. But others referred to the holes in her testimony. “She has no proof and he is innocent until proven guilty,” a respondent wrote. Students were also asked if they thought allegations from a nominee’s time in high school was even disqualifying for a Supreme Court justice. 60% said that they were, while 28% disagreed.

“Kids make idiotic mistakes all the time,” one student said. “All that matters is how they grow up, move on and most importantly improve on their character.” Another respondent made a comparison to the controversy surrounding a group of girls from MICDS last year. “Something they did in their high school career should not follow them throughout their life,” the student said.

One Burroughs student offered a different perspective. “As a high schooler, I know the difference between right and wrong. I am also confident that my peers do, too,” they said. “Supreme court judges are supposed to be examples to the general population. Any accusations of misconduct should be disqualifying.”