Teens voice their anger and shock over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesJudge Brett Kavanaugh testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing
  • INSIDER spoke to high school students about their reactions to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
  • They told INSIDER they were shocked and disappointed that Kavanaugh was confirmed.
  • Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a narrow 50-48 vote – the most narrow vote in history – in the Senate on Saturday afternoon, and was later sworn in during a private ceremony.

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday afternoon, after a week-long FBI investigation, and dozens of protests around the country and in the Capitol.

Since then, high school students have expressed their shock, disappointment and rage over Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

INSIDER spoke to teens in Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota about their feelings about Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

“Kavanaugh’s seat on the bench is going to last a longer fraction of my lifetime than anyone who voted for him,” said Sylvia Cassidy, a 15-year-old sophomore at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cassidy said that Kavanaugh’s demeanour as he testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, during which he cried and shouted, “is not one of someone who belongs on the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Kate Burnham, a 17-year-old senior at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, told INSIDER via email that Kavanaugh’s confirmation sends a message that “actions do not have consequences in the future, provided you side with the majority.”

“As a society, we are making strides in the fight against sexual assault and harassment. While prior to his confirmation, I did not expect much help in this fight from the political majority, the fact that the senate confirmed him makes it quite clear that this battle will not be aided by changes in national policy,” Burnham said in a text to INSIDER.

She added: “If sexual assault accusations are not enough to prevent a man from taking a seat in the Supreme Court, what can they prevent?”

Jessica Melnik, a senior at Hopkins High School in Hopkins, Minnesota, and the founder and executive director of Girls United MN, an organisation that aims to empower and inspire young leaders, said the confirmation validated other victims’ decisions to not come forward with allegations.

“Dr. Blasey-Ford was berated and vilified by many of our nation’s leaders. As a high-schooler, I was especially disappointed to hear politicians say that this behaviour is expected of teenage boys. They have now perpetuated and even promoted the toxic culture of ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘girls will be silent,’ and this needs to stop being our normal,” Melnik said in an email to INSIDER.

Melnik, who is a survivor of sexual harassment, said she was disappointed that the FBI investigation wasn’t given more time and that the other victims’ stories were not heard.

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