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Like many students, I spent Sept. 27, the day of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the U.S. Senate, on edge. I checked my phone at every break between classes, opened my laptop at every chance, and tried to decipher which professors would let me watch the hearing while sitting in seminar. At the end of the day, despite the evidence that Kavanaugh was not fit to be a Supreme Court justice, the national conversations surrounding both of the Kavanaugh hearings were not as punishing as one might have expected.

Ford’s story would not necessarily hold up in a court of law, but this hearing was not a court of law. Rather, it was a job interview, for what might currently be the most important job in the country. Thus, the hearing should have focused on whether Kavanaugh is qualified to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, rather than whether he committed the assault. It is clear from his reaction that he is not qualified.

Kavanaugh delivered what has been called a “blistering, scorched-earth” defense. He seemed to be crying, more concerned with how Ford was deconstructing his “good name” than with the truth of Ford’s testimony. He even went so far as to hysterically call the hearing a partisan “frenzy.”

Many current and former justices have faced difficult hearings. Take Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an example. She also faced difficult and controversial questions in her confirmation hearings, but she answered honestly about the subjects about which she had already written. Though she refused to answer questions about other subjects, such as the death penalty, as it was something she felt might soon come to a vote, she refused to do so calmly and with grace. This is a far cry from the frustrating avoidance and hysterics demonstrated by Kavanaugh, particularly surrounding the potential for overturning Roe v. Wade, for which he has provided circular answers every time it has come up in the hearing. For example, Kavanaugh may have intentionally downplayed his role in the campaign for a controversial appeals judge before the Senate. Recently released files provide evidence that Kavanaugh was far more involved than he revealed, suggesting that he has committed perjury under oath. This lack of regard for the regulations of the court is troubling.

On the other hand, the women who have participated in the Kavanaugh hearings have remained calm and composed, including Amy Klobuchar and Ford, even throughout the most difficult of questions and situations. Ford herself held back tears in favor of composure, and repeatedly emphasized that she was open to more investigation to draw out the details of her accusation. She acknowledged the weaknesses in her case while emphasizing the truth in its strengths. She never once descended into anger or hysterics, which may have in some ways been justified given the difficulty of the circumstances.

The same cannot be said for her alleged perpetrator, who is seemingly incapable of portraying either his strengths or weaknesses accurately. When Minnesota representative Amy Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh if he had a ever blacked out from drinking, he responded angrily with “I don’t know. Have you?” Klobuchar, like Ford, remained calm throughout this ridiculous line of questioning. This seems like something a middle school boy caught with a beer would ask their parents, not something said by a man who might wield a huge amount of power over the rights American people. By refusing to answer the question, and instead asking an irrelevant question of his own, Kavanaugh failed the job interview, per any reasonable standard.

Whether or not Kavanaugh actually committed the crime he was accused of (though in my opinion, he did), this case has still revealed his inability to handle the trials of being a Supreme Court justice. This is a tumultuous time in American politics, and the next several years will be no different. If Kavanaugh attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade and continues to assail disability rights, he will face character assaults far greater than those from Ford. If he cannot calmly and competently handle the Senate hearing, how does he expect to handle one of the most difficult jobs in the country?

Morgan Lucey is a senior studying neuroscience from Scottsdale, Ariz. She can be reached at mslucey@princeton.edu.

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