Controversial Supreme Court nomination hits The Beach

Cal State Long Beach students and victims of sexual assault protest Kavanaugh


Sebastian Echeverry | Signal Tribune

A large group of students march across California State University, Long Beach’s campus on Oct. 8 protesting judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court earlier that week.

Students basking in the early autumn sun on Oct. 8 out on the lawn in front of the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) bookstore suddenly looked up from their phones and textbooks to the sight of several of their fellow classmates marching toward lower campus, carrying signs and chanting, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Kavanaugh has got to go.”

The students, armed with fliers and a megaphone, were referencing Maryland judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Oct. 6 confirmation to the United States Supreme Court and were vocalizing their disapproval of his nomination.

Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor, had recently come forth and accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while the two were in high school, as nationally reported by media outlets. 

The accusations led to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 27, when Ford recounted the alleged assault. Kavanaugh defended himself against the accusation, while the nation watched and waited as to what would be the next move.

Despite the hearing’s controversies, senators voted to appoint Kavanaugh Oct. 6 to a lifetime position.

The decision trickled down from the nation’s capitol and found its way to The Beach this week. 

Protesters concluded their march under the Liberal Arts 1 (LA-1) building located on the upper level of campus. Annika Horvath, a CSULB student, told the Signal Tribune after the march that the protesters wanted individuals who feel distressed about sexual assault to discuss it in an understanding environment.

“A lot of feelings are coming up with Kavanaugh’s confirmation, especially since many of the people participating in our march today are victims of sexual violence themselves,” she said. “We wanted to make sure that people had a safe space, that they could come to afterwards, to debrief, talk through their emotions and find a sense of community on campus.”

Horvath said the Women’s Equity Center, located on the first floor of LA-1, is a place where students can openly discuss sexual-assault trauma with professionals. It is open from 8am to 5pm every week.

Shortly after the protest, another student, Bryce Sullivan, approached the group and stated that the protester’s claims of Kavanaugh being a “sexual assailant” were completely false.

Sullivan claimed that Dr. Ford’s legal team did not do a proper job of the hearing, and he stated that Dr. Ford’s legal team forced her to modify her testimony.

“The accusation of rape, I believe, is completely false,” he said. “He did conduct his manner very unprofessionally in that court room– I do agree that he should have had a more professional feel. If there were any other solutions that were grounded and brought forward further investigation, I would absolutely wanted that to be pursued as well. I am not for rapists whatsoever.”

Horvath said she and other protesters were frustrated with federal officials who voted for Kavanaugh, despite many of them claiming they believed Dr. Ford’s testimony.

“We had senators that were in the same breath saying, ‘I believe Dr. Ford. She had a very credible case. But I’m still going to vote “yes” for Kavanaugh,’ so we don’t believe that those ideals can lineup,” Horvath said.