I voted NO. But moments ago, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Like many New Jerseyans, this has left me angry, disappointed, frustrated, and fearful for the future. I'm angry for the survivors of sexual assault who found the courage to tell their stories, and then were told by President Trump and the Republican Majority that we may have heard you, but we will never believe you. I’m disappointed in the travesty of this process, and the willingness of Republicans to endanger the very reputation and credibility of the highest court in the land in order to advance a right-wing agenda.
I’m frustrated that our nation's progress towards women’s rights, civil rights, LGBTQ equality and so much more could be stalled by a Justice that far right interest groups have groomed to do their bidding. And I’m frightened that women will look at what happened in Washington this past week and return to suffering in silence, or that my own granddaughter may grow up never knowing what it was like to live in a country that guaranteed women’s reproductive rights.
Today I shudder at the thought of Justice Brett Kavanaughcasting the deciding vote in Supreme Court cases that determine whether the President is above the law, whether Dreamers have a future in this country, whether the right to safe and legal abortion is respected in every state, and whether bans on assault weapons are constitutional.
And yet, I'm resolute. I am determined. And yes, I am hopeful. Justice Kavanaugh’s vote is not the only vote that matters in this democracy. To those who feel tempted by these events to give into despair, who feel that gut punch of hopelessness, I promise you all is not lost.
The burden on all of us to continue fighting for progress just became a little bit heavier. But we can share in that burden together.
It is up to us to make sure that Dr. Ford’s courage to step forward will not be in vain. It is up to us to empower survivors and speak truth to power. It is up to us to keep up the incredible energy that has been building across this country by young people, by women, by good and decent citizens who know in their hearts that America is better than this, and we deserve better than the likes of power hungry men like Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)