The drama surrounding the Supreme Court nomination hearings of Brett Kavanaugh is being discussed in college classrooms across Western New York.
Kavanaugh is facing sexual assault allegations, prompting Republican Senator Jeff Flake to ask for a one-week delay of any confirmation vote so the FBI could investigate. President Donald Trump has now ordered that investigation, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted Friday.
At Canisius College, the testimony of Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, dominated the conversation in Kevin Hardwick’s political science classes.
“Several students made the case that we’re being drawn apart. I think exercises like this bring us closer together because even if we might not agree with someone, we at least understand the motivation behind it,” Hardwick said.
Hardwick, who is also a Republican member in the Erie County Legislature, invited News 4 to sit in on one of his classes Friday morning. Most of the students are political science majors. Their views on Kavanaugh’s nomination and his hearing regarding the sexual assault allegations run the gamut.
“You’re seeing character attacks,” said Andrew Sember. “Why is it relevant what he said in his high school yearbook compared to how he’ll act on the Court?”
“He had to be on the defensive, but I feel like when they asked him point blank questions, he would dodge,” Marissa Dirienzo said of Kavanaugh’s testimony Thursday.
“I thought that he got very agitated and very emotional very quickly, especially when Democratic Senators were questioning him,” said Rianna Iorillo.
Several students expressed concerns over how the process has played out.
“In all honesty, it should have been handled a lot more professionally because now moving forward, any sexual allegation at any level is going to take this precedent,” said Victoria Fish.
“It was kind of a circus. I didn’t like how it was structured. It seemed very weird to me,” said Jakai Harrison.
“They’ll look back at what happened (Thursday) years from now, generations from now, probably when Brett Kavanaugh is still on the Court many decades from now, and they’ll say, ‘I remember this.'”