On Sept. 30, Fordham Law students penned an open letter protesting the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and supporting the accounts of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Professor Anita Hill and survivors of sexual violence, worldwide. The original drafters of the letter released it to Fordham students, allowing them to sign their names in support ahead of Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote on Oct. 6. By the time of the vote, 271 law students, faculty, alumni and staff had signed along with 103 students, faculty and alumni from other schools within Fordham University.
The letter sent a strong warning to U.S. Senators, indicating that their votes would signal just exactly how they believe survivors should be treated in the country. “Senators, you will fail the citizens who voted you into office if you confirm Brett Kavanaugh,” it read. “Your position of power and privilege allows you to worry about the implications of this vote on the future of your party and, perhaps, your own political aspirations … By voting no, you have the opportunity to declare that an individual’s experience of being sexually assaulted matters.”
The letter denounced Kavanaugh’s behavior during the hearings, saying it “revealed his lack of integrity, explosive temper, and partisan animosity.”
The letter also invited students to come together in a walk-out in front of the Lowenstein Building on Tuesday, Oct. 2, it too protesting Kavanaugh’s confirmation and supporting survivors of sexual assault. More than 200 undergraduate and law students attended the demonstration, where their peers rallied them around cries of condemnation directed toward the supreme court and vows of support for the survivor’s experience at Fordham.
Much of the letter’s sentiment were voiced at the protest. “May this letter put you on notice that we will hold you accountable for each choice you make,” the letter concluded. “We will not allow you to hold your hands over the mouths of survivors any longer.”
The open letter in its entirely is below:
Open Letter to Members of the United States Senate from Members of the Fordham University School of Law Community
To the Members of the United States Senate:
We, the undersigned students, faculty, and staff at Fordham University School of Law, write to unequivocally oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. In doing so, we stand firmly for an independent judiciary, and in solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Professor Anita Hill, and all survivors of sexual violence.
Senators, you will fail the citizens who voted you into office if you confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Your position of power and privilege allows you to worry about the implications of this vote on the future of your party and, perhaps, your own political aspirations. For many of the people who voted you into office, however, this decision is about so much more than politics. For the one out of six American women who has been the victim of a completed or attempted rape in her lifetime, this decision is about survival. You have the power to send a message about the value of a woman’s bodily integrity, her safety, and her mental health. By voting no, you have the opportunity to declare that an individual’s experience of being sexually assaulted matters.
The credible testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is enough to disqualify Brett Kavanaugh. If you need more, however, look no further than his injudicious behavior in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which he revealed his lack of integrity, explosive temper, and partisan animosity. When Brett Kavanaugh evaded questions, interrupted Senators, and made accusations of a Democratic conspiracy against him, he showed us, through blistering anger and rage, his inability to administer impartial and equal justice under the law.
May this letter put you on notice that we will hold you accountable for each choice you make. No longer will we carry on with our daily lives, silently trusting – hoping – that you will make decisions that serve our best interests. At the conclusion of the investigation, it is up to you to decide if this moment in history will live in disgrace or honor. Rest assured, should you choose to perpetuate the silencing of victims, we will hold you accountable. We will not allow you to hold your hands over the mouths of survivors any longer.
This article was updated Oct. 6 at 1:35 p.m. to update the number of signatures gathered on the letter.