As Debate Grows Over Kavanaugh Appointment, Tennesseans Dig In Their Heels | Nashville Public Radio

As Debate Grows Over Kavanaugh Appointment, Tennesseans Dig In Their Heels

Oct 4, 2018

The looming vote on Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court has been a growing political issue.

But rather than sway Tennesseans, the debate surrounding whether Kavanaugh committed sexual assault when he was a teenager seems to be causing people to dig in their heels.

On an unseasonably hot October day, Edith Mann was paying a visit to Dogwood Park in Cookeville with her son and granddaughter. A supporter of President Donald Trump through and through, Mann said she has stood firmly by Brett Kavanaugh, his pick to the Supreme Court. 

Christine Blasey Ford's claim that he assaulted her at a high school party in the summer of 1982 has done little to change that.

"If everybody was held responsible for what they done in their teenage years and their college years, how many of them would be in his seat today?"

Mann said Ford should have spoken up decades ago. That's the only way there could've been proof to corroborate what she wrote off as a he-said/she-said situation.

In the immediate aftermath of Kavanaugh's combative testimony, the speculation was that women would rally to the side of his accuser. And that would give a boost to Democrats, who've generally opposed his appointment to the Supreme Court.

Instead, the picture is murkier. Even some of Kavanaugh's critics, like Jessica Jarrett, a supervisor at Peabody College in Nashville, were doubtful it'll have much of an impact.

"If anything, I hope it drives people to the polls, but I don't think it'll affect it one way or another."

Too many people, she said, have already made up their minds.

Blake Farmer and Shalina Chatlani contributed to this report.