Every year, Time magazine names the top 100 most influential people in America, with past honorees ranging from the Parkland students to Millie Bobby Brown. But the list can sometimes be a source of controversy. Today, April 17th, Time released its 2019 list—and it included Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh—with zero mention of the allegations of sexual assault against him.
Kavanaugh’s profile was written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who praised the recently appointed justice for his “sterling academic record” and “prolific record of thoughtful and impartial jurisprudence.” He did not mention Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford (who was also included in the Time 100). McConnell briefly mentioned—and dismissed—the controversy with, “When unhinged partisanship and special interests sought to distract the Senate from considering those qualifications, we saw other facets of Justice Kavanaugh’s character shine forth as well.”
Those “other” facets of Kavanaugh’s character, according to McConnell, include “his resilience and commitment to public service,” “his loyal devotion to family and friends,” and “his undeterred reverence for the law.”
Twitter users were understandably outraged by the inclusion of Kavanaugh—and the uncritical, enthusiastic write-up about him.
Others had suggestions for who should replace him.
For those upset at Kavanaugh’s inclusion, there was some comfort in Ford’s profile, written by Democratic senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris. In her piece, Harris wrote that Ford’s “courage, in the face of those who wished to silence her, galvanized Americans.”
It’s painful to see Ford on the Time 100 alongside the man who she says assaulted her, but we’re glad the public outrage has been strong and swift. Let’s use this anger to fuel continued advocacy for victims and dialogue about consent.