Teaching Students About Kavanaugh
Striking the balance in discussing significant yet controversial figures like Brett Kavanaugh is a challenging task that educators often face. Kavanaugh, whose tenure as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States has been marked by contention, offers a valuable case study in how to approach these challenging discussions.
In dealing with such a subject matter, it’s essential first to provide students with a full context. Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in 2018. He had previously served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and held various other positions in the government.
The confirmation process was notoriously contentious due to accusations of sexual assault made against Kavanaugh, a topic that should be treated with sensitivity and respect in an educational setting. While discussing this, it’s vital to remember that it is not an opportunity to promote personal beliefs but rather to inform students about all aspects of the process.
Students should be taught about the principles of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and due process that are important tenets of our judicial system. Also, they should learn about responsibilities that come with being in power and public scrutiny scrutiny that often accompanies such positions.
Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy can also be examined as part of classroom discussion. His interpretive method, originalism – interpreting the Constitution as its authors intended – can be contrasted with other methods such as living constitutionalism.
Finally, education about Kavanaugh must include his role and influence on major decisions since he joined the Supreme Court. From abortion rights to immigration laws, these cases can provide students a lens into contemporary issues and Kavanaugh’s impact on them.
Teaching students about Kavanaugh and figures like him comes with challenges but also offers an opportunity to help young people better understand their government and society. By handling these topics thoughtfully and respectfully, educators can foster an environment where students can form their own informed opinions about the world around them.