Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to Supreme Court turns into an extended drama

Read a current article about this situation and summarize what you learn.
Now pick an opinion column, editorial or reader letter about the hot-button issue. Why do you agree or disagree with the main point?
Look for coverage of an unrelated dispute between people, companies or countries. Share at least two facts.

When he nominated U.S. Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh three months ago for a promotion to the Supreme Court, President Trump hoped he'd win Senate confirmation in time to join the seven other justices as their 2018-19 term starts this week. That didn't happen, and the nomination has become a flashpoint test for a country reacting to the #MeToo movement against mistreatment of women. America's top court opens a new session Monday with an empty seat as the FBI examines sexual assault claims against the nominee, dating back to his high school and college years. The inquiry, ordered Friday by Trump at the request of Senate Republicans, will last up to a week and delays a final confirmation vote by the full Senate.

Trump acted a day after the judge and accuser Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, gave emotional testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Video highlights are below.) One committee member, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., changed from supporting Kavanaugh to saying he wouldn't vote to confirm him without an FBI investigation first. Agents reportedly will look into allegations by Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale classmate of Judge Kavanaugh's, along with those made earlier by Ford. She says that while Kavanaugh was a 17-year-old prep school student and she was 15, he held her down at a house party and tried to undress her before she fled. The FBI checked the judge's background six previous times, but didn't investigate specific accusations raised in recent weeks.

The president said he watched the professor’s testimony and found her "credible" and "very compelling." During his time latest appearance before the committee Thursday, the nominee forcefully defended himself and called Democratic opponents "evil." Kavanaugh, whose face reddened and whose voice rose to shouting level at times, said: "There's been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation." He accused Democrats of “a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election." The president announced Kavanaugh's nomination for a lifetime job on July 9 to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, 82, who retired at the end of that month.

Senator says: "We ought to do what we can to make sure we do all due diligence with a nomination this important. This country is being ripped apart here." – Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., last Friday

President says: "They [senators] have to do what they think is right and be comfortable with themselves."

Columnist writes: "I found her likable; him, not so much. But likability is not what this is about. . . . I came away from the hearings feeling no more confident than I had the day before of who was being truthful. It was high drama, but it was also a wash." – Brett Stephens, The New York Times

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2018
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