I’m worried. I’m worried about our country and what this historic vote means for our democracy. These were very serious allegations about the most powerful person in this country. A system of checks and balances exist in our country for a reason. The people in America trusted the Senate with the grave responsibility of conducting a full and fair trial into the impeachment charges. We trusted them to take this role seriously, but most of the Senate Republicans failed to live up to their constitutional obligation.

The Senate’s sham impeachment trial communicates a disregard for accountability in the highest seat of power. There was never a real opportunity to examine the evidence, speak to witnesses, or uncover the truth.

It’s also a bitter reminder of how the Senate Judiciary Committee leadership failed to hold a fair and impartial confirmation process for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. A process that should have included and considered all relevant documents. A process that should have factored in all the credible allegations of sexual harassment against him. There should have been an independent investigation—separate from the politics that surround confirmation processes—with people who are experienced in these matters.

The Senate Republicans chose to abdicate its duties once again during the impeachment process. Systems of checks and balance exist to ensure that we have a president who defends, and not undermines, the rights of the Constitution. While our trust is broken as a result of this careless process, the Senate Republicans are already moving on, as if nothing happened. But we cannot forget. Trump was impeached and the Senate failed to do its job. How can we trust them to do what is best for the people—whether it is confirming lifetime positions on our courts or prioritizing the gender justice issues already ripe for consideration—when they ignore such heinous allegations which threaten democracy?

Democracy is fragile. We need to focus, continue the fight, and ensure that the highest positions in our government are held accountable. But right now, the onus is on the Senate to restore our faith in democracy and not go back to business as usual.

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