Statement on Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination



NJ 11th for Change has deep concerns about President Trump’s nomination of Washington, D.C. native Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh, currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has a troubling and consistently conservative record that appears to be in line with the current administration’s tendency to challenge federal policy and the rule of law.

In a 2012 law review article regarding separation of powers, Kavanaugh argues that presidents should be exempt from criminal investigations, prosecution and civil lawsuits while in office – a distinct red flag, considering the legal clouds that surround the Trump White House.

In 2011, Kavanaugh wrote a dissent arguing that Washington, D.C.’s local assault weapons ban was unconstitutional.  In 2015’s Priests for Life v. HHS, he supported upholding an employer’s right to exclude birth control from employee health coverage. And in 2017, Kavanaugh participated in a heated battle over Jane Doe, a teenage immigrant seeking an abortion, arguing in a dissent that imposing a delay on the procedure did not present an undue burden.

He has also issued a series of opinions in cases involving the Environmental Protection Agency that have displayed a tendency to whittle away at Obama-era EPA regulations, according to a profile at SCOTUSblog.

These aspects of Kavanaugh’s legal career fail to align with our district’s values of accountability, equality, inclusivity and compassion. Neither do they align with our concerns about important issues such as reproductive health, the environment and gun safety legislation.

Supreme Court decisions are not esoteric footnotes. They have direct and profound impact on the everyday lives of people from all walks of life in our country -- and in our diverse congressional district.

We are hardly alone in finding Kavanaugh’s record troubling. Back in 2006, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, observed at the judge’s confirmation hearing that Kavanaugh was a “very bright foot soldier” for a “partisan political fight.” Kavanaugh’s record on gun legislation drew extreme misgivings from the gun-violence prevention groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence. And Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, had this to say: “Brett Kavanaugh's record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB & corporate accountability, thinks Presidents like Trump are above the law – and conservatives are confident that he would overturn Roe v. Wade.”

We cannot deny this choice causes us great unease. But we will face it like we face all the challenges of these trying times - with our sleeves rolled up to fight for what’s right. In this case, that includes demanding our Senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, not only vote against this nominee, but lead the fight to make sure he does not join the Court where he can cause serious damage for decades to come.