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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 13, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 28
Brett Kavanaugh, a SCOTUS nominee everyone can hate?
Section One
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Brett Kavanaugh, a SCOTUS nominee everyone can hate?

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

New US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has one friend and many enemies. Fortunately for his career, that one friend is the president, Donald Trump. But his nomination has brought together a host of critics from both sides of the political spectrum.

Kavanaugh's main virtue in Trump's eyes is no doubt his 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, in which he argues that US presidents should be exempt from 'time-consuming and distracting' lawsuits and investigations, which 'would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.'

In the interest of avoiding the legal consequences of his many scandals - both personal and political - Trump is evidently willing to overlook Kavanaugh's close ties to the 'low-energy' Bush clan.

Others who don't share Trump's fixation on his own fortunes are less enthusiastic.

HRC President Chad Griffin warned that Kavanaugh was bad news for the LGBT community.

'In nominating Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump has followed through on his threat to nominate a justice who would undermine LGBTQ equality, women's reproductive rights, and affordable health care,' Griffin said in a statement.

'Now, the Senate has a responsibility to fulfill its constitutional duty, serve as a check on this reckless president, and reject Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.'

'This nominee was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality - and the prospect of a Justice Kavanaugh threatens to erode our nation's civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation, and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life,' Griffin added.

'The 2018 midterm elections just became the most consequential elections of our lifetime, and we must seize the opportunity to pull the emergency brake on this regime. We need to vote this November like our lives depend on it - because they do.'

On the other side of the country's political divide, the furiously anti-LGBT American Family Association was supporting Christian cult member Amy Coney Barrett, and they denounced Kavanaugh in a press release:

'Judge Kavanaugh is simply the wrong nominee - even a bad nominee,' the group said.

'Based on his written opinions, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated a deficiency in a constitutional judicial philosophy of a limited judiciary. Some of his decisions may have been favorable, but several of his opinions about those decisions contain problematic language.

'Judge Kavanaugh's reasoning on religious liberty, Obamacare, and issues concerning life [has] proven to be of major concern. For these reasons and more, urge your senators to firmly oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court.'

Christian radio host Jesse Lee Peterson even suggested that Kavanaugh was less than a 'real man.'

'During his speech, it was all about his mama. He always loves his mama,' Peterson said on the air.

'It was all about the impact that his mother had on his life while he was growing up, how she influenced him, even though he was raised by his father too. He gave this big old long speech about his mother and then, right at the end, he said, 'Oh yeah, I love my daddy too.' So that concerns me. He is a mama's boy. The other thing is he has no boys; he has only girls. Real men make boys first, and I notice that most men are not real men anymore and they are making girls.'

What about marriage equality?
On the right, only the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) seems happy with Trump's pick, and only because it believes he will reverse the high court's Obergefell decision, written by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

'Judge Kavanaugh is a constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution means what it says and must be interpreted according to what the framers intended when it was crafted,' NOM President Brian Brown said.

'This confirmation battle will be the most important work we can do. With this nomination, the balance of power on the Supreme Court could shift dramatically in our favor.

'For the first time since marriage was illegitimately redefined by the US Supreme Court in the 2015 Obergefell ruling, we have a clear path forward to restoring marriage to our nation's laws.'

Many legal observers believe that outright reversal of the high court's marriage equality decision is not in the cards, but the danger remains that the new majority on the court will put such limits on the scope of Obergefell that it becomes practically meaningless.

For example, the court could rule in a future case that Obergefell entitles same-sex couples only the right to receive a marriage license with no attendant privileges. The court has already ruled that business owners may refuse to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds. It could, in the future, authorize the denial of spousal benefits to same-sex couples, contending that so long as they can marry, their rights have not been abridged.

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