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posted Friday, July 20, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 29
HRC, Lambda Legal, NAACP, 100 other human rights groups oppose SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh
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HRC, Lambda Legal, NAACP, 100 other human rights groups oppose SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The HRC, Lambda Legal, the NAACP, and 100 other human rights organizations have sent a letter to the US Senate urging senators not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

The letter, drafted by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and released July 17, argues that Kavanaugh will be a fifth and decisive vote to undermine a host of core rights and legal protections, including economic security and access to health care, abortion, voting, and labor rights.

Kavanaugh was nominated by Donald Trump on July 9 to succeed retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. While Kennedy was a reliable conservative vote on almost all issues, he did write key opinions upholding reproductive choice and LGBT rights. The worry is that Kavanaugh would tilt even further to the right and undo decades of legal precedent on basic human rights.

The groups, which also include NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Bar Association, and Demand Justice, say that the rights of immigrants and persons with disabilities, LGBTQ equality, equal opportunity, affirmative action, and environmental protections all could be endangered by Kavanaugh joining the high court.

'Judge Kavanaugh's 12-year record on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, as well as his known writings, speeches, and legal career, demonstrate that if he were confirmed to the Supreme Court, he would be the fifth and decisive vote to undermine many of our core rights and legal protections,' the letter says.

'In case after case, he has ruled against individuals and the environment in favor of corporations, the wealthy, and the powerful. He has advanced extreme legal theories to overturn long-standing precedent to diminish the power of federal agencies to help people. And he has demonstrated an expansive view of presidential power that includes his belief that presidents should not be subject to civil suits or criminal investigations while in office despite what misconduct may have occurred. Many of our organizations opposed Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the DC Circuit, and our fears and concerns have been realized. Judge Kavanaugh has not served as a neutral and fair-minded jurist. He has served as a conservative ideologue who lacks the impartiality and independence necessary to sit on the highest court in the land.'

The letter goes on to criticize Kavanaugh's key rulings as a circuit court judge, finding that in 12 different areas of law, Kavanaugh favored 'gutting laws that protect voting rights, or opening the floodgates to unlimited political spending, or undermining women's reproductive freedom, or destroying public-sector labor unions' ability to stand up for the interests of workers...'

The human rights groups also charged that Kavanaugh was a close associate of Judge Alex Kozinski, who retired in December last year after accusations of sexual harassment by six former law clerks and staffers. The letter questions whether Kavanaugh knowingly helped Kozinski cover up these abuses.

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