If President Donald Trump’s previous Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is any indication, his latest pick of Brett Kavanaugh will do the civil rights community no favors, many lamented after Monday night’s announcement of the president’s high court nominee.
Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, was among those calling on the Senate to reject Kavanaugh, 53, who currently serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“Judge Kavanaugh has a record of ruling against affordable health care and women’s reproductive rights,” Morial said. “Particularly troubling is his record on cases involving racial and workforce discrimination. Seating a Supreme Court nominee with an obvious disdain for fundamental liberties will change American life as we know it.”
Some of Kavanaugh’s more controversial opinions are at the core of arguments for those who oppose his appointment. While he hasn’t expressed outright opposition to Roe v. Wade, critics note that Kavanaugh may likely side with Trump when he eventually votes on the issue of abortion.
In one opinion, Kavanaugh did write that the government has “permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”
In other issues that appear more important to minority groups and communities of color, Kavanaugh has issued controversial rulings on religious liberty and the Second Amendment.
The U.S. Supreme Court is the final stop for justice in America, as its rulings affect all citizens because every state must follow its decisions.
Billionaire hedge fund manager and political activist Tom Steyer, who runs the California-based group Need to Impeach, has urged all his constituents to contact their senators to stop the nomination.
“Brett Kavanaugh is here for a reason. He believes presidents should be exempt from criminal prosecution and investigation while in office,” Steyer said, noting Kavanaugh’s previous opinions about the presidency and his opposition to prosecuting a sitting president.
Kavanaugh has suggested that Congress pass a law protecting sitting presidents from criminal prosecution and investigation, personal civil suits and questioning from criminal attorneys. He has claimed that presidents can disregard laws they consider unconstitutional, despite what courts say.
“The Senate is the only check on the Supreme Court. It does not have to rubber-stamp the president’s pick,” Steyer said.
Kavanaugh’s track record shows he is comfortable using his position to further the agenda of fringe-right groups that back him, according to Steyer.
The Georgetown-educated jurist, who also teaches at Harvard Law School, declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unconstitutional and wrote that Washington, D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic rifles was unconstitutional.
Kavanaugh has also attempted to roll back President Obama’s greenhouse gas regulations.
“He’s anti-choice — just last year, he argued in favor of prohibiting an undocumented pregnant immigrant in federal custody from getting an abortion,” Steyer said. “He considers the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.”