Brett Kavanaugh
Judge Brett Kavanaugh (Hilary Schwab photograph via Kavanaugh's office)

Brett Kavanaugh, federal appeals court judge and President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, is viewed as a major threat to the health care system and women’s reproductive rights, according to several politicians, civil and worker’s rights groups.

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, called the judge “a direct threat to our civil and human rights” and “unfit to serve on our nation’s highest court.”

“Like President Trump, he would protect the rights of the wealthy and powerful over the rights of all — a fact verified by his prominence on Trump’s vaunted short list of potential nominees,” Gupta said. “Earning a spot on this list of anti-civil and human rights all-stars required satisfying the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society and passing Trump’s ideological litmus tests.

“Trump promised that, if confirmed, his nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade, and undermine the Affordable Care Act, which would have a devastating impact on those with pre-existing conditions, people of color, women, people with disabilities, and millions of others for decades to come,” she said.

Gupta said Kavanaugh believes that the president is above the law and would not be a check on Trump’s abuse of power.

“Kavanaugh wrote that the president should have ‘absolute discretion’ to determine whether and when to appoint or fire a special counsel like Robert Mueller,” she said. “And Kavanaugh has said that a sitting president should not be criminally indicted, no matter what evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered. No wonder President Trump has nominated this man to the Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide whether he, his family, or his aides can be held accountable by the special counsel.”

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Judicial Nominations Task Force and a constitutional lawyer who argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court like Gupta, agrees that Kavanaugh would not hold Trump to the law.

“I believe that Judge Kavanaugh was selected because he had the longest record of conservative opinions, because he had an additional interview with Vice President Mike Pence — and had clerked for Justice Kennedy — and because of the law review article he wrote in 2009,” Norton said. “In that article, Kavanaugh argued that presidents should not be subject to civil or criminal investigations while in office. Senate Democrats and Americans across the nation now must mount a robust campaign against this nominee, whose record is extreme and whose decisions would roll back the many civil rights and other protections Americans have fought to achieve during the past five decades.”

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement that it would be an abdication of their constitutional responsibility to merely rubber-stamp Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“We will use every tool in our arsenal to ensure that Judge Kavanaugh is fully and properly vetted by the Senate,” Clarke said. “This is the most consequential Supreme Court nomination to be taken up by the Senate in decades. Kavanaugh’s nomination arises at a moment when we see this administration undertaking relentless action to undermine the constitutional and civil rights of minority communities.

“From attacking affirmative action, endorsing voter purge programs, rolling back protections for LGBT communities, weakening protections for students, and undermining the 2020 Census, this administration has taken unprecedented action to rollback the civil rights of vulnerable Americans,” she said.

The committee said they will keep with their longstanding practice and soon issue a full report regarding the nomination.

Republican leaders would like to have Kavanaugh confirmed by October as the new court term begins, CNN reported.

“We urge the Senate to fully scrutinize and exhaustively examine [Kavanaugh’s] record,” Clarke said.

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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