Talking points for LTEs on Brett Kavanaugh

Roe versus Wade (the right of a woman to control her own body and to have access to safe and legal abortion):

  • It has been standard procedure for presidents—regardless of party affiliation—to consult with a bipartisan group of senators prior to choosing a Supreme Court nominee.  President’s Trump’s search for nominees began and ended with a list of names supplied by the Federalist Society, a private group partially funded by right-wing billionaires such as the Koch brothers.  The stated aim of the Federalist Society is to make the courts “unrecognizable.”

  • Since its founding in 1982, the Federalist Society has advocated for overturning Roe versus Wade.
  • Kavanaugh is a long-time member of the Federalist Society.
  • Trump has promised that Roe v. Wade will be overturned “automatically…because I will put pro-life justices on the court.”
  • If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the ability of millions of people, (particularly lower-income women, immigrant women, women of color, and members of the LGBTQ community) to access abortion and other reproductive care would be in jeopardy.
  • Susan Collins has said maintaining the right to abortion enshrined in Roe versus Wade is critical to her vote. Kavanaugh has told her that he believes this is “settled law”. This is a fudge that commits him to nothing. We must insist that Susan Collins refuse to accept this and votes against Kavanaugh.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA):

  • Trump has made clear that he is seeking a Supreme Court justice hostile to the Affordable Care Act, and that his justices will “do the right thing…on Obamacare.”
  • Kavanaugh has written a lengthy opinion asserting that presidents can decline to enforce laws that they think are unconstitutional, even if courts disagree. Combined with Trump’s refusal to enforce portions of the ACA, Kavanaugh’s presence on the Supreme Court would endanger access to affordable health care for millions of Americans, and tens of thousands of Mainers, disproportionately impacting low-income communities, women of color, and members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Susan Collins fought against attempts, embodied in the Republican tax cut bill, to gut health insurance provisions in the ACA. She ultimately caved and voted for the tax bill on the basis of assurances that health insurance would be protected in additional legislation that the Republicans then refused to bring forward. She appears to be using Kavanaugh’s statement on “settled law” as a similar excuse to cave.

Environment, worker’s rights, consumer protection, net neutrality, voting rights:

  • Kavanaugh has asserted that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which protects consumers from the predatory practices of banks, credit card companies, and student loan servicers, is unconstitutional.
  • Kavanaugh has sided with corporations that deny workers collective bargaining rights, including arguing against undocumented workers’ rights to unionize; he has argued against protections from workplace discrimination.
  • Kavanaugh has ruled against net neutrality, siding with big telecommunications companies in an effort to undermine the free and open internet as we know it.
  • Kavanaugh is considered one of the most anti-environment judges in America.In decision after decision, he has demonstrated a willingness to rule in favor of corporate polluters, slashing public health safeguards.
  • Kavanaugh played an instrumental role in supporting a racially-motivated South Carolina voter ID law.  Kavanaugh insisted that the law was not discriminatory and ruled to uphold it. He will side with the far-right wing of the Court to gut voting rights.

The President and the rule of law:

  • The Supreme Court may hear cases pertaining to Trump himself. Kavanaugh is likely to be the deciding vote on whether Trump is held accountable for his corruption and crimes. Kavanaugh has written: “I believe that the president should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office” and “we should not burden a sitting president with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecution”.

Republican hypocrisy:

  • The Republican Party held up Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court for eight months on the basis the nomination should not proceed that close to an election (it should be noted that Senator Susan Collins argued for confirmation hearings to be held). Those who enforced the delay with respect to Merrick Garland are now opposed to a three month delay with respect to Brett Kavanaugh. We should demand the confirmation is put off until after we, the people, have had a chance to vote in November.

The will of the people:

Kavanaugh will dramatically shift the balance of the Court by replacing swing voter Kennedy with an extreme justice, making the far-right conservatives, who are out of step with the clear majority in the USA, the Supreme Court majority.

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