Metro Weekly

LGBTQ organizations demand Senate reject “narrow-minded idealogue” Brett Kavanaugh

Organizations slammed Kavanaugh's record shortly before senators opted to move his nomination to a final vote

Credit: Ted Eytan / Flickr

A coalition of LGBTQ organizations have demanded the U.S. Senate reject the nomination of “narrow-minded idealogue” Brett Kavanaugh.

In a letter signed by 73 organizations including Lambda Legal, GLAAD, AIDS United, and Whitman-Walker Health, the organizations slam Kavanaugh’s record on civil rights, saying his views are “fundamentally at odds with securing equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law for all people, including LGBT people and people living with HIV.”

“Every Supreme Court vacancy is significant, but the stakes for the LGBT community could not be higher in deciding who will replace Justice Kennedy — who served as the deciding vote in numerous landmark decisions affecting LGBT people,” they write. “It is not an exaggeration to say that key protections that enable LGBT individuals to participate as equal members of our society are at stake.”

Arguing that Kavanaugh will not be a “neutral and fair-minded jurist,” the organizations say they have “serious concerns with many aspects of Judge Kavanaugh’s record.”

In particular, the letter highlights five key areas of Kavanaugh’s judicial record and philosophy that “are of particular concern to our organizations and constituents”:

  • We are deeply concerned about Judge Kavanaugh’s philosophy regarding fundamental rights. Judge Kavanaugh believes that unenumerated fundamental rights must be tethered narrowly to “tradition,” an approach that inherently favors those who historically have enjoyed power and privilege and that would erode or eliminate significant protections for LGBT people.
  • We have serious concerns that Judge Kavanaugh would support a novel and radical approach to religious freedom, discarding the longstanding doctrinal framework that has rejected attempts to invoke religious liberty to justify violations of antidiscrimination laws. Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated that he is willing to provide a sweeping license to discriminate to religious adherents at the expense of LGBT civil rights protections.
  • We are deeply concerned that Judge Kavanaugh would gut critical health care protections—including protections against being denied health coverage for preexisting conditions, which would gravely threaten the health of people living with HIV and transgender people, among other vulnerable groups.
  • We are deeply concerned by Judge Kavanaugh’s extreme views about the limits of executive privilege and the proper amount of deference owed to the President.
  • Because LGBT people and people living with HIV live in poverty at disproportionately high rates, we are deeply concerned that Judge Kavanaugh’s propensity for supporting the interests of the rich and powerful will harm the economic well-being of our and other economically vulnerable communities.

“LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, and other at-risk communities rely upon the Constitution’s guarantees of equality, liberty, dignity and justice under the law for their ability to participate fully in society and make major life decisions, and they are entitled to know whether a new justice recognizes and would protect those guarantees,” they write. “Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee further cemented our opposition.”

The letter was sent to senators on Oct. 4, prior to a vote on whether to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote in the Senate.

That initial vote succeeded 51-49 today, Oct. 5, despite nationwide protests against Kavanaugh’s nomination following allegations of sexual assault by at least three women, and a powerful testimony on Capitol Hill from one of his accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

It also came after a widely criticized FBI investigation which ruled that there was “no hint of misconduct” in Kavanaugh’s record, despite multiple allegations from those who know Kavanaugh that he lied during his testimony to senators last week.

A final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination is expected on Saturday, Oct. 6.

LGBTQ organizations, including HRC, are urging that the “fight is far from over,” and asking supporters to contact their senators and tell them to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Lambda Legal tweeted that they are “deeply disappointed” that senators advanced Kavanaugh to a final vote, and also urged that the fight was not over to stop his nomination.

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