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LGBTI and women’s groups oppose Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh

LGBTI and women’s groups oppose Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh

A shot behind a group of protesters standing outside the supreme court building at night

LGBTI and women’s advocacy groups have united to condemn President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court Justice.

This evening, Trump announced the pro-gun and anti-abortion judge, Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee for the Supreme Court.

Trump had shortlisted four potential candidates for the coveted job after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement last month.

But advocacy groups are not happy with the nominee.

‘President Trump’s clear disdain for an independent judiciary makes it crucial that the Senate confirm only a fair-minded constitutionalist who will keep the White House in check and protect the rights of LGBTQ people, people of color, women, and many others,’ said One Iowa’s executive director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel.

‘Kavanaugh does not meet that criteria, and in fact his record indicates he is quite the opposite. We urge Sen. Grassley to uphold his responsibility as Chair of the Judiciary Committee and not move forward with this nomination.’

Supreme Court protest

High profile advocacy group, Human Rights Campaign, and its supporters descended on the steps of the Supreme Court to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination.

HRC called on the Senate to reject Kavanaugh. It said anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice organizations pre-cleared Kavanaugh before his nomination to the Supreme Court.

‘In nominating Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump has followed through on his threat to nominate a justice who would undermine LGBTQ equality, women’s reproductive rights and affordable healthcare,’ said HRC President Chad Griffin.

‘Now, the Senate has a responsibility to fulfill its constitutional duty, serve as a check on this reckless president and reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. This nominee was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality — and the prospect of a Justice Kavanaugh threatens to erode our nation’s civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life.

‘The 2018 midterm elections just became the most consequential elections of our lifetime, and we must seize the opportunity to pull the emergency brake on this regime. We need to vote this November like our lives depend on it — because they do.’

What’s at stake

HRC said the next Supreme Court justice will shape civil and constitutional rights jurisprudence in the country for decades to come. In the coming years the Supreme Court will have to decide critical issues for the LGBTQ community including:

  • Whether the US’ nondiscrimination laws include protections for LGBTQ people — as many lower courts have already concluded. This would impact employment, housing, healthcare and education civil rights statutes.
  • Whether individuals and organizations have a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people when receiving taxpayer dollars to provide critical services.
  • Whether LGBTQ people and families can be turned away from businesses open to the general public.
  • Whether qualified transgender people can be excluded from serving in the military, simply because of who they are.

Kavanaugh and reproductive rights.

Kavanaugh currently serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

HRC said that during his tenure, ‘he has clearly established a judicial philosophy that the personal beliefs of individuals should dictate the lives of others’.

‘Kavanaugh has ruled that an employer’s religious beliefs should be allowed to override their workers’ access to birth control,’ HRC said in a statement.

‘While refusing to answer whether he believed Roe was correctly decided during his confirmation hearing for the DC Circuit, once on the bench he wrote that his colleagues had “badly erred” by determining that an undocumented immigrant teen should have access to an abortion.’

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