Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
Now that the Senate is back in session, the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominee for the US Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is tops on their agenda. The Dems argue that we should wait until after the midterm elections to see what voters want… similar to Mitch McConnell’s reasoning when he stopped Obama’s nominee. Many Democrats fear Trump may pick an even more conservative judge if Kavanaugh is rejected, and some say there is no hope. But Robert Reich, Move On, Indivisible and others are mounting a spirited opposition. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Federal Appeals Court was held up for three years. Let’s look at Kavanaugh’s considerable written record.
Kavanaugh’s work in the George W. Bush administration is not being fully released. But some Senators are opposing him for that very work. Kavanaugh says he would follow Supreme Court precedent if he were confirmed. In his one official judicial opinion citing Roe v. Wade, he believed in “allowing the Government to impose reasonable regulations so long as they do not unduly burden the right to abortion that the Court has recognized.” Senator Susan Collins has just reported that Kavanaugh told her he considers Roe v Wade to be settled law.
Kavanaugh opposed Bush-era torture. He is likely to oppose most gun control measures. He supported North Carolina’s restrictive voter ID law. Kavanaugh has asserted that the net neutrality rule was unlawful. He believes corporations should have the right to refuse contraceptive coverage for their employees. In 2012, Kavanaugh ruled for the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City in a labor dispute. He helped defend the school voucher plan in Florida. He ruled that the way the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is structured makes it unconstitutional, and routinely takes the side of big business against government.
I believe Kavanaugh won the nomination because he is highly critical of the independent counsel system. Recently, Kavanaugh called the law that Rod Rosenstein used to appoint Mueller “problematic.” He said the president should have “absolute discretion” about whether to appoint special counsel. He also claims Trump can be only indicted after leaving office. Kavanaugh wrote that Congress should pass a law deferring any civil lawsuits against a president while they’re in office, as well as advocating for exempting a sitting president from criminal investigation or prosecution. Kavanaugh has repeatedly written in favor of giving the president more authority to fire agency officials. But in the Clinton era it was a different story, as a particularly aggressive member of the Ken Starr team. That’s when he advocated asking Bill Clinton, “If Monica Lewinsky says that you inserted a cigar into her vagina while you were in the Oval Office area, would she be lying?” Now there’s a Supreme Court Justice Trump can love. This judge may someday soon rule on issues of Trump’s own possible criminality and already has a written record of supporting Trump and going after Clinton mercilessly.
If you have thoughts on Justice Kavanaugh, you can share them with your Senators.