Equality Texas Joins Opposition to Appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to SCOTUS

(Photo: USCourts.gov)

In an email to supporters, Equality Texas announced it was joining state and national LGBT leaders in opposing the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On July 9, President Donald J. Trump nominated Kavanaugh, who has spent 12 years serving in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“We’ve looked at Kavanaugh’s record, and the stakes could not be higher,” Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith wrote in the email. “If we’re to have any chance of stopping his confirmation, it’s going take every one of us fighting with all we’ve got. That’s why we’re joining forces with LGBTQ organizations around the country to stop this nomination.”

To that end, Equality Texas was among 63 national, state, and local LGBT organizations which sent a letter, which was organized by Lambda Legal, to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Everyone – especially the LGBTQ community — should be deeply concerned about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,” the letter warned. “From the Trump-Pence administration’s ban on transgender troops to the efforts to encourage and immunize discrimination against LGBTQ people in the public square, the American people should not have any confidence that Kavanaugh will be an independent check on the Trump administration and put his duty to the Constitution above his political beliefs. The harsh reality is that this nomination puts Trump within striking distance of his goal of overturning Roe and of turning back the clock on LGBTQ rights for generations.”

The letter details five areas of Judge Kavanaugh’s record and philosophy that are of particular concern:

  1. 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 LGBTQ people.
  2. 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 anti-discrimination laws.
  3. We are deeply concerned that Judge Kavanaugh will gut critical health care protections, which would gravely threaten the health of people living with HIV and transgender people, among other vulnerable groups.
  4. 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; and
  5. 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.

With Equality Texas joining the national effort to oppose the Kavanaugh appointment, Smith explains, “It’s clear that Judge Kavanaugh’s record is not that of a neutral and fair-minded judge who can be trusted to administer equal justice under the law.”

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