LGBTQ organizations reaction to Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination

SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

CHICAGO — Trump on Monday night nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington, to the U.S. Supreme Court. National and state LGBTQ organizations were quick to respond.

Equality Illinois sent out a statement almost immediately after the announcement.

We at Equality Illinois will work with our state and national partners to analyze Judge Kavanaugh’s record and call our community to action in the coming days. We will fight and resist an anti-LGBTQ nominee who would try to turn back the clock on our civil rights. The history of LGBTQ people demonstrates that we know how to show up, speak up, and fight back.

Judge Kavanaugh’s record must adhere to our core constitutional values: equal protection under the law, the dignity of each person, and the freedom to be who you are without burden or discrimination. This is particularly critical now, at a time when the civil rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump Administration.

Judge Kavanaugh’s record and independence should be deliberately and seriously scrutinized and evaluated to ensure his commitment to those core constitutional values. And the United States Senate must do its job and be faithful to our constitutional values and to the rights of the American people.

Federal courts have played critical roles in helping to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, including decriminalizing same-sex relationships, fighting anti-LGBTQ discrimination, defending the freedom to marry, and protecting transgender students in schools. These ruling have recognized our shared American values of equality, dignity, and the freedom to be who we are without burden or discrimination.

The opponents of equality want to transform our federal court system into instruments that would turn back the civil rights clock and allow a broad right to discriminate in public life against LGBTQ people and other historically marginalized communities. They are currently one justice away from that power, which is why scrutiny of this nominee’s jurisprudence is critical for our community.

GLAAD condemned the nomination in a statement sent out within minutes of the announcement.

“If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will have the chance to codify President Trump and Vice President Pence’s dangerous anti-LGBTQ record and the agenda of anti-LGBTQ groups into law for decades to come,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Like Neil Gorsuch before him, Kavanaugh is an ideologically driven pick designed to create an activist Supreme Court that will undermine rights and protections for women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and all vulnerable people. Americans do not want or need 40 more years of Trump’s values.”

GLAAD noted the Family Resource Council’s support for Kavagnaugh’s appointment to the appeals court as one of the reasons for their opposition. He’s also received support from the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

GLAAD is encouraging people to contact their Senators and ask them to support pro-equality judicial nominations and oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation at our Amp Your Voice Action Center.

Rachel B. Tiven, chief executive officer of Lambda Legal, issued the following statement in response to the nomination:

“Judge Kavanaugh would guarantee 40 more years of Trump’s values on the Supreme Court. Like every other judicial nominee who has a seal of approval from the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, Judge Kavanaugh shares Donald Trump’s same distorted view of the law. We have good reason to fear that Judge Kavanaugh will abuse his power on the Court to protect the wealthy and the powerful while depriving LGBT Americans of our dignity, demeaning our community, and diminishing our status as equal citizens. There is too much at stake to allow Judge Kavanaugh to sit on the Court that, over its history, has decided who can marry, who can vote, and who is equal.

“President Trump wants a Supreme Court justice who looks like him, acts like him, and only protects people like him. Brett Kavanaugh has argued that sitting Presidents should not be subject to civil or criminal charges while in office and that presidents should be able to dismiss any lawyer “out to get him.” Kavanaugh also thinks that the president does not need to follow the law if he thinks the law is unconstitutional.  At this moment in our history, the country not only deserves but needs a judge who will be loyal first and foremost to our Constitution and the rule of law.  During his last confirmation hearing, Judge Kavanaugh tried to obfuscate his involvement in the development of the Bush White House’s torture policies.  We do not believe that Judge Kavanaugh can be trusted with the incredible responsibility of a seat on the Supreme Court at a time when forces are aligned to undermine marriage equality, access to abortion and the Affordable Care Act. A judge with this kind of record should not occupy a seat on the Supreme Court that has been the critical swing vote on LGBT issues, as well as abortion, healthcare, voting rights, and many other important civil rights questions, for decades to come.”

Read Lambda Legal’s analysis of Judge Kavanaugh’s record here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20180709_brett-kavanaugh-record

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