Civil Rights Leaders Give a Resounding “NO!” to Kavanaugh

Jul 31, 2018 | Civil Rights

S. E. Williams

Civil Rights leaders from across the country are united in their opposition to Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

In a collective statement released last week, leaders of the National Urban League, National Action Network, NAACP LDF, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation expressed united concern over the possibility of Kavanaugh being confirmed to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy upon his retirement at the end of July.

Commenting on his position Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, stated, “The nomination of a Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court is one of the most important and lasting decisions of a President’s legacy. Unfortunately, this President is shrouded in an investigation that shows no sign of stopping and as such should not have his nomination considered by the Senate until that investigation concludes.”

Morial also expressed his belief that a decision that could impact American lives for generations to come simply cannot be made under the current political and partisan circus.

“There is far too much at stake to allow this investigation and the fallout from it to impact such a critical and impactful decision. The National Urban League is particularly troubled by Judge Kavanaugh’s record on cases involving racial and workforce discrimination. “

Seating a Supreme Court nominee with an obvious disdain for fundamental liberties will change American life as we know it, Marial asserted. “The National Urban League is urging the Senate to reject his nomination, as we firmly believe that, if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, it could take generations to undo the damage to our voting protections, civil rights, access to healthcare, environmental protections, consumer rights, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigration rights… just to name a few.”

The Urban League is expected to continue to push the Senate to use the judgement bestowed upon it by the Constitution to delay the vote on Kavanaugh until the Mueller investigation is concluded.

Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), Reverend Al Sharpton, offered similar opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination on behalf of his organization.

“This year’s Supreme Court term has underscored the impact that just one justice can have on the history of our nation.”

NAN, according to Sharpton, is alarmed by President Trump’s decision to replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy with Brett Kavanaugh. The organization considers Kavanaugh an ideologue who has proven time and again that, when presented with the opportunity, “he will have no compunction rolling back workers’ rights, stripping health care from the country’s most vulnerable, or taking away a woman’s right to choose,” Sharpton advised.

“Kavanaugh’s presence on the court will ensure the deck is stacked against the Black community in the numerous civil rights cases the court will face in the coming years and would deal a tremendous blow to a whole litany of basic human rights that ought to be supported and expanded in a 21st century democracy – not throttled at every turn,” he stressed.

“We’re calling on the Senate to use its authority and stop this attack on our country – and prevent a biased ideologue from running roughshod over the soul of our country for decades to come,” Sharpton concluded.

Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) also weighed in on this issue. “For nearly 80 years, LDF has relied upon the highest court in the land to protect our most fundamental rights and to push our nation closer to fulfilling the promise of racial equality,” she argued.

She further expressed her belief that given the urgent need to maintain the integrity of the Supreme Court, the Senate cannot proceed in considering the President’s nominee to fill the current vacancy until the Special Counsel’s investigation has concluded and voters have had a chance to make their voices heard.

“In the meantime,” Ifill maintained, “the Senate must vigorously vet Judge Kavanaugh’s record to ensure he will uphold equal justice and the rule of law. LDF will continue to conduct our own thorough review, but we are deeply concerned by our initial findings, which reveal a troubling record in cases involving core civil rights and liberties. So many of the rights we hold most dear are on the line, and we cannot afford to rush this process.”

Also, expressing resistance to the nomination was Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who declared, “Americans deserve a Supreme Court that will prove to be a neutral, fair and impartial venue to resolve the grave controversies and crises that come before it.”

Further confirming her organization’s resistance to the Kavanaugh nomination, Clarke declared, “We condemn any attempt by this Congress to railroad this nomination. It is critical that the Senate conduct a meaningful and thorough examination of Judge Kavanaugh’s extensive record and voluminous paper trail amassed during his time at the White House and Justice Department.”

In conclusion, Melanie Campbell, President/CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable shared, “We believe it is vitally important that the U. S. Senate delay a hearing or vote on the Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination until after the November 2018 Election.”

Campbell’s position is rooted in the certainty that too much is at stake for this nomination to be used to further a partisan agenda to roll back gains made over the past fifty years, including civil rights, worker’s rights, women’s right to control her own body, affirmative action, protecting the Affordable Care Act and more.

According to Campbell, “Until the cloud of investigation that currently hangs over the Trump Administration has been sufficiently lifted, we cannot feel confident or safe that any appointments made are in the best interest of our nation or democracy.”


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