Trump SCOTUS Pick, Brett Kavanaugh, Threatens Justice Kennedy’s Entire LGBT Rights Legacy

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Donald Trump announced that he was nominating Brett Kavanaugh, Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh’s views pose a real threat to our nation’s core principles of equality and freedom for all. LeGaL strongly opposes this nomination.

Judge Kavanaugh dissented from rulings upholding Obamacare, which provides healthcare coverage for millions of the most vulnerable Americans. Obamacare provides unprecedented federal protections for LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, which has been interpreted as including both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Furthermore, as Lambda Legal staff attorney, Sasha Buchert, noted after a lengthy review of his record:

The Family Research Council (FRC), which has sought to undermine anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and our families since its inception, vigorously advocated on behalf of Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination. FRC sent an email alert in 2005 urging supporters of the religious right to contact Congress and demand that Mr. Kavanaugh be confirmed.

FRC also criticized then-Senator Bill Frist (R-T.N.) for not advancing the nomination. After Judge Kavanaugh was finally confirmed, FRC praised the vote and urged action on other nominees. FRC clearly believed that Judge Kavanaugh would advance their interests, which, as mentioned previously, are focused largely on working to undermine the rights of LGBTQ people.

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Judge Kavanaugh’s troubling mindset calls into question his commitment to the landmark Romer, Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell precedents — the core of Justice Kennedy’s LGBT rights legacy.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s announcement on June 27 that he would retire from the Supreme Court as of July 31, 2018, opened up a vacancy that President Donald J. Trump can fill with the approval of a bare majority of the U.S. Senate. The nomination of such an extreme jurist, like Judge Kavanaugh, portends a serious setback for LGBT rights in the years ahead.

We are alarmed by President Trump’s choice of such an extreme nominee to replace Justice Kennedy — who often played the swing vote in 5–4 decisions.

Judge Kavanaugh tried to prevent an undocumented minor from exercising her right to abortion care, and claimed that the court opinion overruling him was creating “a new right” for immigrants in custody “to obtain immediate abortion on demand.”

Judge Kavanaugh’s record also shows disdain for working Americans, opposing basic protections for workers banding together to hold their employers accountable.

LeGaL is urging our members and supporters to reach out to New York’s U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and insist they intensely scrutinize his record. We encourage all Senators to firmly reject his nomination.

We demand a fair-minded, pro-equality SCOTUS Justice who will issue decisions without prejudice against LGBT people.

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