WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Due to Judge Brett Kavanaugh's judicial record and past opinions on a
variety of issues and President Trump’s promise that he would appoint
a Supreme Court Justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the National Association
of Social Workers (NASW) opposes Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is a lifetime appointment
to the highest court in the land. Kavanaugh's appointment would create an imbalance of
judicial philosophy at a time when the court seems to be reneging on protecting
the rights of vulnerable and underrepresented Americans.
NASW is particularly concerned that in past decisions
as a justice on the D.C. Circuit Court, Judge Kavanaugh has shown an antipathy to
women’s reproductive rights and Roe v Wade.
For example, in a recent case where
an adolescent immigrant woman who was in detention sought to exercise her
right to obtain a legal abortion, Kavanaugh sought to prevent her access to
abortion care. His flawed reasoning was that by allowing the young woman to
obtain an abortion, the court was creating a “new right” for immigrants in
custody by permitting them ‘to obtain immediate abortion on demand."
NASW is also deeply disturbed Kavanaugh was against
court rulings that supported the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
To us it is unconscionable that a Justice on the Supreme Court would oppose
affordable health care for low-income citizens.
In addition, Kavanaugh has:
- Claimed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional
- Routinely decided in favor of the rich and powerful against powerless
- Opposed workforce safety initiatives
- Opposed LGBTQ equality
- Ruled against as
against consumer rights
- Opposed environment justice initiatives and
- Showed disdain for workers’ rights
Ending gun violence is also a high priority
for NASW. Unfortunately, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has a history of opposition to
common-sense measures to promote gun safety. He wrote that “there is no
meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic
handguns and semi-automatic rifles"; and that assault rifles are protected by
the Second Amendment. Given his opinions, there are indications that Kavanaugh
would be antagonistic to common sense gun safety laws.
The selection of a nominee for a
lifetime seat on the Supreme Court is not a matter to be taken lightly. NASW is
uneasy that many social justice, economic justice, and human rights protections
could be threatened under the current administration. We only need look at
the plight of asylum seeking families in the Southwest border to realize there
are reasons for our apprehension.
Therefore, NASW cannot not sit idly by when
the next appointment to the next Supreme Court justice could further undermine social justice gains made over the last half century.
NASW views this nomination as a part of a long
struggle that we and many other Americans who are committed to equality and
human rights must undertake.
We will continue to express concern - and even outrage - when there are threats to the American value of caring about the least
of us. America needs Supreme Court Justices who embrace that value. Clearly, Judge Kavanaugh does not.