On July 9, Axios released a new analysis comparing the ideological leanings of every current Supreme Court justice to newly-announced nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and the picture it paints isn’t a surprising one. If confirmed, Kavanaugh would rank just after Clarence Thomas as the second most conservative judge on the bench. The Trump administration is trying to paint Kavanaugh as a moderate choice in the mold of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Kavanaugh clerked, but his record makes clear that he is no moderate when it comes to a myriad of critical civil rights protections for women, people of color and LGBTQ people. Indeed, Kavanaugh, a Federalist Society-approved judge, is as far-right as they come, and would cement a firm conservative majority on the Court that would devastate the country for generations.
Kavanaugh’s extreme ideology and potential impact on the Court is obvious because of the litany of far-right organizations that have expressed their enthusiastic support for his nomination:
- Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the far-right Heritage Foundation, released a press statement applauding Kavanaugh’s nomination, lauding him as “a Supreme Court Justice in the mold of Justices Scalia and Gorsuch.”
- Alliance Defending Freedom supported Kavanaugh as a constitutional originalist who will hopefully “interpret the Constitution faithfully and according to the intent of the Founders who wrote it.”
- Kavanaugh was also celebrated by anti-abortion activists including Americans United For Life, Priests for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Operation Rescue and many more who are confident that a Kavanaugh confirmation would spell the end for Roe v. Wade.
Kavanugh is well-known for his draconian views on a woman’s right to choose, especially in his dissenting opinion in last year’s Jane Doe case, in which he attempted to block a 17-year old immigrant’s repeated efforts to obtain an abortion. Kavanaugh’s record on the D.C. Circuit demonstrates that he is an outlier even among his most conservative colleagues.
Moreover, Kavanaugh is a narrow-minded elitist who was nominated by Trump to not only overturn Roe, but to also gut health care and dismantle civil rights. Beyond his backwards stance on abortion, Kavanaugh has ruled against the ACA, workers, consumers, and the environment, and is in favor of unchecked presidential power. Giving a conservative ideologue like Kavanaugh a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court would open the floodgates for more cases that would roll back the clock on rulings that protect women, people of color and the LGBTQ community.
Kavanaugh’s record is proof that he was nominated specifically because he would favor the interests of the wealthy and powerful over those of all Americans and would continue to advance the far Right’s extreme agenda. With his nomination, Trump is one step closer to establishing a conservative majority on the Court that would dramatically shift the landscape of America for the next generation.