LGBTQ Advocates Oppose Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation to US Supreme Court as a Threat to Queer Lives

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Lambda Legal and 62 National, State, and Local LGBTQ Organizations Sent Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee
July 31, 2018

(Washington, DC, July 31, 2018) – Today, Lambda Legal and 62 national, state, and local LGBTQ organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. In a joint letter led by Lambda Legal, multiple national, state, and local LGBT organizations ask the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Kavanaugh because his views on civil rights issues put the lives of LGBTQ people at risk.

“Everyone – especially the LGBTQ community -- should be deeply concerned about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,” said Sharon McGowan, Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer at Lambda Legal. “From the Trump-Pence administration’s ban on transgender troops to the efforts to encourage and immunize discrimination against LGBTQ people in the public square, the American people should not have any confidence that Kavanaugh will be an independent check on the Trump administration and put his duty to the Constitution above his political beliefs. The harsh reality is that this nomination puts Trump within striking distance of his goal of overturning Roe and of turning back the clock on LGBTQ rights for generations.” 

In the letter, Lambda Legal exposes Mr. Kavanaugh’s long history of ruling for the wealthy and powerful against individuals. The letter illustrates how if he were confirmed to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh would provide the fifth and decisive vote to undermine many of our core rights and legal protections like reproductive freedom, affordable healthcare, and LGBTQ equality.

The letter goes on to detail five areas of Judge Kavanaugh’s record and philosophy that are of particular concern to our organizations and our constituents, and that raise questions of grave consequence to LGBTQ people living with HIV and anyone who cares about these communities:

(1) Judge Kavanaugh believes that unenumerated fundamental rights must be tethered narrowly to “tradition,” an approach that inherently favors those who historically have enjoyed power and privilege and that would erode or eliminate significant protections for LGBTQ people.

(2) We have serious concerns that Judge Kavanaugh would support a novel and radical approach to religious freedom, discarding the longstanding doctrinal framework that has rejected attempts to invoke religious liberty to justify violations of anti-discrimination laws.

(3) We are deeply concerned that Judge Kavanaugh will gut critical health care protections, which would gravely threaten the health of people living with HIV and transgender people, among other vulnerable groups.

(4) We are deeply concerned by Judge Kavanaugh’s extreme views about the limits of executive privilege and the proper amount of deference owed to the President; and 

(5) We are deeply concerned that Judge Kavanaugh’s propensity for supporting the interests of the rich and powerful will harm the economic well-being of our and other economically vulnerable communities.

Lambda Legal goes on to argue that the Senate Judiciary Committee must fulfill its constitutional duty to carefully review Kavanaugh’s record. With so much at stake, Kavanaugh must provide the Senate with full universe of documents related to his record, just like Justice Elena Kagan. The American people deserve to know the whole truth about his record on LGBTQ rights and other important civil rights issues.

The full letter, below, was sent to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee today. The full text can be found here:


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