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Press release/statement

Racial Justice Organizations Oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation to U.S. Supreme Court

Each Organization Independently Concluded That His Record Is a Threat to Racial Justice

New York, NY – Racial justice organizations are opposing the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, as his record clearly demonstrates that he would be a threat to racial justice and hard-won civil rights achievements.

In three newly released in-depth reports, Demos, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), and The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have independently analyzed Kavanaugh’s history on a series of issues bearing on racial justice and all concluded that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would unequivocally be a step backward for communities of color and other marginalized people.

As SCOTUS often rules on a razor-thin 5-to-4 margin, the stakes could not be graver.

“The Supreme Court has profound impact on the lives of people of color, who continue to struggle for equal justice,” said Chiraag Bains, Director of Legal Strategies at Demos. “Judge Kavanaugh has promoted legal theories that exacerbate rather than reduce inequality. His elevation to the Supreme Court would make it harder to address systemic racism, further entrench mass incarceration, threaten health care for our communities, and hinder the ability of people of color to seek justice in our courts. It would be a major setback for the cause of racial equity. Demos strongly opposes Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.”

Because of the Supreme Court’s crucial role in shaping the lives of all Americans and the systems in which they operate, each vacancy creates an opening to move toward or away from racial equity. The Court’s decisions touch the lives of millions of Americans and in many areas of the law—including voting rights, workers’ rights and criminal justice—the consequences of the Court’s rulings are felt disproportionately by communities of color. Kavanaugh has demonstrated that he would bring a narrow view of the Constitution and federally-protected civil rights.

“LDF is opposing Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation after an exhaustive review of his available record, in grim recognition that critical parts of his record have been shielded from public view, and in light of the alarming and unprecedented context that surrounds this nomination," said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s President and Director-Counsel. "As an organization that has been involved in more than 700 cases before the Supreme Court, we are uniquely attuned to the ways in which a single justice can change its balance and dynamic, and we believe that the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh threatens progress in upholding the guarantee of equal protection of the law.”

The three reports examined Kavanaugh’s record on a series of cases and public documents, and found that Kavanaugh sided with the more powerful party at the expense of people of color. Collectively, these reports highlight his dangerous belief in a “colorblind” Constitution and demonstrate that he shows a disregard for America’s brutal history of slavery, segregation, and state-sanctioned violence, and the systemic inequities still experienced by people of color today.

“After employing a rigorous standard in our careful examination of Judge Kavanaugh’s record both on and off the bench, with a focus on the implications that this nomination will have on African-American communities across the country, we conclude that Judge Kavanaugh demonstrates views that undermine the core civil rights principles for which we have long advocated,” said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “He is someone who, if confirmed, would dramatically alter the balance of the Court in ways that will prove harmful for African Americans and minority communities for generations to come. We also remain deeply concerned that this hearing is proceeding prematurely, as hundreds of thousands of documents that might shed more light on his civil rights views have not yet been disclosed.”

The organizations stand in opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, as his record demonstrates he would protect the rights of the powerful at the expense of the marginalized.