The defining moment of the first day of the US Supreme Court confirmation hearing was a photo of Judge Kavanaugh refusing to shake hands with Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was murdered in Parkland, FL. Today, Sen. Graham of South Carolina generously provided Kavanaugh with a chance to address the gaffe. Rather than use the opportunity to show a shred of humanity in front of the American public, Kavanaugh said “I understand the real-world effects of our decisions… I have not lived in a bubble.” Guttenberg was not reassured:
You heard correctly. I have been here most of the day and that is about all he has had to say on the topic. https://t.co/RytaTsie7n
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 5, 2018
Kavanaugh’s extremist views on the Second Amendment were further exposed today by Sen. Feinstein of California. When she asked Kavanaugh about the real world implications of his extreme view on the Second Amendment and assault weapons, he quickly pivoted to hardening schools.
“Of course the violence in the schools is something we all detest and want to do something about, and there are lots of efforts, I know, underway to make schools safer. I know at my girls’ school they do a lot of things now that are different than they did just a few years ago in terms of trying to harden the school and make it safer for everyone.”
Tellingly, Kavanaugh added, “But as a judge my job, as I saw it was to follow the Second Amendment opinion of the Supreme Court whether I agreed with it or disagreed with it.”
We will let America’s favorite fictional White House staffer translate:
Basically, Kavanaugh thinks children being slaughtered in their classrooms by AR-15s is part of the cost of freedom, but universal background checks is too high a price to pay. Then he’ll tell with a straight face what a good daddy he is.
— Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) September 5, 2018
In another curious exchange, Kavanaugh said “I’m a native of an urban-suburban area. I grew up in a city plagued by gun violence and gang violence and drug violence.” As DCist quickly pointed out, Kavanaugh was raised in the relatively safe suburbs of Bethesda outside of DC and graduated from Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, which features an on-campus golf course.
Of course, Kavanaugh’s dangerous record opposing common sense gun laws was just one of many issues discussed in the hearings that went late into the night.
- Sen. Leahy of Vermont questioned Kavanaugh about emails hacked and stolen by Republican Senate staffers. Leahy accused Kavanaugh of lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee 14 years ago when he testified that he never received stolen emails.
- Kavanaugh refused to discuss whether presidents can pardon themselves or if they even have to respond to subpoenas.
- Judge Kavanaugh denied any knowledge of sexual misconduct by his former boss Alex Kozinski.
During the nearly 13 hours of hearings, Kavanaugh spent most of the time evading tough questions about health care, reproductive rights, the role of the Federalist Society, and more.
While questioning Kavanaugh about his views on criminal justice reform and racial profiling, Sen. Booker of New Jersey again raised concerns about the lack of transparency during these proceedings.
“That’s why this system is rigged,” said Booker. “There was one email specifically titled racial profiling, and somehow that was designated as something the public couldn’t see.”
Time is running out and we must act NOW! In an CNN opinion piece today, Stanford Law Professor John Donohue warned, “Kavanaugh’s aggrandized view of the Second Amendment, so out of step with both current trends and the will of the majority of Americans, would eliminate protective measures that keep Americans safe.”
The Conservative Money Behind Kavanaugh
Recent reports that the grassroots energy across the country is overwhelmingly against Kavanaugh comes as no surprise to States United and our affiliates who are gravely concerned about this nomination. We’ve seen that nearly 100% of the grassroots energy is opposed to Kavanaugh. The pro-Kavanaugh side is corporate lobbyists like the NRA writing million-dollar checks.
The Intercept reports that “conservative forces have been virtually incapable of driving any real pro-Kavanaugh activism on the ground, despite the tens of millions of dollars outside groups have committed to building public support. And the pro-Kavanaugh events that have been spotted were largely organized by just a handful of staunchly anti-choice groups with laser beam focus on overturning Roe V. Wade.”
A NARAL Pro-Choice America analysis found that conservative organizations are spending over $30 million as part of their effort to build public support. This includes millions being spent by the NRA to confirm Kavanaugh despite reports that the gun lobby giant is under investigation for its close relationship with Russia.
Speaking of the NRA… Just like day one, protesters continued to make their voices heard during the hearings. NRA spokesman Chuck Holton wasn’t pleased:
Kavanaugh has the lowest approval ratings since failed nominee Robert Bork. However, it only takes 51 votes to confirm Kavanaugh. You can use this resource to contact your Senators.
All eyes are on Senate Republicans Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) and the five Democratic Senators who are undecided: Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Doug Jones (AL), and Heidi Heitkamp (ND).
Don’t live in a state with a swing Senator but still want to help? You can sign-up to make calls from home with a virtual phone bank to persuade Maine voters to call Senator Susan Collins and urge her to #StopKavanaugh.