October 06, 2018

Feinstein Statement on Kavanaugh Confirmation

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:

“The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh shifts the Supreme Court far to the right, putting women’s reproductive rights, civil rights, environmental protections, worker’s rights, the ability to implement gun safety rules and the ability to hold presidents accountable at risk for a generation.

“President Trump pledged to nominate ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-gun’ justices and that’s what he did in selecting Brett Kavanaugh.

Women’s reproductive rights

“Brett Kavanaugh is poised to be the fifth vote to gut or overturn Roe v. Wade. He praised the dissent in Roe and refused to say whether Roe or Casey were correctly decided. In his dissent in Garza v. Hargan, he disregarded precedent to deny a 17-year-old woman who had received court approval for an abortion the ability to make decisions about her body.

Guns

“Brett Kavanaugh is expected to hinder efforts to stem gun violence in our communities. Five circuit courts have upheld bans on assault weapons, but in his dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller, Kavanaugh said that assault weapons could not be banned, putting him far to the right of conservative judges. Kavanaugh went even further than Justice Scalia, saying that weapons that were not banned when the Constitution was written could never be banned. This is a dangerous view that would put more American lives at risk.

Presidential power

“Brett Kavanaugh’s views on presidential power are also outside the mainstream. He has said presidents can’t be investigated or indicted, and has suggested that a president can fire a special counsel at will. He believes the president is above the law. With President Trump threatening to fire Special Counsel Mueller, this view puts the rule of law at risk.

Allegations and temperament

“Confirming Brett Kavanaugh in the face of credible allegations of sexual assault that were not thoroughly investigated—at the direction of Senate Republicans and the White House—and his belligerent, partisan performance in last Thursday’s hearing also undermines the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

“Women and sexual assault survivors have been sent a clear message that there are no consequences for men who abuse women. They can still achieve one of the most powerful positions in the country.

“Progressive groups will also never believe they are getting a fair shake in front of Justice Kavanaugh. How could they when he yelled about Dr. Ford’s allegation being part of a conspiracy on the ‘left’ and to ‘seek revenge on behalf of the Clintons?’ Today is a sad day, tomorrow we must pick ourselves up and keep fighting.”

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