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Kavanaugh Confirmed to Supreme Court, Organizations Respond

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Senate today voted to confirm Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, despite the fact that Kavanaugh faced credible allegations of attempted rape. More than 2,400 law professors signed a letter opposing Kavanaugh's nomination, citing his lack of judicial temperament and the partisan behavior he displayed at last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. And this week, Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens echoed these concerns, stating that Kavanaugh's behavior at last week's hearing indicates that he is not qualified to sit on the nation's highest court.

National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) Legal Director Shannon Minter issued the following statement in response:

"Today's Senate vote is not only a slap in the face to women and all sexual assault survivors—it is a terrible blow to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh's belligerence and hyperpartisan attacks at last week's hearing demonstrates that he does not have the temperament or impartiality for a lifetime appointment to our nation's highest court.

"Kavanaugh would tilt an already conservative court to the far right. We need a balanced court—not a rubber stamp for Trump that would permit our president to be above the law. And I have little doubt that Kavanaugh will be a consistent vote against liberty and equality for LGBTQ and many other people.

"The points made by Senator Susan Collins yesterday on Roe and the Affordable Care Act justifying her vote for Kavanaugh were completely out of step with Kavanaugh's judicial record and his strong support from extremist groups that seek to gut these protections. Kavanaugh had to pass a Trump litmus test to secure this nomination. Many expect he would eliminate Affordable Care Act protections for preexisting conditions, which would be particularly devastating for transgender people and people living with HIV in our community. He is also likely to decimate Roe v. Wade, and with that access to critical reproductive healthcare, including abortion.

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"Today the United States Senate failed the American people by confirming to the Supreme Court an individual wholly unsuited to a lifetime appointment to a position that will affect the lives of everyone in this country."

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org .

—Above from a NCLR press release

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(Washington, DC — Oct. 6, 2018) Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director, issued the following statement:

"The United States Senate's vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is the culmination of a deeply flawed nomination process the likes of which we have never seen in this nation's history. While profoundly frustrated and outraged, we are not surprised by this outcome, which is yet another example of the lengths to which this Republican-controlled Senate is prepared to go in order to pack the courts with ideological extremists who will promote the 'values' of the Trump-Pence administration.

"In their haste to shift the Supreme Court to the far right, Senate Republicans abused their power by shielding this nominee's record from public scrutiny, and by manipulating the process to ensure that deeply troubling questions about his character and integrity would be left unanswered. This deliberate campaign of concealment by Senate Republicans circumvented any meaningful public discussion about how Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation would undermine important protections for LGBT people, women, people of color, people living with disabilities or preexisting conditions, and workers. Yet, even without this evidence, Brett Kavanaugh revealed himself as a right-wing political operative completely lacking in judicial temperament. His confirmation will undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court for as long as he serves.

"Senator Collins, who presented the closing argument on behalf of Senator McConnell and GOP leadership, has forever tarnished her legacy as a moderate, independent thinker. Her full-throated endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh, coupled with her attacks on those who raised concerns about his nomination, were the defensive words of a partisan apologist, and not someone who takes reproductive freedom, LGBT rights or affordable health care seriously. Her insistence that Brett Kavanaugh poses no threat to the marriage equality rights secured by Obergefell, the right to abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, or the healthcare access advanced by the Affordable Care Act does not pass the laugh test, and cannot be logically reconciled with the millions of dollars spent in support of Kavanaugh's nomination by people openly committed to gutting those protections. Furthermore, her insulting response to the serious and credible allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by Dr. Ford and others, which were not fully investigated, was also startling. Every Senator who joined Senator Collins in voting for Brett Kavanaugh is responsible for the cloud of illegitimacy that will rest over the Supreme Court, as well as the United States Senate, for years to come.

"Lambda Legal knows that our work will be harder now, but we are more committed than ever to protecting LGBT people and everyone living with HIV. The communities that we serve are counting on us and we will never quit fighting to protect them and their families."

—Above from a Lambda Legal news release

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

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