Progressives Vow to #StopKavanaugh After Trump Nominates 'Narrow-Minded Elitist Who Would Favor Wealthy and Powerful' to Supreme Court
After President Donald Trump dragged out announcing his nominee to replace outgoing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, "relishing the suspense," the president finally revealed D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his selection on Monday night, and progressive groups vowed to maintain pressure on Senate Democrats and a handful of Republicans to fight the appointment.
"If Trump successfully installs Brett Kavanaugh," warned Indivisible Project co-founder Ezra Levin, "Trumpism will infect the court for a generation. The stakes are no less than the fate of Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, LGBTQ rights, and our democratic institutions."
"Three Democratic senators—Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly—voted for Trump's last Supreme Court nominee. We need them back on the side of justice," Levin declared. "A vocal, united Democratic front will focus pressure on Republican senators—forcing them to decide between appeasing Trump or preserving our fundemental rights."
"The American people will find out soon enough which senators want to be remembered for being accomplices in Donald Trump's anti-choice, pro-discrimination takeover of the Supreme Court," responded CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess. "Any senator—Democrat or Republican—who votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is knowingly voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, undermine our civil rights, and supercharge Republican efforts to suppress the vote."
The president made the highly anticipated announcement from the White House around 9pm:
As Vox's Dylan Matthews wrote in a profile of the nominee, "He's a veteran of every conservative cause you can imagine, from the 2000 Florida recount to the fight against Obamacare."
"Kavanaugh would almost certainly fall to the right of Anthony Kennedy as a Supreme Court justice, and enable a rightward shift in the court's jurisprudence for years or decades to come," Matthews continued. "Even more concerning for liberals, he has suggested enhancing the president's power to block criminal and civil actions against him, a potentially worrisome position when the president nominating him is under investigation and facing multiple lawsuits."
"This nomination is a 100 percent political decision, and one that will have a profoundly negative effect on the lives of working people of this country for decades to come if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote in an email to supporters Monday night.
"Kavanaugh's record has made it clear he will use his position on the court to protect corporations at the expense of workers, to allow corporations and the wealthy to buy elections, and to undermine voting rights," Sanders added.
Noting that "in key cases, Judge Kavanaugh has favored unduly limiting federal regulatory powers that are central to keeping Americans safe, and has argued for restricting the rights of people to access our court system," Earthjustice president Trip Van Noppen warned that his nomination also "jeopardizes people's ability to rely on the courts to protect their health, safety, and the environment."
"He has a notoriously anti-clean air, anti-worker, anti-healthcare track record as a federal judge," summarized Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn Civic Action. "Kavanaugh's history makes clear he is a narrow-minded elitist who would favor the wealthy and powerful. Everything from women's basic rights to healthcare to clean air, and from civil rights to workers' rights to immigrants' rights, is at stake in this fight."
Ahead of the announcement, progressives pored over the records of judges on Trump's "pre-approved extremist list," and raised alarm about what the nominee—if he is confirmed by the Senate—could mean for the United States, posting on social media with the hashtags #WhatsAtStake and #SaveSCOTUS.
Those warnings ramped up following Trump's big reveal, with several advocates for net neutrality and environmental regulations as well as labor, LGBTQ, immigrant, reproductive rights weighing in on Twitter:
A protest organized by more than a dozen advocacy groups kicked off near the U.S. Supreme Court building a half hour after the announcement.