Full Resolution Title: NAACP Opposes the Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court; Calls on the U.S. Senate to Delay Consideration of the Nomination to Fill the Seat Left Vacant by the Retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy Until the Beginning of the 116th Congress in January 2019
WHEREAS, the announcement on June 27, 2018 by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that he is retiring from the bench is monumental. In a number of historic Supreme Court decisions Justice Kennedy cast the decisive 5th vote on a deeply divided court; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP sometimes agreed with and applauded Justice Kennedy's position (such as in the 4-3 decision to uphold Affirmative Action programs in education in the seminal Fisher v. University of Texas case; or the landmark 5-4 decision to permit same-sex couples to marry nationwide in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges) and at times we disagreed with him (including the 2000 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore or the 5-4 decision in the 2013 Shelby v. Holder case which decimated the pre-clearance provision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act or the recent anti-Union 5 - 4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME); and
WHEREAS, the stakes for nominating and confirming a new Supreme Court Justice could not be higher at this moment in our history; and
WHEREAS, now is not the time for a divisive and biased appointment who will further shake the public's faith in our nation's justice system; the country desperately needs a fair-minded and independent jurist on the Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, the next Supreme Court Justice, once confirmed to a lifetime appointment, will have a clear impact on any number of hard-won gains securing equal opportunity in areas including education, employment and housing, among others; and
WHEREAS, if the wrong justice is appointed to replace Justice Kennedy, we could see further exclusion of communities of color from full participation in our democracy. We could see racism continue to flourish within the criminal justice system. We could see the elimination of effective tools for proving discrimination and addressing it. We could see the overturning of guaranteed access to quality health care for millions of Americans. The rights of African Americans and all racial and ethnic minorities to fully participate in our democracy and in every facet of political, educational, social, and economic life, on an equal basis, are on the line; and
WHEREAS, on July 9, 2018, President Trump announced that he would nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, after thorough research and evaluation the NAACP opposed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2005; and
WHEREAS, although we are still in the process of closely updating and scrutinizing his record, even the most cursory of reviews demonstrates that Judge Brett Kavanaugh does not empathize with the very real needs of most working middle-class Americans or with the unique concerns of racial and ethnic minority Americans, the LGBT community, women, workers, and others; and
WHEREAS, as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh has consistently demonstrated right wing extremist views, including his intense dislike for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or "Obamacare"). In a case challenging the ACA, Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion that would have kept alive a frivolous attack on the health care of millions of Americans. Furthermore, over and over again, Judge Kavanaugh has ruled against civil rights protections, workers' rights protections, consumer rights protections, and women's rights protections; and
WHEREAS, this nomination is too important to rush; and
WHEREAS, the constitutional process for appointing and confirming the next justice must be thoughtful, thorough, careful, deliberative, and conducted with well-informed bipartisan support.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP opposes the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this nomination should only be considered by the U.S. Senate after the American people vote in the November, 2018 election, when they are fully aware of the stakes and after the 116th Congress is sworn in January, 2019. The Senate should not consider a nominee until a new Senate is seated next year, after the results of the midterm election are in place. This will fully allow the American people, those who will be most affected by the confirmation, to truly have a voice in the selection; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that every NAACP member, unit, and friend is urged to contact his or her Senators and express their strong opposition to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and urge that final vote on the confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice not be held before January, 2019, when the 116th Congress has been sworn in and seated.