As senators spend the next week in their home states for the August congressional recess, several will encounter advocacy groups demanding that they stop Brett Kavanaugh—the anti-choice and anti-healthcare judge whose nomination was backed by the Koch Brothers—from becoming the next U.S. Supreme Court justice, threatening the rights of Americans for generations.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Protect Our Care, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights are among the groups planning more than 100 anti-Kavanaugh events this week, including ad buys targeting key senators and on-the-ground public actions to secure enough votes to block the judge’s confirmation.
Republicans can afford to lose only two votes to secure Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are all considered potential “no” votes.
The planned actions “range from letter-writing parties to phone banks to voter education events,” Kelley Robinson, national organizing director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement. “We are under no illusion that this is an easy fight, but…if the Americans who care about these issues make their voices heard, we can win this.”
In Maine, the local action group Mainers for Accountable Leadership has planned daily actions at Collins’ offices throughout the state.
Wednesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 9 have been marked as national days of action by the advocacy groups, with constituents across the country urged to visit and call their senators and make their concerns about Kavanaugh heard.
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The threat Kavanaugh’s confirmation would pose to abortion rights and healthcare are chief among the concerns Americans will be bringing up with senators. As recently as last fall, the judge praised Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe vss Suit Up Maine and M. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision which affirmed that American women have the right to abortion care. President Donald Trump said during his campaign that he would select judges for the nation’s high court with the intent of overturning the case.
As a Supreme Court justice, Kavanaugh could also help Trump realize his goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), threatening the healthcare of tens of millions of Americans. He has said the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and the court is likely to hear a case brought by Republican-controlled states aimed at eliminating coverage requirements for people with pre-existing conditions.
“When we say Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court means that the future of Americans’ healthcare for generations is once again coming down to the vote of just a handful of senators, we mean it,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “That’s why senators will be confronted at every turn with an important request…to stand up tall for healthcare and against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.”
“Brett Kavanaugh was hand-picked to be a rubber stamp for President Trump’s anti-health care agenda,” Woodhouse told The Hill.
Kavanaugh’s opposition to bans on certain firearms, his belief that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate pollution should be reined in, and his statement that prosecuting a sitting president accused of committing a crime is “time-consuming and distracting” are among the other reasons advocacy groups are urging Americans to forcefully fight his confirmation.
“We look forward to engaging our broad civil and human rights coalition to amplify how groups at the local and state levels are involved in this fight. Too much is at stake for our civil and human rights. But together, we will fight. And together, we will Stop Kavanaugh,” said Ashley Allison of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
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