What’s at Stake for Women with the Kavanaugh Confirmation

What’s at Stake for Women with the Kavanaugh Confirmation

By Paulina Cachero

Sep 4, 2018

What will become of women's rights to a legal abortion?

This seemed to be the question on everyone's mind when the current president mulled over who would fill the most powerful judicial position in America: a Supreme Court Justice seat.

That person could be Brett Kavanaugh, a well-known conservative judge who clerked for retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, worked as an aide to former president George W. Bush, co-authored a book with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and served on the D.C. Circuit Court since 2006.

Long story short, the president's nominee is no stranger to Washington.

While his nomination has yet to be confirmed, many already fear what they believe is inevitable— a conservative majority on the Supreme Court with the power to reverse decades-old legal precedent, including Roe v. Wade secured by Sarah Weddington.

Women's reproductive rights dominated the conversation when his nomination was announced July 9, but contentious issues such as gun reform, religious freedom, immigration and more all hang in the balance.

As usual, women on Capitol Hill were the first to speak out Kavanaugh's appointment—and continuing to be the loudest voices leading the conversation. As Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin, female politicians made sure to remind everyone exactly #WhatsAtStake.

Nancy Pelosi

Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was one of the first to speak out against the Supreme Court nominee on Twitter. The MAKER says the candidate could "overturn a woman's right to choose for generations to come." As the nominee's Senate Judiciary hearings draw near, Pelosi reminds everyone to recommit themselves to protecting women's rights.

Elizabeth Warren

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren did not hold back on her upset towards the nominee. When 45 announced his SCOTUS pick, Warren was ready to fight. Not only did the senator lead a rally following Kavanaugh's nomination announcement, she joined the #RiseUpForRoe tour in Boston, organized by Demand Justice initiative, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, along with actress and activist Alyssa Milano and former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Fellow MAKER and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand followed Pelosi's lead and encouraged women to raise our voices to keep the values and rights that we hold most dear: women's freedom to make their own choices, equal rights, civil rights, and more. She recently urged citizens to "stay strong, stay determined and keep fighting."

Tammy Duckworth

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said the urgency to fill a new Supreme Court seat is nothing more than "opportunism that represents everything America hates about politics today." The senator believes Kavanaugh's confirmation could take us back to an era when insurers could discriminate their clients' health care coverage by race, religious beliefs, and pre-existing conditions.

Mazie Hirono

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono who also serves on the very Senate Judiciary Committee that will be presiding over the nominee's hearings joined Gillibrand and Duckworth to call on women to awaken to the danger that confronts us— Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. She points out that the judge was vetted by the very same conservative organizations working to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. In particular, she said that Kavanaugh's nomination would have "devastating impacts on women of color" and children who benefit from Medicaid.

The senator later even canceled a meeting with the nominee whom she believes was "purposely selected to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole."

Gabrielle Giffords

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords says the judge's views on the Second Amendment are dangerous and "a brazen disregard for the people it claims to protect." The D.C. Court Circuit judge previously dissented on a ban on assault weapons and its requirement that all guns be registered. He wrote that gun bans and regulations not rooted in text, history, and tradition "were not consistent with the Second Amendment individual right."

Giffords, a gun control activist and victim of gun violence herself, warns the American people that "the firearm laws that save lives every day will be in serious danger."

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris isn't afraid to call bullsh*t— she actively voiced her opposition to Kavanaugh's appointment and the lack of transparency with the judge's extensive history on Capitol Hill. Harris, who also sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee along with Senator Hirono, publicly rejected the nominee even after meeting him in person. Harris shared her honest assessment of the nominee, believing his appointment would threaten "hard-won rights and protections for all Americans."

Although Kavanagh claimed that Roe v. Wade is "settled law," Harris pointed out that the judge has already attempted "to deny a woman full reproductive health care."

The senator has also been vocal about the very obvious double standard in the nominee's appointment process. The early date of the nominee's Senate judiciary hearing— a full two months before the National Archives say they can gather all of Kavanaugh's records— is a marked turn from Sonia Sotomayor's hearings in which senators requested her 17-year judicial record and minutes from board meetings.

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