In ‘Rare Exception,’ ACLU Opposes Kavanaugh Confirmation

Louisiana , United States - 3 May 2018; Susan Herman, President, American Civil Liberties Union on centre stage during day three of Collision 2018 at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Sportsfile via Getty Images

The ACLU doesn’t normally endorse or oppose individual candidates or nominees. It made a “rare exception” Saturday, in its president’s words, announcing its opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Citing “credible allegations that Judge Kavanaugh has engaged in serious misconduct that have not been adequately investigated by the Senate,” the ACLU’s national board of directors passed a resolution stating that “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s credible testimony, subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct, the inadequate investigation, and Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony at the hearing lead us to doubt Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”

In a press release, the ACLU said it was the fourth time in the organization’s 98-year history that its national board had voted to oppose a Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation.

The press release said the resolution came after “an extraordinary meeting” of the ACLU’s national board.

ACLU president Susan Herman (pictured above) said in the same release that the board was “deeply concerned by the allegations raised in recent weeks.”

“As a nonpartisan organization, the ACLU does not oppose Judge Kavanaugh based on predictions about how he would vote as a Justice. We oppose him in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him,” Herman added.

While the ACLU did not officially oppose Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation, Executive Director Anthony D. Romero wrote in a statement at the time: “Judge Gorsuch’s record, including his decision in the Hobby Lobby case, raises questions about whether he would allow businesses and individuals to opt out of nondiscrimination laws based on religious objections. And his commitment to an ‘originalist’ theory of constitutional interpretation that disregards our nation’s evolving understandings of constitutional rights is also of concern.”

In Arizona, the ACLU made the similarly rare decision to involve itself in the state’s Republican Senate primary this summer, running television ads and going door-to-door, without formally endorsing or opposing any one candidate.

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) eventually won the nomination, beating out former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and state senator Kelli Ward. McSally will face Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in November to determine who will fill retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) seat.

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