Dear Friend of CFI,
Justice Kennedy’s Supreme Court replacement will affect the rights of Americans for decades to come. On July 9, President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia with a record of political partisanship and known for favoring privileged religious groups over all other Americans. If Judge Kavanaugh’s record is any indication, he will further enable privileged groups who seek to impose their religious views and practices on targeted groups including secularists, atheists, women, LGBTQ individuals, and religious minorities. Judge Kavanaugh is relatively young at 53, and he will likely be on the court for many decades to come. His term would be disastrous for separation of church and state.
Please tell your senators to oppose his nomination.
Here are some of Judge Kavanaugh’s most troubling decisions in favor of religious privilege:
- In Garza v. Hargan, Judge Kavanaugh allowed the government to refuse to allow an undocumented minor immigrant from accessing abortion care, a decision later overturned by the full panel of the D.C. Circuit.
- In a brief in Santa Fe v. Doe, Kavanaugh argued that not allowing prayers over a megaphone at a public school would lead to “the full extermination of private religious speech from the public schools.”
- In Priests for Life v. HHS, he dissented from the majority, saying that the non-profit exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate, requiring nonprofits to sign a form saying they did not want to provide contraceptive coverage, constituted an unacceptable burden on the non-profit’s religious rights.
- In Newdown v. Roberts, regarding “so help me God” in the presidential oath of office, Kavanaugh wrote to express his opinion that such public and official use of religion was permissible despite Article VI of the Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment forbidding religious tests for public office.
We are facing a dire situation for separation of church and state, but the solution is straightforward: The Senate has a responsibility to reject any candidate for the Supreme Court who does not embrace secular government, uphold religious neutrality, and protect religiously targeted groups. Will you tell your Senators that Judge Kavanaugh is wrong for the Supreme Court?
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Thank you for supporting the separation of church and state!
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