For Immediate Release: September 7, 2018
Contact: Center for Inquiry
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Congressional Freethought Caucus Tells Senate Judiciary Committee to Reject Kavanaugh Nomination
On Thursday, the Congressional Freethought Caucus urged the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to reject the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Jason Lemieux, CFI’s Director of Government Affairs, played a key role in informing the Caucus about the danger to church-state separation posed by Kavanaugh’s nomination. Lemieux has met with offices in both chambers of Congress to make clear the vital importance of the secular principles put at risk by Kavanaugh’s nomination.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley and the Ranking Member, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Freethought Caucus expresses concerns raised by CFI in its discussions with lawmakers; including Kavanaugh’s hostility toward the Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed that a woman’s right to privacy includes the right to obtain, without undue burden, an abortion prior to fetal viability.
Also on Thursday, the New York Times reported that Kavanaugh stated in a 2003 email to supporters of a conservative judicial nominee, “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent … .” This is in direct contradiction to what he reportedly told Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) prior to the release of the email, assuring her that he considered Roe to be settled law.
The letter also points out Kavanaugh’s bias toward religious privilege when it comes to the definition of an “undue burden”: In past decisions, Kavanaugh ruled that it was an undue burden for religious organizations to complete a five-line form certifying their objection to providing employees with contraception coverage, and yet he ruled that delaying an abortion for an undocumented minor was not an undue burden, despite the considerable risk to her own life.
As the Freethought Caucus wrote in their letter, “for Kavanaugh, filling out a form burdens religion, but forcing a child to give birth is not a burden.”
CFI has been rallying its grassroots supporters, encouraging them to call their senators and urge them to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. CFI’s action alerts on the Kavanaugh nomination are available here.
Read the Caucus’s full letter here.