It kills me that Trump has gotten to pick a second nominee for the Supreme Court in less than two years. No matter how this plays out (and I’ll talk about that) it is really important that our Senators hear from us about this nominee. Here’s some useful information that you can use in your calls or emails.
Calling Your Senators
First, find the phone numbers and/or email addresses for your Senators at Contacting Congress.
Next, here’s a basic script you can use:
Hi, my name is ___ and my zip code is ___. I’m calling to ask Senator ___ to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court. I’m most troubled by [insert your personal reason for opposing him]. Please ask the Senator to oppose this nomination.
Many of us probably oppose this nomination purely on the grounds that we feel that at least one seat on SCOTUS was stolen from the Democrats, but for your call, I encourage you to use a reason that is more grounded in the facts of today. Here are 5 reasons to choose from, but of course you aren’t limited to these.
✦ Per Vox, “Kavanaugh has argued that presidents should not be distracted from their executive office responsibilities by potential criminal investigations — even if they happen to be the subject of such probes.” The fact that this president and his campaign are under investigation right now, makes this pick extremely problematic. Either we believe that no one in this country is above the law, or the country as we know it is gone. (By the way, Kavanaugh did not seem to hold this view when he was a key figure in the Starr investigation that went after Bill Clinton.)
✦ Furthermore, the Mueller investigation will likely bring up legal issues that will end up in front of the Supreme Court. As an example, legal scholars have strong arguments both for and against whether a President can pardon him/herself. It would be a gross conflict of interest for Kavanaugh to rule in such a case.
✦ In a case that made national headlines this past fall, Kavanaugh sided with the Trump administration when he dissented on a case regarding whether an undocumented teenager held in custody could receive an abortion. This is one of his rulings that many liberals feel puts Roe v. Wade in jeopardy.
✦ Democrats believe that Kavanaugh’s view of guns is “extreme” noting that Kavanaugh has argued that a ban on semiautomatic rifles is unconstitutional. (Source: LA Times) By the way, the NRA has already praised his nomination.
✦ Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has taken issue with the fact that Kavanaugh came from a preselected list of candidates from the Heritage Foundation. “This list is the bidding of corporate special interests hell-bent on handing health care over to insurance companies, crushing unions that represent working men and women, and promoting policies that will leave the middle-class further behind. Any judge on this list is fruit of a corrupt process straight from the D.C. swamp.” To my eyes, this seems like a great argument that might also play well in red states full of Trump’s base.
No matter what, I think it is imperative that we contact our Senators and let them know how we feel about this nominee. It is always a good idea to let our Senators know what we, their voters, value. That said, I want to prepare you for the grim reality which is that the Democrats have no ability to stop or delay this nomination. Once McConnell torpedoed the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, all it will take to make Kavanaugh a Supreme Court Justice is for McConnell to schedule a vote and have all 51 of his Republican Senators vote in favor. Done. Fin.
If you want to game out different scenarios, then I suggest you read a well-thought-out piece about exactly that at DemWritePress.
But the Democratic Senators must, absolutely, scream at the top of their lungs about how much we oppose this nominee, because we absolutely do. I do NOT want our Democratic Senators rolling over on this one, and hope they might pressure some of the more moderate Republican Senators, even though I’m keenly aware that we’ve seen little to no pushback on Trump from any of them.
In the end, though, if Kavanaugh does in fact go through, I beg you not to take out your frustrations on the red state Democrats. We desperately need them to win in November if we want any hope of flipping the Senate in November. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85, and Stephen Breyer is 79. What if something happens to them between now and 2020? If we flip the Senate in November, the Democrats can block every single SCOTUS candidate Trump nominates. And that, my friends, is something we must fight for.