LGBT rights group: Kavanaugh is a 'direct threat'
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said in a new report that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is “a direct threat to the constitutional rights of everyday Americans and for the LGBTQ community in particular.”

“Kavanaugh has a troublingly lengthy, far-right pedigree, and he was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality. This nomination threatens to erode our nation’s civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation, and issue a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life,” HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said in the report. 

Warbelow added that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will “undoubtedly bring a dangerous brand of ideological partisanship that has no place on the Court.”

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The nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization announced its opposition to Kavanaugh last month, and in Tuesday's report said his record on reproductive rights, the right to privacy, and religious liberty "indicates a potent combination of ideological views that could significantly and unnecessarily reshape constitutional doctrine and nondiscrimination protections as they apply to LGBTQ persons.” 

The group also said that Kavanaugh did not “substantively address” any of the Supreme Court’s “seminal LGBTQ decisions” in court cases Lawrence v. Texas, Romer v. Evans, United States v. Windsor or Obergefell v. Hodges, nor “its discredited ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick.”

Citing what the HRC called an “absence of opinions on LGBT-related cases” involving Kavanaugh, the group pointed to speeches Trump’s nominee gave “extensively praising” former chief justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia, both of whom it said have “some of the most pronounced anti-LGBTQ records of modern jurists.”

The report comes weeks after the president nominated Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The pick has divided lawmakers along partisan lines and has set up what looks to be bitter confirmation battle in the Senate in the months ahead.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE (W.Va.) was the first Democrat to publicly grant an interview with Kavanaugh.

Manchin, who is one of three Democrats who voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, is widely seen as one of the most likely Democratic "yes" votes for Kavanaugh.

Manchin said a meeting in late July was “productive” and said the two discussed “everything,” but declined to get into specifics.

Fellow vulnerable Democratic centrist Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE (Ind.) are facing enormous pressure on their votes.