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 TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' 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) ManchinKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads George Floyd and the upcoming Texas Democratic Senate runoff Energy companies cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline 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 Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (Ind.) are facing enormous pressure on their votes.