Latino legal group slams Kavanaugh

Latino legal group slams Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

A relaunched network of Latino leaders railed this week against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over his approach to issues important to the Hispanic community.

“It is imperative that every nominee to serve as a justice be completely vetted for their understanding of the Latino experience with discrimination in the United States," said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, in a call with reporters on Thursday.

Saenz is a member of the new group, Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ), that includes elected officials and members of the legal, civil rights, labor and academic communities.

“Unfortunately, some of Judge Kavanaugh’s published views indicate a dangerous potential belief in a manufactured and unsupported construction of a hierarchy-of-rights holders,” Saenz said, added that noncitizens are particularly vulnerable to discriminatory interpretations of the Constitution.

HFJ wrote a letter Friday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley raises concerns about objectivity of report critical of GOP tax law's effects Overnight Health Care: Key Trump drug pricing proposal takes step forward | Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic loses bid for license | 2020 Democrats to take part in Saturday forum on abortion rights Key Trump proposal to lower drug prices takes step forward MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.) asking them to select witnesses for Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings who will "ensure that the voices and perspectives of America’s Latinos are at the table."

"Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions in various cases during his tenure on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals raise questions about his approach to the law and the adverse impact that his approach would have on Latinos and other communities of color that seek equal justice in our courts," HFJ wrote in the letter.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings are expected to begin next month.

HFJ members said the Supreme Court will soon be presented with cases focused on issues that disproportionately affect Latinos: the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers, voting rights, workers' rights and access to health care.

The group also highlighted Kavanaugh's record on abortion rights and the permanence of Roe v. Wade.

"We can’t forget Kavanaugh was selected from a pre-vetted list of candidates that will overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Maria Carmona, one of HFJ's founders and a CNN correspondent, in Thursday’s press call. “We must do all we can to ensure our community is aware of this.”

Trump nominated Kavanaugh last month to fill the seat occupied by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired on July 31.