Kavanaugh would prioritize corporations over everyday Americans

Kavanaugh would prioritize corporations over everyday Americans
© Greg Nash

When Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July, the former clerk for Justice Kennedy introduced himself to people in this country as a harmless carpool dad, dedicated to upholding the law.

Don’t be fooled by Kavanaugh’s attempts to position himself as an uncontroversial pick for the Supreme Court. The truth is that Kavanaugh’s career and his judicial philosophies consistently prioritize the rights of corporations before the rights of everyday people.

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His appointment is a defining moment that could lead to an entire generation suffering the consequences and open doors for corporations to legally pollute, poison and destroy our air, our water, and our communities. Every member of Congress who claims to be on the side of the people, should deeply consider some of Kavanaugh’s key judicial decisions before they decide to vote yes on this allegedly mainstream judicial nominee.

Along with nearly 100 percent of the world’s scientists, Kavanaugh does at least accept that climate change is happening. He just doesn’t show any interest in doing anything about it or, for that matter, any other environmental threats. 

In his 2012 appellate court decision, Kavanaugh authored the Environmental Protection Agency overreached its authority by daring to regulate pollution that crossed state lines. In fact, in that decision Kavanaugh made it clear that, “It is not our job to set environmental policy.” Luckily and hopefully with the understanding that pollution particles don’t pump the brakes when they see a state welcome sign, the Supreme Court, including Justice Anthony Kennedy siding with the majority, reversed that decision, a win for public health. 

A recent analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity revealed that Kavanaugh has ruled against animal species protection nearly 95 percent of the time. And what is scheduled on the first day of the Supreme Court’s new term beginning October 1? A case that could impact future habitat protections for endangered species all across the country.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would solidify an extremist court that places corporate interests before people's interests for at least a generation. His record demonstrates a judicial philosophy more interested in protecting the rights of corporations than of the most vulnerable in our country as the numbers prove. A recent analysis conducted by Public Citizen found Kavanaugh has decided in favor of big corporations a whopping 87 percent of the time. In one of his most recent cases, Kavanaugh wrote in his dissenting opinion that net neutrality — the idea that internet service providers should treat all Internet traffic equally — violated First Amendment rights. The First Amendment rights, that is of companies like Comcast, literally the most hated company in this country.

When Kavanaugh isn’t doling out legal protections for the country’s biggest corporations and richest executives, he is silencing the civil rights of everyday people. As a Court of Appeals judge, Kavanaugh helped make 2016 the first presidential election year during which 15 states had new voting restrictions impacting communities of color, the poor, students, and the elderly. We are now living with the results of weakened voter access thanks to Kavanaugh. 

As a federal appellate judge, Kavanaugh has also consistently weakened campaign finance laws paving the way for corporate money, including money from foreign companies, to pollute our political system. His decisions establish a pattern of obstructing the path for people to participate in our democracy while constructing a pay-to-play political system.

Kavanaugh is one of the least popular Supreme Court justice nominees a president has ever chosen. He has the lowest approval rate among the public since Robert Bork's nomination by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and fewer than three in 10 women support Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh is no harmless family man who will uphold the law from the Supreme Court bench. He is a direct threat to our fundamental civil rights, and particularly the rights of communities who are disproportionately impacted by the behavior of reckless corporations. Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinKavanaugh’s fate rests with Sen. Collins Amnesty International calls to halt Kavanaugh nomination Fox's Chris Wallace: All 10 Democratic Senate Judiciary members again declined interview invitations MORE (D-Ill.) called Kavanaugh the “Forest Gump of Republican politics,” claiming that he would “show up at every scene of the crime.” Kavanaugh has done plenty of damage to the country already. Every member of Congress who cares about the country should stop this man from getting a starring role in the demise of our democracy.

Molly Dorozenski is Greenpeace’s USA Democracy Campaign director.