Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is on shaky ground with credible accusations of sexual assault now public. Serious questions also remain about whether he lied under oath and whether senators should have access to more information relating to his time serving in the White House. Attend a #StopKavanaugh event and tell Susan Collins to demand the FBI investigate assault claims, allow the National Archives to complete its work, and resolve questions of lying before any confirmation vote takes place.
UPDATE 9/22: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Sept. 27.
UPDATE 9/13: Read Suit Up Maine’s statement on Sen. Collins’ recent remarks about constituents’ contact.
UPDATE 9/12: Sen. King will vote NO on Kavanaugh! Read his statement.
Shortly after Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings concluded, the process was upended when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford went public with her accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students. Dr. Ford’s claims are credible, and she has already submitted to and passed a polygraph test. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation. The Judiciary Committee delayed its vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until both Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh can testify publicly, under oath, about the accusation. That hearing is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24, but Dr. Ford has requested that it be moved to Thursday, Sept. 27, at the earliest. Democrats are also demanding that the FBI investigate Dr. Ford’s claims before the hearing takes place, and Dr. Ford’s lawyers have echoed that demand. Susan Collins stated that while she does not have enough information to know if she believes Dr. Ford’s claims, if Kavanaugh is shown to have lied about his conduct she feels he would not be qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.
Other important issues with the nomination have yet to be resolved. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings ended last week amid an uproar over the handling of documents related to his service in the George W. Bush White House and new questions about whether he lied under oath. In an unprecedented move, the Senate Judiciary Committee allowed the hearings to proceed and conclude before the National Archives and Records Administration completed its job of reviewing and clearing documents related to Kavanaugh. Instead, it granted final authority to William Burck, a Bush lawyer and friend of Kavanaugh who also represents at least three Trump Administration officials regarding Mueller’s investigation — Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Don McGahn. More than 40,000 of the documents from Burck were classified as “committee confidential” and Trump has claimed executive privilege over more than 100,000 others. Some of the committee confidential documents were made public by Democrats to question the criteria for the classification as well as to highlight important inconsistencies in Kavanaugh’s testimony. Those inconsistencies may amount lying to Congress or even to perjury.
Leaders of Suit Up Maine joined advocates from the Maine Family Planning, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Natural Resources Council of Maine, and States United to Prevent Gun Violence for meetings during the Senate recess with senior legislative aides who advise King and Collins on judicial nominees. Read our report, which includes cases that could come before the Supreme Court soon that would affect the health, environment, and civil rights of Mainers, and Kavanaugh’s record on those issues. And find more talking points below for your calls and letters.
- DEMAND that the FBI conduct an investigation of Dr. Ford’s sexual assault claims and evaluate all corroborating information and witnesses before the hearing takes place (sign this petition too!).
- NO VOTE on Kavanaugh should be held until questions about whether he lied to Congress have been resolved.
- NO VOTE on Kavanaugh should be held until the National Archives has completed its review of documents related to Kavanaugh.
Have your letter hand-delivered to Collins in D.C. As part of our ongoing effort to ensure Sen. Collins hears from us, we’ve joined with Herd on the Hill/Stamps Licked, an all-volunteer group in based in DC that accepts, prints, and hand-delivers short letters from constituents to the offices of their members of Congress. Herd on the Hill delivered nearly 800 of Mainers’ letters to Sen. Collins’ office between Sept. 11-20. They make deliveries every Tuesday and Thursday. To have yours included, submit it on their website.
- Monday, Sept. 24 in Portland, Bar Harbor, and wherever you are: National Walk Out: Support Dr. Blasey Ford, hosted by Women’s March, Alliance for Justice, and other national organizations. Nationwide walkout at 1pm; where black and walk outside from wherever you are, and post a photo of social media with #BelieveSurvivors. In Portland, protesters will meet at Collins’ Portland office at noon and in Bar Harbor, people will meet at 12:45pm at the COA campus.
- Monday, Sept. 24 in DC: Women’s March #IBelieveChristine event to support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
- Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Lewiston: November 6: Vote Them Out to demand that Sen. Collins oppose Kavanaugh, hosted by RESIST Central Maine. 11:30 am in Dufresne Park on Lisbon Street.
- Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Portland: SaveSCOTUS, hosted by Mainers for Accountable Leadership. 3-6 pm at Lobsterman Park at 1 Temple Street.
- Thursday, Sept. 27, Bangor and nationwide: National Solidarity Speakout #WeBelieveChristine, hosted by Women’s March. Indivisible MDI will hold a sister event in Bangor. Other sister events in Maine are in the works. Check the national event link for updates. Attendees will wear black and write on their palms, in black marker, “I BELIEVE” to show solidarity for Dr. Ford and for all survivors of sexual assault.
- Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault are credible, and should be taken seriously. By contrast, Kavanaugh appears to have a pattern of misleading, obfuscating, and potentially lying to Congress.
- Kavanaugh may have lied to Congress on five occasions. His testimony shows concerning inconsistencies on issues related to stolen Congressional documents, his role in the development of Bush directives on warrantless wiretapping and torture, and his roles in the nomination of two highly controversial judicial picks.
- Congress has been given access to only a small fraction of documents related to Kavanaugh’s work history, and many potentially illuminating documents have been hidden in a partisan process controlled by a conflicted individual. These documents belong to the American people, and the National Archives must be allowed to complete the job of reviewing and releasing them.
- His nomination to the DC Circuit was blocked for nearly 3 years due to concerns about his partisan political past.
- He has the highest number of dissents per year of any judge on the D.C. Circuit (you can read them all from the Yale Journal on Regulation).
- In 2007, Kavanaugh ruled that health care providers don’t need to seek consent from people with disabilities who have been legally ruled “mentally incompetent” before performing elective surgeries, including abortion.
- Kavanaugh doesn’t believe labor protections apply to undocumented workers.
- In a 2009 article in the Minnesota Law Review Kavanaugh argued for a law that would exempt a sitting president from criminal prosecution and investigation, including prosecutorial questioning.
- In 2011, he authored a dissent in a case that upheld a semi-automatic weapons ban in D.C., arguing that the assault weapons ban was unconstitutional.
- He has sided against the Environmental Protection Agency in many cases involving Obama-era regulations, ranging from the banning of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (which he opposed) to rules on harmful emissions that cross state lines (which he rejected).
- He has argued against Net Neutrality.
- He claims that the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau is unconstitutional and has said independent agencies circumvent executive powers.
- Kavanaugh argued in his dissent in a 2011 case pertaining to the ACA that the president can choose to ignore laws that he or she finds unconstitutional, even if the courts have ruled that the laws are constitutional.
- In a 2015 dissent in Priests for Life v HHS, Kavanaugh argued that employers should be able to deny employees coverage for contraceptive care if it violates their religious beliefs.
- Kavanaugh dissented in a ruling that stated an undocumented teenager had a legal right to obtain an abortion. He also gave a speech in 2017 to the American Enterprise Institute in which he said he agreed with Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade.
Hashtags: #WhatsAtStake #StopKavanaugh #NoKavanaugh #CollinsHearME #CollinsHearMeToo #CancelKavanaugh #IBelieveChristine #DelayTheVote #WhyTheRush #ReleaseTheDocuments