Black Women In Alabama Call for Doug Jones to Oppose Kavanaugh Nomination

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OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR DOUG JONES

September 15, 2018

Dear Senator Jones,

 We, the undersigned, have come together as Black women voters in Alabama and our allies, to express our concern about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanagh to the Supreme Court. First, we want to encourage you to stand strong in your position to avoid a swift decision on this matter.  We stand with you and support your commitment to ensure that Judge Kavanagh is thoroughly and properly vetted. Finally, we believe, that once vetted, it will be clear the negative impact that Judge Kavanagh could shatter some of the most valuable gains in gun violence prevention, voting rights, healthcare, worker’s rights, immigration and of course, women’s reproductive rights.   We need your leadership now more than ever. As our representative, we further ask that you reach across the aisle and work with other Senators to also abstain from making a swift decision to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. 

This decision is too important to rush.  And frankly, what we know about Judge Kavanaugh heightens our interest to have a complete and thorough investigation. The next Supreme Court Justice stands in the balance on significant matters expected to come before the court, and Judge Kavanaugh’s work and record on these issues concern us, including:

·      Gun Violence Prevention – When the D.C. Circuit Court upheld a ban on assault weapons, Judge Kavanaugh authored a dissent stating that the Second Amendment guarantees a person’s right to own a semi-automatic weapon and rejecting the idea that public safety should be considered when ruling on guns – blatantly ignoring clear evidence that gun safety policies protect the lives of women and children.

·      Voting Rights – Prior to the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutting the Voting Rights Act, Judge Kavanaugh supported South Carolina efforts to pass a restrictive voter id law that the Department of Justice found would negatively impact over 80,000 people of color, in South Carolina v. U.S., 898 F. Supp.2d 30 (D.C. Cir. 2012).

·      Affordable Healthcare - Judge Kavanaugh openly criticized Chief Justice Roberts for his decision to uphold the health care law and, from the bench, repeatedly voiced his opposition to the ACA, including by suggesting that a president could “decline to enforce” this lifesaving legislation if he personally deems it unconstitutional.

·      Worker’s Rights - Judge Kavanaugh’s record shows that he has no regard for the rights of workers, consistently ruling against them and the agencies charged with protecting them in cases involving discrimination, worker safety and union representation. Judge Kavanaugh dissented – in favor of the employer and against the worker – in several workplace discrimination cases.

·       Reproductive Justice - Roe vs. Wade should be protected, we do not want to send women back into the shadows to receive reproductive healthcare and we understand that both African American women and low- income women will be disproportionally affected.  Just last year, he made his disdain for Roe clear when he went out of his way to praise former Chief Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in the case. And when Judge Kavanaugh had the opportunity to block access to abortion care, he jumped at it. As a member of a three-judge panel, he voted to prevent a young immigrant woman from accessing abortion care she wanted, indicating that he believed the federal government could delay her time-sensitive care past the time when she could legally access abortion in the state where she was being held

Further, we are concerned about Kavanaugh’s opinion that a sitting President should not be criminally charged. The Supreme Court has not issued an opinion on this matter.  There are too many allegations regarding Russia and the Trump campaign that lie in murky waters.  There are many Black women voters across Alabama that will stand alongside you on local and national media platforms to win this fight.

Senator Jones, being that you serve on the Senate’s HELP committee, we would hope that you will stand with the black women voters across Alabama who elected you in trying to engage other key senators across party lines to halt this appointment.  Our nation’s highest court is at stake and honestly, the risks of this appointment are terrifying.  We need you to stand with us as we have stood with you.

Sincerely,

Alabama Black Women Voters and our Allies

Latosha Brown,

Letetia Daniels Jackson, Dothan, AL

Sheila Tyson, Birmingham, AL

Catrena Norris Carter, Selma, AL

Paula Durry Patton

Evanne Gibson, Birmingham, AL

Teresa Bettis, Mobile, AL

Melanie McClain, Huntsville, AL

Keisha Brown, Birmingham, AL

N.J. Davina

Clarice Davism, Birmingham, AL

Kris Ross, Montgomery, AL

Joyce England Peoples

Deborah Thomas, Dothan, AL

Sarah -Hope Parmeter, Camden, AL

Rasheda Campbell, Birmingham, AL

Sandra DeArmas Marsh, Dothan, AL

Leeda Butler

Eulàlia Puig, Oak Park, IL

Denise Davis-Maye, Montgomery, AL

Pamela Lischko Lowell, Selma, AL

Tomika Rayford, Selma, AL

Jenna Leving Jacobson, Butler County, AL

Donna Taylor, Mobile, AL

Penny Kessler, Sumter County, AL

Donna Taylor, Butler County, AL

Danielle Fulghum

Rebecca Lane, Selma, AL

Adrienne J. King, Selma, AL

Ruby Sales

Addie McConneell

Tonya Scott Williams, Montgomery, AL

Jocelyn Ginyard, Lawrenceville, GA

Tisha Bowie, Selma, AL

Tiffany Thomas, Montgomery, AL

Abina Billups, Selma, AL

L. Simone Washington